Asus ENGTX285 TOP overclocked graphics card
Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 285 makes its debut
Review Asus' ENGTX285 TOP graphics card is based around Nvidia’s latest graphics chip, the GeForce GTX 285. This is the GT200b core, which is a die-shrink from 65nm to 55nm of the GT200 that was the basis for last summer's big Nvidia release, the GeForce GTX 280.
Asus' ENGTX285 TOP: factory overclocked GTX 285
All of the features in the older chip have been carried over to the new one, so the GTX 285 still supports DirectX 10.0 and OpenGL 2.1, has 240 unified shaders, and memory support runs to GDDR 3 rather than the spiffy GDDR 5 that AMD uses in the Radeon HD 4870. Display processing is still managed by an NVIO2 core with support for twin DVI ports and HDMI. DisplayPort still isn’t included.
The smaller fabrication process has reduced the size of the GPU, bringing down the production cost and the power consumption. This has given Nvidia some leeway with the GTX 285's power envelope, and it has to chosen to increase the clock speeds while maintaining the same cooling parameters as the GTX 280. Lay a GTX 280 next to a GTX 285 and you won’t be able to tell the two cards apart as the hefty cooling packages look identical.
Surprisingly, Nvidia has been able to reduce the maximum power rating of the GTX 285 to such an extent that it has two six-pin PCI Express power connectors instead of the six-pin and eight-pin connector combo that we've seen in the past. This is a relatively minor change if you only plan on running a single graphics card, but anyone considering GTX 285 in SLI mode should be ecstatic as power supplies with four six-pin connectors are relatively commonplace.
A reference GTX 280 has feeds and speeds for the core, memory and shaders of, respectively, 600MHz, 2200MHz and 1300MHz. These step up to 648MHz, 2484MHz and 1476MHz with the GTX 285 which suggests a ten per cent increase in performance.
The Asus TOP is overclocked at the factory and runs core, memory and shaders at 670MHz, 2600MHz and 1550MHz. That, in turn, suggests that it should be four or five per cent faster than a stock GTX 285 and 15 per cent faster than a reference GTX 280. That is indeed what our test results show, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Is there any need for this much power?
My Q6600 / 2 x 8800GT 512MB SLI box is coming up to a year old now and I'm still playing pretty much everything with all the settings maxed.
Even Crysis worked very well indeed (30+ fps) with everything on Very High, albeit at 1280 x 1024 resolution. I just knocked it down to 1024 x 768 for the final boss.
Thing is, a 8800GT SLI setup costs a fraction of one of these cards and yet it really isn't that far behind when it comes to real life gaming. My point is, it really doesn't have to cost the earth to be able to play the latest PC games and whilst I do have a PS3 as well as my gaming PC, I wouldn't want to be without either. WipEout isn't really comparable to Crysis, is it?
re: @Francis Boyle
I can only second Brandon's comments - you're on the wrong side, mate! The 4850 is a brilliant card capable of handling anything that Crysis can throw at it and more (and that's at 1600x1200 with the quality settings turned up to the max). The 48xx series killed the "but can it run Crysis" joke stone dead. Sure, it took a while (well, 7 months according to my calculations) but then Crysis is hardly an average game. Face it we've never had it so good. Sounds like you contracted a bad case of nostalgia there.
ATI still a better deal...
I'm running farcry 2 on all very high settings on a measly ATI 4850 w/ a 3.8ghz E8500 supporting it, and it's great! (and I'm very particular about good framerates) My point is, if you're looking to play all the best games at more than playable framerates, but budget matters to you, then ATI cards are where it's at! They win on all the "bang for your buck" scales that I've seen. I'm no fanboi either... I actually like nvida better (stereoscopic support, CUDA, and other reasons), but budget wins in 2009 :)