UK price (as reviewed): MSRP £575 (inc VAT) US price (as reviewed): Currently unavailable
Although the GTX 780 and GTX Titan share the same reference design, it's only the former that Nvidia allows its board partners to ship with custom coolers. Thankfully, the same is also true of the GTX 780 Ti, the Titan-beating performance of which we witnessed earlier this month. One board partner keen to take advantage of this is Zotac, that today launches its GTX 780 Ti AMP! card for a whopping £575.
Click to enlarge - If you've got £600 to spare, this card will even give you £25 change!
As you'd expect, the new card comes overclocked as well as custom cooled. Zotac also bundles its Splinter Cell compilation (including free copies of Double Agent, Conviction and Blacklist). You'll find a handful of adaptors in the box, namely a DVI to VGA, dual 6-pin to single 8-pin PCI-E power and dual molex to 6-pin PCI-E power. Finally, the card will also be shipping with Zotac's extended five year warranty, provided that users register the product within 28 days (and keep their receipt of course).
Before we delve into the card proper, a brief reminder that the GTX 780 Ti is essentially a fully enabled Kepler GK110 GPU. It's built on a 28nm process and houses a staggering 7.1 billion transistors. It contains five of Nvidia's GPCs, each subdivided into three SMXs for a total of 2,880 stream processors (or CUDA Cores, if you prefer) and 240 texture units. These sit alongside 48 ROPs and six 64-bit memory controllers as well as 3GB of GDDR5.
Click to enlarge
For the AMP! edition, the GTX 780 Ti core has been boosted by a tasty 15 percent, with Zotac having added 130MHz to the reference 876MHz base clock for a final 1,006MHz. This is only the minimum the card will hit under load, however. Indeed, even though the GTX 780 Ti AMP! has a boost clock of 1,072MHz, we saw it reaching 1,110MHz at its default frequencies, so hopefully there's still plenty of room left for more.
Zotac hasn't forgotten about the memory clock either, giving it a modest 3 percent bump from 7GHz effective to 7.2GHz. We wish board partners were a little more brave when it came to this side of things, but even this extra performance is still nice to have. The card's memory bandwidth as a result is 345.6GB/sec.
Examining the dual-slot GTX 780 Ti AMP! reveals that it uses the same 267mm PCB as the stock model, but the cooler's length takes this to 280mm. The rear I/O panel features the standard selection of connectors, namely dual link DVI-D and DVI-I, HDMI and DisplayPort, which allow it to output to up to four displays at once. The card can also be used in triple-SLI configurations thanks to its duo of SLI connections.
Click to enlarge - The PCB is essentially unchanged from the standard GTX 780 Ti one
Taking the card apart unveils the standard GK110 PCB. Top mounted 6-pin and 8-pin PCI-E power connections supply the required additional juice, and on a related note the card has a 265W TDP compared to the reference 250W. Beneath these is the VR controller, and moving further in we find the 6+2 phase power circuitry. Zotac is also keen to highlight that the card's capacitors are of the solid Japanese variety, which it claims last longer than standard aluminium electrolytic capacitors as well as having better stability and a wider operating temperature range. Centred in the PCB is the GK110 GPU which is surrounded by its twelve 256MB memory modules.
Click to enlarge - The card has heatsinks for the GPU,
memory and power circuitry
Similar to PNY's GTX 780 XLR8, the GTX 780 Ti AMP! utilises a three fan cooler with two smaller fans either side of a bigger central one. These are powered by the PCB's single fan header, so they can't be independently controlled.
The GPU cooler sports a flat copper baseplate and two aluminium heatsinks. Each of the five copper heat pipes loop round through the chunkier heatsink above the GPU, while three of them extend into the auxiliary one too. Thermal pads draw heat away from the memory modules and MOSFETS into smaller metal heatsinks, which also receive indirect airflow from the fans above. Unlike the reference card, Zotac's cooler design means that hot air will be exhausted into your chassis.