Asus EN GTX285 1GB Graphics Card
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.
- 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
- Nothing to report
Thanks to Asus for providing the GTX285 for todays review. Please discuss in our forums.