in Graphics Cards

Zotac GTX 580 Amp! Edition

Dawn of War II – Retribution

Dawn of War 2

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Dawn of War II is a real time tactics/strategy title developed by Relic Games and Published by THQ. It utilises the Essence engine 2.0 which was originally developed for their previous title, Company of Heroes. This version saw some serious tweaking and features impressive additions, allowing for more detailed models and textures, and more advanced lighting and shading effects, as well as including more complex “sync-kills” than those in Dawn of War also adding support for dual core CPUs.

It features an in-game benchmark too, which makes things very easy for me.

  • Low: 1280 x 1024, AA off, physics off, All ‘High’ Settings
  • Medium:1280 x 1024, AA off, physics off, All ‘Ultra High’ Settings
  • High: 1280 x 1024, AA on, physics on, All ‘Ultra High’ Settings
  • Ultra: 1600 x 1200, AA on, physics on, All ‘Ultra High’ Settings

[easychart type="horizbar" title="Dawn of War II: Retribution - Low" groupnames="Zotac GTS 570, HIS HD 6970, Sapphire HD 6850, HIS 6870 IceQX, Zotac GTX 580 AMP" valuenames="Average FPS" group1values="99.02" group2values="105.9" group3values="101" group4values="102.09" group5values="93.26"]

[easychart type="horizbar" title="Dawn of War II: Retribution - Medium" groupnames="Zotac GTS 570, HIS HD 6970, Sapphire HD 6850, HIS 6870 IceQX, Zotac GTX 580 AMP" valuenames="Average FPS" group1values="98.32" group2values="102.9" group3values="100" group4values="99.26" group5values="92.46"]

[easychart type="horizbar" title="Dawn of War II: Retribution - High" groupnames="Zotac GTS 570, HIS HD 6970, Sapphire HD 6850, HIS 6870 IceQX, Zotac GTX 580 AMP" valuenames="Average FPS" group1values="95.02" group2values="98.7" group3values="95.81" group4values="94.73" group5values="92.4"]

[easychart type="horizbar" title="Dawn of War II: Retribution - Ultra" groupnames="Zotac GTS 570, HIS HD 6970, Sapphire HD 6850, HIS 6870 IceQX, Zotac GTX 580 AMP" valuenames="Average FPS" group1values="91.49" group2values="95.81" group3values="79" group4values="88.3" group5values="94.4"]

Rundown, Power and Thermals

Wattage

  • Idle: 165
  • Load: 328

Temperature

  • Idle: 42
  • Load: 74

Idle temperature was 20 degrees C.

Power draw is reasonably conservative for such a high end nVidia card, but its still higher than comparable AMD GPUs.

Thermals are absolutely fine on this and it doesn’t get too loud even when at full load. It’s not great – as you’d expect from a really high end card – but it’s fine; though you still might like to add an aftermarket cooler to drop temperatures a bit more if you’re going for hardcore overclock. Speaking of which…

Overclocking

Utilising nVidia’s Ntune to tweak core and memory frequencies, I was able to take the Zotac GTX 580 Amp from 810/2050 to a quite impressive 910/2200. This  is almost a 10% overclock across the board, which isn’t bad considering the AMP is already pre-overclocked.

It did clock higher but began to show artifacts with just a few more MHZ and crashed beyond that. With a voltage tweak it might go further, but that’s beyond the talents of this humble reviewer.

Results Rundown

As expected the GTX 580 Amp really pushed ahead of most of the competitor cards we put it up against in testing. It struggled a little in Furmark it seemed, with surprisingly the GTX 570 beating it. However that’s why we always repeat benchmarks several times to assure any anomalies are worked out; but when they arn’t we have the other benchmarks to fall back on.

It also looks like Dawn of War II retribution isn’t even a remote test of a card like this when the usual percentage swing per benchmark shows that regardless of settings this card can handle it easily.

Cost

This card can run you quite a bit, between £370 and £400 depending where you shop. This is certainly up at the top end of GPU purchases, even if there are ones that are another £100 or so more. Is it worth it? That’s what the conclusion is for.