Zotac geforce gtx 470 amp!

The whole issue of factory overclocked graphics cards is a tricky one.

It sort of makes sense with mid-range cards, but when you get to £300 graphics processors like the GeForce GTX 470 the graphics chip is rarely the only bottleneck in performance. Adding 10% more clock cycles per second will also not yield a 10% framerate boost.

The Zotac AMP! Edition's therefore compares favourably with a stock GTX 470 but not by enough to justify the extra cost.

It looks like a bargain compared to other high profile, high speed cards like Gigabyte's Super Overclock Edition HD 5870, but in either case you're still better off with a reference design.

Perhaps it's not just about the performance, though. Maybe you're after a handpicked card with an enlarged cooler so you can indulge your overclocking gene?

Zotac's Firestorm software will open up enough options to keep you happy, but we couldn't push the card more than a few MHz before it began to fall over.

The real problem, though, is the size and sound of Zotac's card. At almost three slots high it's just too much for the performance it delivers, and those twins fans aren't quiet either.

Both the card and its benchmarks are incredible to look at, but ultimately it's one you'll want to admire from a distance and save your money for something else instead.

We liked:

The benchmark results are good, but you're almost certainly better off with a vanilla version of the chip and 70 more pounds in your pocket.

We disliked:

It's appearance isn't quite its biggest downfall, although the fact the impressive cooler means SLI is almost out of the question doesn't help.

Rather it takes a very special overclocked graphics card to make us believe that the extra megahertz are worth the additional cost, and unfortunately the GeForce GTX 470 AMP! Edition isn't quite as special as it looks.

Final word

Compares well to cards that are more expensive, but its real problem is that untuned GPUs are just so darned good.