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Closer Look at ZOTAC GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition

PCB Design and Specifications

In our previous review we benchmarked a very nonstandard GF116-based product but today we've got a less extraordinary, yet quite interesting solution from Zotac.

The product box is painted Zotac’s traditional mix of yellow, brown and black. It is embellished with a picture of a dragon.

A few years ago graphics card makers were trying to attract the customer with various extra accessories. This trend has changed and recent products generally come with a bare minimum of accompaniments.

  • DVI-I → D-Sub adapter;
  • 2x4-pin PATA → 1x6-pin PCIe adapter;
  • CD disk with Zotac Boost Premium utilities;
  • Brief installation guide;
  • Brief user manual;
  • CD disk with drivers and utilities.

So, there is nothing special about these accessories save for the Zotac Boost Premium software suite that includes various tools for editing and recording videos and photos and virtually transforming your computer into a multimedia center.

Ours is not a trivial version of the graphics card, by the way. It is a special AMP! Edition and its GPU and memory clock rates are higher than those of the standard GeForce GTX 550 Ti. Zotac lifted the GPU frequency by 12% (to 1000 MHz) and the GDDR5 frequency by 300 MHz (to 4400 MHz). The memory bus is still 192 bits wide. The total amount of the onboard graphics memory is 1024 megabytes.

The graphics card supports SLI and has an appropriate connector. Compared to the MSI GeForce GTX 550 Ti, the Zotac looks smaller and kind of simpler. Except for the original cooling system, we can't see any serious differences from the reference sample.

Zotac's engineers took a simple cooler for this card since the peak power consumption of the GeForce GTX 550 Ti is declared to be only 116 watts. The aluminum heatsink takes up about half the PCB and is fastened with four screws. We will check out the performance of this cooler shortly to see how it copes with the pre-overclocked GTX 550 Ti.

Taking the heatsink off, we can see a copy of Nvidia’s reference GTX 550 Ti. The GF116-400-A1 chip is surrounded by six Hynix H5GQ2H24MFR memory chips with a rated frequency of 1250 (5000) MHz.

The power system of the Zotac GeForce GTX 550 Ti AMP! Edition is the same as the reference card’s. Nvidia’s engineers should be given credit for implementing a four-phase power circuit which turns out to be sufficient even for the pre-overclocked product from Zotac.

The connectivity options provided by the Zotac card are somewhat broader than those of the above-mentioned MSI: two DVI-I ports, one HDMI, and a DisplayPort. With so many connectors, you can hardly have any problems hooking this card up to your monitor and/or TV-set.

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