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Conclusion

Having tested the Zotac GeForce GTX 280 AMP! in all of our benchmarks, we can now answer the question how efficient the overclocking of a GeForce GTX 280 can be.

The maximum performance growth shown by the Zotac card is rather small at 10-12%. The average growth across all of the games is 8-10%. In some cases that was enough to make the Zotac card competitive to the Radeon HD 4870 X2 at resolutions up to 1920x1200 inclusive. Such games as Call of Juarez and Lost Planet were exceptions.

Even though ATI’s solution remained victorious at 2560x1600, with the few exceptions, people who are looking for the highest single-card graphics solution now have a wider choice.

The fact is the Radeon HD 4870 X2, with all its brilliance and numerous advantages, has a couple of considerable drawbacks. Easy to guess, we mean its power consumption and heat dissipation that are far higher than 200 watts. Some gamers just won’t like the idea of transforming their gaming computer into a source of heat, especially as electric power is getting ever more expensive. So, a factory-overclocked GeForce GTX 280 may indeed be more appealing than the Radeon HD 4870 X2, considering the comparable prices. Moreover, the Zotac card is going to be interesting for people who don’t have a 2560x1600 monitor. Although the Zotac is hotter and more voracious than the reference GeForce GTX 280, it is much more modest than the Radeon HD 4870 X2 in these parameters.

Included with the card are all the necessary accessories plus a copy of Race Driver: Grid. The only disappointment is the lack of software for playing HD video. We guess it is a drawback for a $400 product.

So, if you want the fastest graphics card available today, but do not like the Radeon HD 4870 X2 for some reason, the discussed card from Zotac is an option to consider. The Zotac GeForce GTX 280 AMP! won’t disappoint you unless you play at resolutions higher than 1920x1200.

For the highest performance and rich accessories bundle we decided to award Zotac GeForce GTX 280 AMP! Graphics card with our Editor’s Choice title as the fastest single-GPU graphics accelerator:

Highs:

  • High performance in contemporary games;
  • Can compete against ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 in resolutions up to 1920x1200;
  • Wide range of supported FSAA modes;
  • Minimal effect of enabled FSAA on performance;
  • Excellent quality of anisotropic filtering;
  • 240 shader processors, 80 texturing units, 32 RBE;
  • 1024MB of video memory with 512-bit access bus;
  • Hardware HD-video decoding support;
  • S/PDIF sound over HDMI;
  • No compatibility issues with existing mainboards;
  • Low power consumption and heat dissipation compared with ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2.

Lows:

  • Questionable efficiency of the cooling system;
  • Performance shift towards TMU and RBE;
  • No DirectX 10.1 and Shader Model 4.1 support;
  • Incomplete support of VC-1 decoding;
  • No integrated sound core;
  • High noise;
  • No HD-video player in the software bundle.
 
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