Zotac GeForce GTX 970 Amp Omega

Pros More power efficient than competing AMD card. 3D Performance similar to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 card.

Cons Requires two 8-pin power connectors. More expensive than competing AMD GPUs. Takes up three expansion slots. Bottom Line The Zotac GeForce GTX 970 Amp Omega is an overclocked version of Nvidia's enthusiast-level graphics card, and is excellent for 1080p HD gaming at ultra-quality settings.

By Joel Santo Domingo

The Zotac GeForce GTX 970 Amp Omega ($379, as tested) is a high-end enthusiast graphics card for those who want top-of-the-line performance for a lot less than the $500 you'd be expected to pay for a flagship GPU. How does it do this? It uses the traditional magic of overclocking.

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The stock Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card goes for around $550 (list). The GeForce GTX970 Amp Omega has performance numbers that are just a short step behind, with a $150 to $170 lower price. It's capable of running AAA games like Tomb Raider (the 2013 version) at over 85 frames per second at ultimate graphics settings (one step better than ultra). Zotac's overclock of the GPU from 1,080MHz up to 1,102MHz takes most of the credit for the extra performance. What's more impressive is that there is still some overhead for user overclocking to eke even more performance out of the card.

You will have to plan ahead to use the card, however. The connectors occupy two PCIe cutouts on the back your PC's chassis, as expected, but the heatsink and fan assembly are so tall that they take up three slots worth of room internally. This rules out small-form-factor (SFF) chassis designs that can only accommodate dual width cards. You'll also need a 500-watt or better power supply with two 6- or 8-pin power connectors. Zotac includes a pair of 6- to 8-pin adapters in case you only have the former.

The Zotac GeForce GTX 970 Amp Omega is a good alternative to a higher-end (and much pricier) Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card. It's also quite competitive with the competing AMD Radeon R9 290 GPU, with its higher power requirements.

For more details, check out the Zotac GeForce GTX 970 Amp Omega review on our sister site, Computer Shopper.

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