Asus EN GTX285 1GB Graphics Card

Conclusion

Conclusion

Nvidia have frequently been criticised for rehashing the same product with few differences in the past but this is plainly not the case with the 285GTX. The die shrink from 65nm to 55nm has brought an increase in clockspeeds that our benchmarks have shown, increase performance significantly.

Sadly, our tests also show that despite the fabrication change, power consumption is almost the same as the GTX280, as is the heat output. In fact, rather than seeing a decrease in these areas we found the opposite. The card can be forgiven for giving out a little extra heat as the fan didn't spin up too much during our testing. This was despite the card hitting 80c before reaching a plateau during the crucifying Furmark test.

The GTX280 was already a stunning card so it was hard for Nvidia to improve vastly on this but nevertheless, they have done so - at least where performance is concerned and that's what most enthusiasts yearn for. You don't spend £300 on a GPU for a cool running, eco-friendly card. If the performance is there then anything else is a bonus when you are shopping at the high-end of the GPU market and the Asus ENGTX285 has performance by the bucket load. The card outpaced the GTX280 in all of our benchmarks and even topped the ATI 4850X2 in some of the runs despite the X2 having 2 GPU's on-board and double the memory. That said though, the X2 was the higher performer overall and with the X2's formidable bigger brother dropping in price (the 4850X2 itself is rumoured to have planned price drops) and the GTX295 now on the market, the ENGTX285 is in a very precarious position and needs to meet a keen price point if it to appeal to the performance enthusiast.

If you want trouble free, high performance gaming then there is no doubt that the GTX285 will serve you very well thanks to its uncomplicated setup. Its performance at high resolutions is exemplary and it worked without a hitch with everything we threw at it. Couple this with amazing overclocking ability and you have one stonking graphics card. However, current GTX280 owners shouldn't rush to upgrade to the GTX285 either, as both cards overclock to similar levels making the performance of the two quite comparable.

So it really comes down to the same old story. If full-on performance is all that matters, the dual core GPU's clearly have the upper hand. However, the single GPU champ has been in training, had a fabrication workout and gone a diet along with a new wardrobe. This has seen the GTX285 perform well but perhaps not the significant increase in performance we were hoping for. However, if you are looking for an upgrade from a midrange card up to hassle free, high-end gaming, I would certainly recommend the Asus ENGTX285 which for now, until the OC revisions are upon us, is the highest performing single core graphics card on the planet.


The Good
- Overclocking
- Performance
- Packaging

The Mediocre
-
Power consumption and heat output not as good as expected
- No backplate as with the GTX280
-
Price needs to drop a little for it to be competitive

The Bad
- Nothing to report



Thanks to Asus for providing the GTX285 for todays review. Please discuss in our forums.
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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).
Reply
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