Asus EN GTX285 1GB Graphics Card

Packaging & Appearance

Packaging & Appearance

Asus have never been a manufacturer to disappoint when it comes to packaging so I had high expectations for the GTX295. The outer packaging is nothing too fancy, in fact it is relatively basic when compared to some other manufacturers. The front of the outer box has a mystical knight on horseback kicking out at the basic features of the GTX285 which are DDR3, PhysX, Smart Doctor and Gamer OSD. The rear of the box  explores the features more deeply as well as the recommended system requirements.

Outer box front Outer box rear

Now this is more like it. Removing the somewhat budget look, outer sleeve we arrive at a luxury, ribbed matt black box with a gold Asus emblem. Opening this box we come to a further two packages in the same regalia. This now feels like an expensive package which is in contrast to my initial opinion when first seeing the outer sleeve.

Inner box  Open box
 
The main box comprises of a wallet containing driver CD as well as details on how to claim 10% off on 3 games - a nice feature but unlikely to be used in all honesty as the games will no doubt be RRP and not discounted like those found in online stores. I would have preferred to see a free copy of Vantage or a quality game but unfortunately I was found wanting on this occasion. To make up for my disappointment Asus have included a small mouse mat that while attractive, is not what I would class as a gamers mouse mat so it appears to be a little out of place here. Underneath the top boxes is the main attraction - a very well packed card in solid Styrofoam complete with anti-static bag.

accessories mat

The card itself is near identical to the 280GTX, being the same length and using the same reference cooler. The rear of the card is where we see a few changes. No backplate for a start, as all of the 1GB DDR3 is now placed uppermost on the PCB there is no longer a need to have memory cooling on the rear. While I appreciate this might aid in cooling the card I can't help feeling that it just looked odd and also does not afford the protection of its forbear.

card front Card Rear
 
side 1 side 2

Being the same reference cooler as the GTX280, the card is quiet. The noise is comparable to a light hum at idle and even under load the fan does not spin up too loud for it to become intrusive. Manually setting the fan to 100% however, does make quiet a noise but for most this will not be an issue as the fan will be left on auto setting. The I/O area features 2xDVI ports, an S-Video port and a power LED.

rear view I/O plate

A nice little touch from Asus is the inclusion of the port/slot covers. This protects the vital sections of the card from damage as well as dust intrusion. Strangely no protector was provided for the SLI tabs of which there are two signifying compatibility for Tri-SLI.

PCIe covers SLI slots

Perhaps the most significant exterior difference from the GTX280 is the change from using a 6+8 PCIe power configuration to a 6+6 configuration. This should appeal to those not wanting to plump for a new PSU to power this card and if Asus's claims are correct, the power draw should also be less.

Fan Power ports

Taking the front cover off was so much easier than the GTX280 thanks to the omission of the backplate cover. Gently prising the cover away from the card after removing the spring loaded screws took a little time thanks to the sticky memory pads and the TIM (Thermal Interface Material) on the GPU. Once the cover was removed we get to see the GTX285 in all its naked glory.

Top off Contact
 
Below we see the GPU itself which is a G200 B revision as opposed to the G200 A revision of the GTX280. The GDDR3 hails from Hynix as far as I can tell but sadly my eyesight could not pick out the actual model numbers. However, if this ram is anything like the GDDR3 on the GTX280 it should overclock well.

GPU Memory
 
Let's hope I haven't wrecked the card taking the heatsink of for your pleasure so while I put the GTX285 back together and pray to the GPU Gods head over to our test setup where we examine the temperature, power consumption and overclocking ability of the card (should it work!).
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Most Recent Comments

15-01-2009, 10:48:39

JN
" After a long wait, the re-birth of the fastest single GPU based graphics card on the planet is here, the GTX285. Was it worth the wait? Find out in our latest review..." - by Webbo

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...174858266s.jpg

Asus EN GTX285 1GB Graphics Card

15-01-2009, 12:12:24

VonBlade
Hmm. Well that was disappointing. Considering the 280s recently had a much needed price cut in anticipation of this card I was hoping it would really blow my socks off. However my feet remain very much covered by the cotton, especially as the price is back to where it was.

