Zotac GeForce GTX 260 AMP!Manufacturer: Zotac
UK Price (as reviewed): £225.00 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $325.99 (ex. Tax)
As well as the ultra high end GeForce GTX 280’s, we’re also looking Zotac’s GeForce GTX 260 AMP! Edition. The GeForce GTX 260 is a cut down version of the beefier GeForce GTX 280, sporting 192 stream processors as opposed to 240 on the GeForce GTX 280, and 896MB of GDDR3 as opposed to 1GB of GDDR3.
The GeForce GTX 260 also features a reduced memory setup, with a 448-bit based interface in comparison to the GeForce GTX 280’s 512-bit, equating to a reduced memory bandwidth of 111.9 GB/s compared to the GeForce GTX 280’s 141.7GB/s.
In our recent graphics test, the GeForce GTX 260 was something of a disappointment, failing to offer enough extra performance over the Radeon HD 4870 to justify its notably higher price. However this price has come down very recently and hopefully Zotac’s overclock can help add to a better product.
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The card is packaged well enough in a plain box inside a flashy Zotac orange exterior sleeve, and the included bundle is certainly impressive. As well as the expected assortment of two, dual Molex to PCI-E 6-pin connectors, a HDTV component breakout cable, a quick start manual and a driver disc, we’re also treated to a DVI to HDMI adapter and accompanying internal S/PDIF connector (although there’s no included HMDI cable), and a full copy of the superlative Race Driver: GRID!
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While included games will rarely effect purchases of hardware, it’s always nice to get a modern game thrown in with your new card, especially if the game is as good as GRID. Although in some respects, perhaps a DX10 title might have been more fitting to give the architecture the workout it deserves.
The Zotac GeForce GTX 260 is less heavily stickered than the GeForce GTX 280 overclocked cards, with Zotac’s motif of big fiery dragons continuing into the new architecture series, and the card’s identity clearly displayed along the bottom. Interestingly, the top of the card is completely clear of any stickers, simply displaying the default GeForce logo, although the presence, or lack of stickers on your card won’t affect its thermal performance and are easily removed with a little solvent anyway if you feel so inclined.
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Internally, the card has received some healthy overclocks, although it’s important to remember it’s still the stock GeForce GTX 260 architecture, the core is set to 650MHz from a default 576MHz – a tasty 13 percent overclock! The shader and memory clocks have also been increased, from 1,242MHz to 1,400MHz and 1,998MHz to 2,100MHz, which should produce hopefully produce some sorely needed performance increases.
Zotac provides a five year warranty as long as you register the card with 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. Zotac is cutting it a little fine for the end user in our opinion.