Zotac GeForce GTX 980 AMP! Omega Edition Review: The Big Gun

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"which allows us to provide a stable higher factory clock setting without reducing the lifespan of the components of the graphics card"

Almost everyone needs a GPU upgrade in less than 3 years. Who cares about the lifespan if it is more than 3 years?

 
It's ridiculous to see this card doesn't provide the actual OCing experience one hopes for. Out of the box OC is good, but one simply doesn't expect it to be enough, atleast not for the card in the OCing segment of the brand. This was supposed to be a OCer's card, it failed on those terms. Too many software-bound restrictions. But yes, the hardware does look quite appealing.
 

mapesdhs

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Not impressed with the Zotac at all.

I bought an EVGA 980 ACX 2.0 (1266 base clock, 1367 boost), it scores 14260 for
the Firestrike test just at default settings, it's a proper 2 slot card, much quieter
(the fans don't turn on until the GPU goes over 65C) and from what I've read will
oc better. Also, in the UK the EVGA card is 35 to 40 UKP cheaper; I can't imagine
why anyone would buy the Zotac.

Don, did you try using Afterburner instead for the oc tests?

Ian.

 

jasonelmore

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So zotac goes and over engineer's the hell out of a 980, adding LN2 dip switches, Voltage Readouts, Beefed up power delivery, High performance inductors, and then what do they do?

They lower the TDP by 11%, when compared to the Nvidia Reference Model. Whats the use of LN2 features if your going to handicap the voltage cap?

My reference 980 hit 1.5ghz with ease. 1st try overclock actually. And reference board is using the cheapest coils and inductors money can buy.
 

WithoutWeakness

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What is the point of this monstrosity of a card? It has an oversized PCB and massive 2.5-slot open air cooler and isn't any faster, cooler, or quieter than Nvidia's reference design. GM104 is only a 165W chip and Zotac designs this huge overkill cooler and it's no better than Nvidia's rear-exhaust design AND takes up 3 slots? What a joke.
 
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Seriously people, you sound like the kind of people that would buy a $100,000 muscle car, then bitch that you can't turn it into a formula dragster and still drive it on the street. This card is seriously overclocked already and yet people still want more, with an intact warranty. Spoiled much?
 
The original Derfman,
The main point is that the card doesn't even overclock as high as a reference GTX980 from NVidia. The massive over-engineering and advertising would suggest it should beat the reference.

So you pay a bit more for a noisier card that takes up an extra slot... and WHY is it not as fast as it should be? A power cap which appears to be set by Zotac.

So maybe read the article again because it doesn't make a lot of sense.
 

sportfreak23

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This card isn't even factory OCed that high compare to other non reference cards. I'm glad I didn't get into the hype of the new 900 series from Zotac after reading Gamers Nexus review who first brought up this problem while others were still prasing Zotac. They really need to fix this asap. I guess for now Its only Gigabyte for me because everyone else is not using the new Rear IO on the cards.
 

mapesdhs

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Hence my comments about the EVGA 980 I bought - a better card all round, and 9% cheaper
than this Zotac. One wonders if companies that build these cards even bother to check out
what the competition is doing, especially since those who buy this class of card are more
likely to check online reviews.

Ian.

 

DFWSRT8

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First of all, it's a shame that everybody is so quick to jump on Zotac for this limitation, but fails to point out that other manufacturer's 980's suffer the same limitation. Look at the ASUS card for example. Sure, this card was OBVIOUSLY built around overclocking, and that is a shame though. My guess is that perhaps Zotac simply WANTED people to figure out how to mod the BIOS on these cards and have a field day with them, without them having to release a public BIOS to allow this(and increasing the failure rate-and in turn their own costs). You guys are completely missing the fact that this is a direct possibility, and has been the route that extreme overclockers have to take anyways to find the upper limits of cards like these. These cards are capable of insane clock speeds, you just gotta get past the power limitations. The BIOS for this is readily available with a quick, easy search on LeGoog. The tools to push the BIOS settings even further are included in the download with the custom BIOS.
 

mapesdhs

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Not so, plenty of 980 owners are getting much better core clocks than this Zotac offers.

The idea that zotac deliberately hamstrung this card in a manner like that is just ridiculous. Not credible at all IMO.

