In Battlefield 3
, the amp! Extreme sticks close the GTX 670 2GB at in both single screen tests, although is unable to catch it despite its clock speeds being much higher. The triple screen test is naturally more memory intensive, and highlights the Zotac card's missing memory controller. Although in this test it beats a regular GTX 660 Ti 2GB by 25 per cent, a stock GTX 670 is still able to outpace it by 15 per cent. AMD's Radeon HD 7970 3GB also proves generally better, but Zotac's GTX 660 Ti 2GB is able to beat or equal the HD 7950 3GB with Boost in each test.
sees Zotac's card jump up by 6fps on the minimum frame rate compared to a regular GTX 660 Ti 2GB, but it's unable to catch the HD 7950 3GB with Boost and remains 5fps behind the GTX 670 2GB. The improvement at the two higher resolutions is just 1fps in each case, with the big clock speeds failing to make up for the extra demand placed on the card's memory interface. Thus, the GTX 670 2GB stays at least a fifth faster in both of these playthroughs.
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, the amp! Extreme pips a stock GTX 660 Ti 2GB by just 2fps at 1080p, putting it ahead of the HD 7970 3GB, but a whole 8fps behind the GTX 670 2GB. Its 5fps improvement at 2,560 x 1,600 was more impressive, and means it now matches the HD 7950 3GB with Boost, but not the HD 7970 3GB. Here, the GTX 670 2GB is 16 per cent faster, and though Zotac's card closes this gap in performance across three screens, it's not enough to catch the faster Nvidia card.
Our 1,920 x 1,080 Witcher 2
test is the only one where the amp! Extreme card is able to match the minimum frame rate of a GTX 670 2GB, albeit with a lower average frame rate. It falls behind the faster card again by 3fps at 2,560 x 1,600, but is equally 3fps faster than a reference GTX 660 Ti 2GB. The memory intensive three screen test sees the card only able to improve the GTX 660 Ti 2GB's frame rate by 1fps, which leaves it 15 per cent behind the GTX 670 2GB again.
In the Unigine benchmark
, the amp! Extreme card boosts the performance of the GTX 660 Ti 2GB by 10 per cent, although its score of 1,600 is still just over 8 per cent worse than the 1,732 achieved by the GTX 670 2GB.
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The power results
are roughly where you'd expect them to be, right between the stock results for the GTX 660 Ti 2GB and GTX 670 2GB when under load. The 'dual silencer' cooler was able to shed a couple of degrees Celsius from the thermal result
of the stock GTX 660 Ti 2GB, which is a very good outcome given the hefty overclock. Though not silent, the cooler's fans do stay nice and quiet in operation for the most part.
The small boost we were able to give the Zotac card through overclocking
resulted in a single fps gain in the 2,560 x 1,600 Battlefield 3 test, and small bump to its performance in Unigine too. In both cases, this was enough to match the HD 7970 3GB, but still left it trailing the GTX 670 2GB.
As it's currently priced, the Zotac GTX 660 Ti 2GB amp! Extreme is actually good value compared to other board partners' cards of the same GPU. It's at least £20 cheaper than the regular and slower amp! Edition for some reason, and comes in at roughly the middle of the price range for GTX 660 Ti 2GB cards, but offers clock frequencies that are almost as high as the GPU will go in a package that is small, cool and quiet. Whether or not the price will remain at this price for long is hard to say, but the majority of e-tailers are selling the card closer to the £270 mark.
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Just as with the original amp! Edition, however, the biggest thorn in the side of this card is still its bigger brother, the GTX 670 2GB. As we've said before, this card currently offers some of the best value in the graphics market, and can be found now for around £275, with some even coming on pre-order for less than £265
Therefore, for just £25 more, you can net yourself a card that is better performing and, thanks to its additional memory controller, also more future proof, especially for those with an eye for a monitor upgrade. The amp! Extreme is a great card, but it takes the GTX 660 Ti GPU close to its limits while still being consistently outperformed by the GTX 670 2GB at stock speeds. Our advice for those considering the upgrade is therefore to save up some Christmas cash and nab the costlier card, which has more juice to give and will benefit you more in the long run.