Manufacturer:Zotac UK Price (as reviewed): TBC US Price (as reviewed): TBC
Core Clock: 702MHz Shader Clock: 1,512MHz Memory Clock: 2,592MHz (effective) Memory: 1GB GDDR3 Warranty: Five years (parts and labour)
Zotac was the first manufacturer to get hardware to us ahead of the launch, but we've also received a couple of cards from BFG Tech as well. Sadly, they didn't arrive in time to complete any SLI testing, but we will follow up with two and three-way SLI in another article in the near future.
This is Zotac's flagship GeForce GTX 285, as denoted by the AMP! Edition moniker, and the clock speed increases over the reference design are fairly significant. Clocking in at 702/1,512/2,592MHz, the core, shader and memory speeds have been increased by 8.3, 2.4 and 4.3 percent respectively above the Nvidia specifications, which should result in some reasonable – but not earth shattering – performance gains.
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Physically, the card is exactly the same as the other two cards that we've got here and it's also the same as the reference card we've had our hands on briefly. That's no surprise these days though, since almost all of Nvidia's partners stick to the original design, applying their own artwork where necessary – exactly what Zotac has done here of course.
This is mostly down to time-to-market issues, but it's also down to the fairly strict requirements on Nvidia's high end graphics cards. Partners often have to buy a full kit – including GPU, PCB, memory and cooler – from Nvidia although we've been hearing that the company has relaxed these requirements a little in recent times. What we've been told is that as long as a board design is authorised by Nvidia, a partner is free to create its own custom PCBs to further optimise power delivery or overclockability.
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The bundle included with the Zotac GeForce GTX 285 AMP! Edition has improved since the last time we looked at a Zotac graphics card – there's now a copy of 3DMark Vantage to accompany the full version of Race Driver: GRID that's included. In addition to this, there are two six-pin PCI-Express power cables, a DVI-to-VGA dongle, a DVI-to-HDMI passthrough and an S/PDIF connector to carry audio over HDMI. This needs to be connected to your soundcard's S/PDIF out connector.
Zotac rounds the package off with a quick install guide, a user manual and a driver installation disc. All in all, there's very little to complain about here although some would rather buy their graphics card without all of the fluff – it can increase the price even though it's a value-add, after all.
Zotac provides a five year warranty as long as you register the card within 14 days of purchase by completing a simple online form. If you fail to register your card, you’ll be limited to the usual one year warranty covering all electronics purchases, which seems fair – just make sure to register for these extended warranties!
A fortnight is particularly tight, especially since some free delivery systems take a week for the card to get to you. We therefore have to say that Zotac is cutting it a little fine for the end user in our opinion - we'd much prefer to see this extended out to 30 days like other partners offering extended warranties.