Price: £409 inc VAT
Best Price: http://pricebomb.co.uk
Since XFX’s partial defection to ATi last year, Zotac has become an increasingly important NVIDIA release partner here in the UK – particularly now the brand has the muscle of Realtime Distribution behind it. As trade-only suppliers for Corsair, Asus, MSI, Sapphire, Creative and Razer, there will be very few performance-centric PC stores that won’t already have an account. In mainland Europe the brand is already well-established and with plenty of brand-awareness campaigns and reviews over the past 12 months, you’ll probably be familiar with the brand by now if you like to keep abreast of developments in IT.
Zotac markets itself as a high end video card manufacturer that usually delivers better bundles and warranties than other partners. The firm’s special AMP! Edition cards are also one of the more interesting pre-overclocked ranges available, pushing the clock speed boundaries at least as far as its competitors. With ATi having had a rampant six months without competition at the high end of the PC video card market it’s been a quieter than usual time from the usually highly active PR people at Zotac, but thanks to the belated release of Fermi we finally have products of interest to look at once again.
The GTX 480 is late. The GTX 480 is hot. Both of these facts have now been established by both ourselves and a gazillion other review sites. We will therefore not dwell upon these factors in this review of the first Fermi card from Zotac to enter the ITShootout.com labs. Clocked at 750MHz for the core and 3600MHz for the memory, the Zotac is a reference model card in every sense. This trend is carried on to the PCB and cooler designs as well, with both aspects identical to the Asus GTX 480 we reviewed a couple of weeks ago. This is not necessarily a bad thing; reference design PCBs are usually the most reliable available and although many 3rd party coolers are more effective than the stock solutions, they are rarely as safe for system integrators to ship installed.