I know that the Nvidia single-GPU solution is flipping amazing, but at these price-points it's hard not to appreciate ATIs take on the situation where Crossfire 4850s still rule, and are cheaper too.

Maybe Physx will eventually overtake Havok and so be useful in something other than synthetics, but it isn't looking likely.

Thanks for the review. Glad removing the cooler didn't cause you to sweat too much

VB

15-01-2009, 14:36:57

Luigi
I feel the same as vonblade... I was hoping the card would run a lot cooler and be more reasonably priced..

I think the 295 reprarents far better value..

Nice review though!

15-01-2009, 15:18:34

FarFarAway
Great review as usual Rich. Looks a nice card, but why buy that when the 4870 X2 beats the hell outta it in most games and the 280 is good vfm

15-01-2009, 15:22:14

Rastalovich
Nice review. I'd expect a 40 massage within a number of weeks on the existing prices.

I'm not sure, thinking about it, that the 184.xx drivers will be "the ones" that excite this card and the 295, or the 194.xx release.

If the card comes with 18x.xx drivers, I'd think the former. It would be odd for them to be on the same level as the 280 tho. I kinda expected a 195.xx beta set to be on the cd/dvd tbh.

This is with the i7 at stock isn't it ?

15-01-2009, 18:47:50

maz1989
nice review, i guess ati better start coming out with some new cards soon

20-01-2009, 15:25:32

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Rastalovich'
Nice review. I'd expect a 40 massage within a number of weeks on the existing prices.

I'm not sure, thinking about it, that the 184.xx drivers will be "the ones" that excite this card and the 295, or the 194.xx release.

If the card comes with 18x.xx drivers, I'd think the former. It would be odd for them to be on the same level as the 280 tho. I kinda expected a 195.xx beta set to be on the cd/dvd tbh.

This is with the i7 at stock isn't it ?
I used the latest drivers available at the time from Nvidia as per the spec list. The only time I will use the ones on the CD is if the latest available drivers are not compatible (as in the 4850x2 review). As I'm sure most are aware, by the time the product hits the shelves the driver CD is already out of date.

Maybe later drivers will increase the slim gap but I doubt it as what effects the 285 will also effect the 280 being they are essentially the same card with different clockspeeds (and of course the die shrink).

All the GPU reviews I do now are done with the i7 at stock as imo this represents the greater market. I could do the reviews with the i7 overclocked but this won't be very helpful to those whose i7 won't overclock so far or indeed those who do not wish to overclock. Consideration also has to be given to those still on older technology. IF we overclock the CPU why stop there, we may aswell also overclock the GPU and run the benchies in a full overclocked state!

Infact while we are at it I may aswell ask Jim for a truck load of LN2 and a few custom pots....

See where I'm coming from?

Thx for the kind comments as always

*Edit* I'm almost done with my next review which may present an alternative .

20-01-2009, 17:01:58

Bungral
I normally agree with ya Rich but there I don't.

On high end graphics card reviews when your testing the raw power these things have, efforts should be made to negate the possibility of getting results effected by CPU bottleneck. On this particular card it probably wouldn't matter so much but on the 4870X2 is mattered and from what I've read on the GTX 295, at stock CPU frequencies, it was getting quite a bit of bottleneck.

While I agree with the fact that the graphics card shouldn't be overclocked (unless its a factory overclocked card of course), having the CPU overclocked is something you should expect from readers seeing as this is an overclocking website and forum is it not?

Looking forward to the 260 review anyway will read later.

Any news on a 295 review?

20-01-2009, 17:49:40

w3bbo
Was the 4870x2 done on an i7 rig tho? i7 offers much more more than a Q6600 at stock.

