ZOTAC GeForce RTX 2070 AMP Extreme 8 GB Review 45

ZOTAC GeForce RTX 2070 AMP Extreme 8 GB Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The ZOTAC RTX 2070 AMP Extreme is currently available online for $640.
  • Fastest RTX 2070 out there
  • 7% faster than Founders Edition
  • Faster than the GeForce GTX 1080, not far behind the GTX 1080 Ti
  • Memory overclocked, too
  • RTX Technology
  • Three DP ports instead of two
  • Power limits increased
  • Good additional OC potential
  • Upgraded VRM to 8+2 phase
  • Conclusively beats the Radeon RX Vega 64 in every metric
  • DLSS could lift the card to 4K 60 FPS performance
  • Energy efficient
  • Backplate included
  • HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.4, 8K support
  • Very high price
  • Should be quieter in gaming
  • No idle fan stop
  • No Windows 7 support for DirectX ray tracing, requires Windows 10 Fall 2018 Update
  • Bogged down by power limits
  • High multi-monitor power consumption
  • No NVLink SLI support
  • DVI port removed
Zotac's GeForce RTX 2070 AMP Extreme is the highest-clocked RTX 2070 card that's been announced so far. It ticks at a Boost clock of 1860 MHz, which is significantly higher than what any competitor offers. In our testing, this results in an average gaming clock frequency of 2040 MHz, which makes it the first RTX 2070 to run well above 2 GHz at stock! Zotac is also the only manufacturer that has overclocked their memory chips, too, to 1800 MHz.

With those numbers, the RTX 2070 AMP Extreme ends up 7% faster than the Founders Edition, finally a noteworthy increase. Other custom design 2070s we tested so far achieved only 2–4 %, which is almost negligible. With that performance increase, the AMP Extreme is only 4% behind the GTX 1080 Ti, 13% slower than RTX 2080. AMD's fastest, the Vega 64, is 22% behind, not even close. Given these performance levels, we can recommend the RTX 2070 for 1440p gaming at maximum details. High-FPS 1080p gaming is possible, too, but the card won't reach 144 FPS in all titles at that resolution unless you dial down some settings.

Zotac's cooler is massive: three slots, 30 cm, and three fans. This ensures the card stays at low temperatures. Unfortunately, it seems that fan noise wasn't a priority for Zotac's engineers as the card runs 36 dBA during gaming, which is more than even the dual-slot Founders Edition. Other custom designs do much better here. We're also puzzled by Zotac's choice to not include the idle-fan stop feature that everyone likes so much because it ensures a noise-free experience during desktop work, Internet browsing, and light gaming. The AMP Edition is very quiet in idle, but no noise would still be better.

Like all other GeForce 20 cards, the ZOTAC Amp Extreme is held back by Turing's power limits despite the addition of an extra 6-pin power connector. While previous generations were limited by GPU temperatures, cards will now sit in their power limit all the time during gaming, which means the highest boost clocks are never reached during regular gameplay. Zotac did increase the board power limit from 185 W to 225 W; even higher values would have definitely helped yield more performance. The VRM is upgraded to 8-phase as well, so more power draw shouldn't have been a problem.

Manual overclocking has once more become more complicated with this generation. Since the cards are always running in the power limiter, you can no longer just dial in stable clocks for the highest boost state to find the maximum overclock. The biggest issue is that you can't just reach that state reliably, so your testing is limited to whatever frequency your test load is running at. Zotac's card does overclock significantly higher than other RTX 2070 cards we tested so far, but whether that's due to GPU sorting or the silicon lottery is hard to tell, though.

With a price of $640, the AMP Extreme is not cheap; it's a 6.6% price increase over the Founders Edition. However, the performance out of the box is 7% higher, so price/performance is actually better than with the Founders Edition. Still, it's a lot of money to spend, especially when you can find decent non-overclocked RTX 2070 cards at $500 (for example, the EVGA RTX 2070 Black). On the other hand, if you're looking for the fastest RTX 2070 out there and don't mind the fan noise, then the Zotac card should definitely be on your list—it's nearly as fast as the GTX 1080 Ti and includes support for RTX and DLSS.
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