Jan 26, 2014 Mohannad Alchalabi
When Nvidia released the GTX 780 Ti in response to AMD’s R9 290X stealing the single GPU crown, everyone knew we would soon see manufacturer specific cooling solutions, factory overclocks and bundles as is usually the case. Zotac therefore did not disappoint when they released another product in their AMP! range of graphics cards. The AMP! range has always provided decent overclocking out of the box at a reasonable price and today’s review is no exception.
The box the card came in has a very basic but direct design stating the brand and product range in large letters with the model name and some specs at the bottom. It also mentions the extended warranty Zotac are offering as well and at the top right Zotac mention the range of Splinter Cell games that are bundled with the card. The card and accessories are stored in a black box inside, Zotac include the usual manual and driver/software disc as well as 6-pin and molex splitter cables.
Zotac have chosen a three fan setup for this beast of a card, a large fan in the middle with a smaller fan on either side of it. The casing is metal and sturdy but does not wrap around the card with the PCB in the back left exposed. Underneath the fan and casing, Zotac have used two aluminum heatsinks and five heat pipes to cool the GPU. The memory chips are cooled by small heatsinks as well as the airflow from the fans. The card is requires a 6-pin and and an 8-pin for power and also has two SLI connectors for a multi GPU setup. On the I/O plate the card has 1 x DVI-I, 1 x DVI-D, 1 x HDMI and 1 x DisplayPort connectors.
As with Zotac’s entire AMP! range of cards, the 780 Ti comes factory overclocked at 1006MHz Base and 1072MHz Boost. The 3GB GDDR5 memory is clocked at 1800MHz on a 384-bit bus. The default clock speeds for the 780 Ti are 875MHz Base, 928MHz Boost and 1750MHz memory so while the you get over 100MHz more from the GPU, the memory’s overclock is far more modest at a mere 50MHz over stock.
For testing we used our core i7 Sandy Bridge testbed with 2 x 4GB of Gskill Ripjaws RAM in an MSI Z77 motherboard hooked up to a Thortech 850W power supply. For comparison we used the reference cards of both the GTX 780 and 780 Ti. Both 780 Ti cards used the 331.82 Nvidia drivers while the GTX 780 used the 331.65 drivers.
Using Zotac’s Firestorm overclocking utility we managed to get 1100MHz Base, 1166MHz Boost and 1900MHz Memory out of the card with a power limit of 106% before we hit glitches and software errors when benchmarking. That’s a pretty decent overclock over the already overclocked speeds and over 200MHz and 150MHz over the reference clock speeds. Running 3DMark Extreme we got a score of 5628 which is 600 more than factory speeds. Temperatures hovered around 70C at both the factory and overclocked speeds so you can tell the card’s cooling solution was up to the task.
Zotac’s GTX 780 Ti AMP! card is a mixed bag of sorts. The factory overclock did not yield much of an increase in performance as we expected but our own overclock on top of Zotac’s overclock seemed to show better results. The card retails for a whopping $720 on Amazon which is actually quite comparable to the other GTX 780 Ti’s being sold out there, stock or overclocked. To sweeten the deal, Zotac are offering a 2 year warranty with a 3 year extension if you register the card with them. A 5 year warranty is not bad at all. Of course the offer is dependent on whether your country/region is supported. Overall Zotac have improved an already great card with a better cooling solution and a factory overclock and if the price is right, the added value is a welcomed bonus over the stock solution.
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