The thing is if folk read my reviews and hopefully make an informed decision upon them. Sure it would be nice to show the possibilities but where do you stop? I have a i7 965 on the way, have a WC setup this will hopefully run 4ghz 24/7 but this represents a miniscule section of the market when you consider alot of folk are still running P4's and AMD chips (no offence intended). I can fully appreciate what you're saying m8 and believe me it's frustrating as hell to run everything at stock with all this lush kit but you have to draw a line and stick to it.

Imo we have to represent the larger market while still using the most up to date kit. Bit of a contradiction there I know but as the saying goes; You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.

I am open minded on this though and will bend to the greater majority - what do others think?

20-01-2009, 18:06:10

monkey7
I vote both. Do the benchmarks on both a stock and OC'd system. It may a serious amount of time to do everything twice but it does point at both audiences.

20-01-2009, 18:10:47

VonBlade
Most reviews I've read always do a bunch of stock stuff, then a last page that's balls-to-the-wall. I'd be very disappointed to read a review that wasn't mainly run at stock speeds. But alternatively the "something for nothing" OC part of me always wants to see stuff at their limit.

VB

20-01-2009, 18:22:56

w3bbo
I guess it wouldn't hurt to run a 'balls to the wall' benchmark in future reviews, or maybe extend the overclocking section and run the full rig overclocked for a few benchies to appease the hard core?

20-01-2009, 18:24:25

monkey7
That would certainly create a good image for the clockers

20-01-2009, 20:02:02

Bungral
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
Was the 4870x2 done on an i7 rig tho? i7 offers much more more than a Q6600 at stock.

The thing is if folk read my reviews and hopefully make an informed decision upon them. Sure it would be nice to show the possibilities but where do you stop? I have a i7 965 on the way, have a WC setup this will hopefully run 4ghz 24/7 but this represents a miniscule section of the market when you consider alot of folk are still running P4's and AMD chips (no offence intended). I can fully appreciate what you're saying m8 and believe me it's frustrating as hell to run everything at stock with all this lush kit but you have to draw a line and stick to it.

Imo we have to represent the larger market while still using the most up to date kit. Bit of a contradiction there I know but as the saying goes; You can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot please all the people all the time.

I am open minded on this though and will bend to the greater majority - what do others think?
I do agree to the large umm degree, and you're right that the I7 offers more than a C2Q. Also agree for anything up to this card then people aren't likely to have a 965 overclocked on water but if you're getting into the 4870X2's and GTX295's then the people these cards are aimed at are likely going to have components from the higher end overclocked and tuned to diminish as best they can any bottlenecks.

You are right that with this card and an I7 of any sort, you aint likely to run into bottlenecks apart from maybe Fallout 3, but every card seems to bottleneck on that even with an overclocked 965. I guess you've just gotta decide when it comes to the super heavyweights whether it's worth it to up the CPU a few hundred MHz. While this would take them out of whack with other results from lower cards, as long as the two competing flagships were done the same, they would be comparable.

That said mate, it's obviously up to you and Jimbo how to best do your reviews. Either way I'll still enjoy reading them and seeing what you have to say about them. Numbers can still only tell ya so much anyway... The general feel of how they played and if they bottomed out anywhere is always much more informative.

21-01-2009, 05:03:00

-VK-
Great review as always Webbo - I think it's good to see some stock speeds but also the potential the card can have with it's balls to the wall.

Nice one.

21-01-2009, 11:38:45

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'

Maybe later drivers will increase the slim gap but I doubt it as what effects the 285 will also effect the 280 being they are essentially the same card with different clockspeeds (and of course the die shrink).
This is true.

I don't think the 280 drivers are done with yet tho tbh. 181 is a mid range-ish number, if u think 175 to 184. 184 will be the banker, b4 the next gpus come out.

Chances are the cd would have 180/179 drivers.

21-01-2009, 12:02:07

w3bbo
Must say I'm impressed with the frequency NVidia are releasing drivers (nightmare for us reviewers but meh).
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