Packaging and Closer Look
Above you see the box of the Zotac GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Core Edition. Honestly, I could not decipher what’s that graffiti in the front portion of the box. Later, I realized that it’s a letter “Z”, well if I am not mistaken. Most of the graphics card’s features is written at the back of the box. Zotac’s GTX 970’s box is somewhat larger compared to the other box of GTX 970s that I have encountered.
The package includes some reading materials, a Zotac sticker, a driver CD, two Molex to 8-pin PCIe adapter, and a DVI to VGA adapter. I browse the reading materials and was pleased to see that it was well written and properly laid out. Most of the time, we tend to disregard the reading materials included in the package.
Above you see the front and back view of the Zotac GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Core Edition. The card itself looks long, at almost 12-inches long, but at the same time is narrower. It has a nice back plate support, not the best looking though, but it’s pretty solid and sturdy. Notice that the back plate is not black, but instead the color used is gunmetal, if I am not mistaken.
From the angle above, you see that the cooler’s shroud and the aluminum fin stack is longer than the PCB itself. The card draws power from two 6-pin PCIE power connector, similar to a reference GTX 970. The “ZOTAC” logo you see from this angle lights up with a white LED. The LED doesn’t have any special effect though.
The output ports includes: 1x DVI, 1x HDMI and 3x DisplayPorts. The card can support multiple monitor setup and you can connect up to 4 monitors at the same time. The DVI port can handle up to 2560 x 1600 display resolution, while the HDMI and DisplayPorts can handle up to 4K resolution @ 60Hz.
As you can see from this angle, the shroud has a two-tone or two-texture design. First is the plain gunmetal surface, and the other is a semi-glossy patterned accent. The heat pipes are also not exposed which I think looks pretty neat and clean. Now, let’s remove the cooler and take a look what’s under the hood.
Zotac uses the ICESTORM Technology in their cooler, which is composed of 3x 90mm fans and 5 copper heat pipes connected to a large aluminum fin stack. I’m sure you are aware that other companies have their own custom cooler design like ACX 2.0, DirectCU II, Twin Frozr V and etc. Compared to other cooler design, the ICESTORM doesn’t turn off its fan when in idle or light load. But the fans can go down to a slower speed during idle to light load, and goes up to higher speeds when needed. You can also define or set your own fan profile if desired.
As you can see from the photos above, the Zotac GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Core Edition is composed of layers of metal support. The company calls it the ExoArmor Technology. Aside from the back plate supporting the graphics card, Zotac also added another layer of metal that helps cool the memory chips and other components in the graphics card.
Above you see the front and rear view of the card’s PCB. I think the PCB is similar to the reference GeForce GTX 970.
Above you see the GM204-200-A1 Maxwell chip which is the core of every GTX 970 graphics card. The GPU chip is surrounded by eight SK hynix H5GQ4H24MFR memory chips, for a total of 4GB.