Zotac GTS450 AMP! Review
There are always two parts to reviewing something. Pure performance, and recommendation.
On performance the Zotac GTS450 AMP! definitely has a lot going for it. It can give fairly playable frame-rates at the high resolution and image quality settings we test at, and once we drop the resolution down to below the level of a 24" monitor then it goes from fairly playable to absolutely fine.
If that isn't a perky enough result then you also have to consider the type of game that you are going to be playing. Because we need to stress everything from toasters to NASA we use games that are stressful upon hardware. There would be no point in using Quake 3 because scores over a thousand FPS aren't much use to anyone.
However, if you play less stressful games such as The Sims, Viva Pinata, Football Manager etc, then the GTS450 AMP! has more than enough grunt to run them as hard and as smooth as you could desire.
Temperatures are also kept sensible with even the hefty overclock that the Zotac AMP! comes with. It's quiet and cool.
So that's the pure performance part out of the way. If you're not expecting something that puts the Sapphire 5970 Toxic to shame, and if you are seek help, then the Zotac GTS450 AMP! has a great blend of good power at a good value price point.
Recommendation is harder though. The Zotac suffers from the same problem that all special edition lower-end graphics cards suffer from. At this end of the price spectrum the difference between a very cheap card and a middle-of-the-road one is very little indeed, maybe £30 or £40. Unfortunately all pre-overclocked cards come with a price premium that bumps them up against the next model in line.
Therein lies the big stumbling block. Overclocking allows us to gain "free" performance from our hardware. But when a manufacturer does the overclocking for us, we pay for it. So the GTS450 AMP! suddenly becomes the price of a basic GTX460. A basic GTX460 out-performs our GTS450 and can be overclocked for even higher performance.
At this moment in time ZOTAC have not yet confirmed pricing, we all here at OC3D hope that this review drives the price down even further as if we are brutally honest if its anything over £100 then its not something we can recommend.
Nvidia had it nailed with the GTX460, they really should have stopped there as this is just a cut too far.
Official pricing for the GTS450 AMP! was released this morning at £107.70, although this is better than some other brands we still feel the GTS450 is priced too high when compaired with some GTX450's now being available for around £120 from many of the larger etailers like CCLonline.