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Zotac GeForce 8800 GT 512MB AMP! Edition - 2/11/2008 10:03:34 AM   

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There is a lot to like about Zotac's GeForce 8800 GT AMP! Edition – the heatsink has some subtle improvements that help to keep the temperature comparable with a standard-clocked GeForce 8800 GT at noise levels that are going to be inaudible in a chassis. It's also the fastest GeForce 8800 GT we have tested to date and, from looking around, there doesn't seem to be any 8800 GTs clocked faster than this – at best, there are equals out on the market. That maybe explains the overclocking problems we encountered.

At these elevated clock speeds, the Zotac GeForce 8800 GT AMP! Edition often rivals the more fully featured GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB in the performance stakes—something it manages to do with just a single slot cooling solution. That's an impressive feat in and of itself.

CCL Online appears to be the only place selling this card at £182.64 (inc. VAT) – a price point that makes it a worthwhile purchase. Other places have been asking for between £195 and £200 – at this price, the card is too expensive. The problem is that now you can pick up BFGTech's GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB OC for under £200 (inc. VAT), it's hard to recommend Zotac's GeForce 8800 GT 512MB AMP! Edition if the two are comparably priced.

The reason for this is that the 8800 GTS's superior shader horsepower is likely to outlast the Zotac 8800 GT AMP! Edition's higher fillrates and slightly higher memory bandwidth. That said, the fact that one UK-based retailer is selling this card at a competitive price is a good enough reason to recommend it but on the provision that you don’t pay much more than CCL's £182.64 asking price for it.

Of course, the GeForce 8800 GTS's dual slot cooling solution is no good if you've got a case—like a Shuttle XPC—that demands a single slot card. In that scenario, Zotac's GeForce 8800 GT AMP! Edition is a good choice at a higher price, but you'll need to make sure your chassis has enough airflow to keep this card's temperature under control over extended gaming sessions.

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