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Conclusion

The Zotac GeForce 9800 GTX AMP! is indeed the fastest single-core graphics card based on the G92 processor. The pre-overclocked frequencies ensure this card an average advantage of 7-8% over the reference sample and increase the gap from the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB.

On the other hand, the practical benefits are unclear. The Zotac doesn’t open up new opportunities for gamers in any of the games we use as benchmarks. If it delivered comfortable performance, the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB could deliver comfortable performance, too. If the latter was too slow, the Zotac was too slow as well. This might have been expected because the only difference between these two cards is the clock rates of the GPU and memory but something more is needed for a breakthrough as the Radeon HD 3870 X2 showed in such games as Call of Juarez and Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts.

Anyway, the Zotac GeForce 9800 GTX AMP! is a good product. It is considerably faster than the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB, delivers highest performance in today’s games, is free from the drawbacks typical of multi-GPU solutions, and has good accessories. Our only gripe is about the lack of software for HD video playback in the kit. We can put up with that in cheap products but not in top-class ones like the Zotac.

The Zotac card is only going to be truly appealing if its retail price is lower than $230, which is the price of the GeForce 9800 GTX+. Otherwise, we’d recommend you to consider either ATI Radeon HD 4850 or Nvidia GeForce 8800 GTS 512. This is true for any other version of GeForce 9800 GTX, though.

Highs:

  • The best performance among contemporary singe-chip graphics cards;
  • Wide range of supported FSAA modes;
  • Excellent quality of anisotropic filtering;
  • Hardware HD-video decoding and post-processing support;
  • Sound over HDMI;
  • No compatibility issues;
  • Relatively low power consumption;
  • Highly efficient cooling;
  • Low noise;
  • Bundle bonus (Lost: The Video Game)

Lows:

  • Long PCB may not fit into some system cases;
  • Requires two power supply connectors;
  • No software for playback of HD video content bundled with the card.
 
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