Zotac GTX660Ti AMP! Review
All of the problems that affect the GTX660Ti as a concept when we summarised our thoughts in our Gigabyte Windforce review remain here. It's still either far too expensive, or not powerful enough. We've often commented upon how manufactures end up over-saturating the marketplace with endless varieties of graphics cards that are all too close in performance and price to really make them easy to recommend.
What we need is a dirt-cheap base model for those who play Farmville and watch DVDs. A midrange card for the majority of people who have a couple of hundred to spend, and then an all-singing, all-dancing model for those who wont settle for anything less. We don't need 10 models of the same thing all a few pounds apart. We often compare hardware to the car industry and we'd be wise to take their business plan. You can't buy a Fiesta with a 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 etc etc sized engine. There is a small economical one, one that will sell by the bucketload, and a powerful one.
So what is the difference between the AMP! and the Windforce? The most obvious, and by far the most important, is the design of the cooler. Whereas Gigabyte appear to have reached into a hardware lucky-dip and bolted on whatever they had in their hand, Zotac have designed a cooler that perfectly fits the PCB of the card it's being attached to. Although it's purely aesthetic, we are visual creatures. It looks better, and that means a lot to us. The biggest surprise is how tiny the card is. We've tested, and this will fit onto a mini-ITX board. If it was any shorter we'd expect it to have a Napoleon Complex.
The Zotac also comes out of the box with a bigger overclock on the GDDR5, although in our testing this had a negligible benefit. It also only overclocked to the same levels as the Gigabyte, and our results pretty much backed this up. Only in the synthetics did the Zotac take a noticeable lead and even then it's only noticeable when compared to the tiny variances in the gaming results.
So all in all there isn't much to choose between the cards. Both are cool, both are quiet, and both perform identically. The only genuine difference is in the looks where we think the Zotac AMP! has the clear upper hand, and so we're glad to award it our OC3D Gamers Choice award.