Overclocking, Temperature and Noise
The Zotac GTX 970! AMP Extreme Core Edition comes with factory overclock settings out of the box, which is relatively higher compared to other Zotac GTX 970s and competing brands. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t push the graphics card’s clock speed any further. We still can, but usually there is only little headroom left for overclocking since its stock speeds are already high.
I was able to push the card further with a base clock speed of 1338MHz and boost clock speed of 1490MHz. I bumped the memory clock a little bit higher to 1840MHz. So far, this was the most stable setting that I achieved. No artifacts or abnormalities were observed using this configuration.
The FireStorm utility also provides preset overclocking setup. As you can see from the screenshot above, there is a 2D, 3D and 3D+ preset. With 2D settings, the clock speeds are bumped a little bit to 1258MHz base / 1410MHz boost / 1818MHz Memory. In 3D settings you get 1278MHz base / 1430MHz boost / 1818MHz Memory. And finally with 3D+ you get 1298MHz base / 1450MHz boost / 1818MHz memory.
When it comes to noise, despite lacking any 0dB fan feature, the Zotac GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Core is very silent. During idle to light load operation, the fans run at a lower RPM speed and the noise is inaudible at all. Meanwhile, the fans rotate faster during full load, but they are still whisper silent. I also observed that there was no coil whine at all, at least for this retail unit that I got. Even when I pushed the graphics card to its full load, or overclocked it further there is no sign of coil whining at all.
In idle to light load, the Zotac GeForce GTX 970 AMP! Extreme Core Edition got a temperature of around 33° degrees Celsius to 40°++ degrees Celsius. At full load, the temperature goes up to around 66° degrees Celsius, and I think those are pretty much an acceptable figures. I do have to note that while I was stress testing the graphics card, I noticed that the back plate becomes hot. Well not very hot to the point that you can fry an egg, but it is hot. I think it’s normal since the core temperature is pretty much under 70° degrees Celsius. This is probably because the heat coming from the components were already transferred to the heat spreaders, keeping the main component’s temperature at bay.