Ian.

 

stavros58

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Well I think its ridiculous too that it costs so much more and looks so cool and yet it only overclocks by 15% extra I wouldn't want one given free or even 2 free for SLI. I'm going to stick with my trusty Sapphire X1950 Pro AGP x8 cos it overclocks 16%. TBH I wish i had kept my IBM 286 with one meg ram 256k video memory, 40 meg hard drive God Id have saved enough for a new car or a small house in Nelson in Lancashire or a big one in Romania by not buying all those games, probably by just not buying Call of Duty every year I would have saved a fortune and years of frustration.
 

mapesdhs

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Indeed, that model of X1950 Pro was good for its time (I bought two). Not a scratch on modern GPUs of course,
but if current pricing annoys, the GTX 970 is a good compromise I think.

Ian.

 

chaotixblade

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This is so dumb. Although, I disagree wholeheartedly with the dude who said people don't need cards to last longer than three years.

You obviously haven't ever needed to recycle a part before. High end cards from 2008 are still competitive with middle end cards today. (See GTX 280, its on par with the 7870 which can max most games at 1080p)
 

chaotixblade

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This is so dumb. Although, I disagree wholeheartedly with the dude who said people don't need cards to last longer than three years.

You obviously haven't ever needed to recycle a part before. High end cards from 2008 are still competitive with middle end cards today. (See GTX 280, its on par with the 7870 which can max most games at 1080p)
 

mapesdhs

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Have you actually benched a GTX 280? It's easily beaten by a 5850, never mind a 7870. :D
I've directly compared both with multiple tasks, and I was using a good 280 (700MHz Zotac).
Also compared to 5850 CF, 7970, GTX 460, 580, 980, etc.

Ian.

 

chaotixblade

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Pardon me, I meant 295. Honest mistake. Bottom line is, it is still a decent performer for a htpc or whatever else you have.

I myself run a computer from 2001 with dos / 95 / xp tri boot with ide drives. I just like old games. A 295 would be a great replacement for my other computer in my room which is running intel HD 2500 graphics.

It would easily run bf3 / 4 1080p on low / medium settings. The 295 would.
 

mapesdhs

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The 295 is basically two 280s but with a lower GPU clock. The SLI certainly helps of course, but it rapidly falls appart
for newer titles and higher resolutions at 'modern' levels. See my results. Older cards & combos like that work best
for older DX9/DX10 games at lesser resolutions. I too play comparatively older games, but I like to max out all the
detail options, etc. Although you could certainly use a 295 for such tasks, it's a bit power hungry, and often noisy;
also, remember that for older titles at lesser resolutions, in many cases the CPU can hold back performance, though
often the frame rates are so high it doesn't matter (eg. Stalker COP at 1280x1024). It varies massively by title
however, eg. a good 280 is surprisingly similar to a GTX 460 at HD res for Stalker, whereas for FC2 a 460 is 2X faster.

The main downside of the 280 and related cards is lack of DX11, and of course the lesser RAM, though that should
be less of a problem for older games. I bought 512MB and 1GB versions of 8800GT, 9800GT, 4870, etc. to test this,
and three 700MHz 280s for SLI configs. Sometimes the averages are ok with less RAM, but the minimums suffer,
and SLI/CF doesn't work so well.

Personally though, if on a budget, I'd buy a used 460, 560 or 560 Ti instead of a 280 or 295; quieter, less power, more
reliable (sorry to say 295s don't have that good a reputation for reliability), DX11 support and more RAM (plenty of 2GB
cards around). If power was less of an issue, even 580s come into play, if one can find a model with a better cooler
(reference 580s are too loud I found), though the 460/560 variants are more reliable.

So yes, one could use a 295 for BF3 at HD medium, but I wouldn't recommend it to a friend. Strange thing btw, the
faster 560 Ti is usually cheaper than a 460 on eBay.

Ian.

 

chaotixblade

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Yeah, but a 295 running comparatively to the likes of a 7850 and a 7870 is $180 cheaper. (r9 270 / R9 270x)

I just meant for re-purposing. I don't own a 295, but I would graciously use one if I had one. :p

(Running the current system thats in my sig, those two I spoke of before sit in my room.)
 
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