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Geforce GTX 285 reviewed: Performance, Loudness and Power consumption

Geforce GTX 285 reviewed

Nvidia's Geforce GTX 285 has to prove its capabilities in nine games and 3DMark Vantage, if it is a worthy successor for the GTX 280. PC Games Hardware also checks overclocking, extreme FSAA modes, loudness and power consumption.

Geforce GTX 285 reviewed
 
[Source: view picture gallery]

Geforce GTX 285 reviewed: Introduction
Today Nvidia's Geforce GTX 285 is officially introduced. The card with the 55 nm GPU GT200b is supposed to replace the GTX 280 and to heat up the price competition with the Radeon graphics cards. Besides a slight increase of the clock speeds Nvidia only switched to a 55 nanometers GPU structure and cost-optimized the PCB layout and the cooler.

The benchmark review with nine games like Left 4 Dead (dt.), Fallout 3, Race Driver Grid, Crysis Warhead or Stalker Clear Sky reveals if this is enough to compete with AMD's cards, which became much cheaper in the meantime, and the GTX 280. Additional tests with extreme FSAA modes like 16xS and overclocking experiments with Supersampling FSAA push the card to the limits.

Geforce GTX 285 - Details of board, RAM and cooler
We already introduced the new Geforce card in every detail at the paper launch. Therefore we summarized the technical specifications in the table below.

Technical specifications Geforce GTX 285

* Individual values don't necessarily double for multi GPU cards
** MUL performance limited
*** 8-pin connector is compulsory


As mention, the PCB has been modified. On the one hand this was achieved because of the TDP which has been lowered from 236 watt to 183 watt and the appropriate cooler. On the other hand there was the intention to lower costs in order to sell the cards for a lower price. AMD had put a lot of pressure on Nvidia with the HD 4870 series.

Geforce GTX 285 - new Nvidia graphics card reviewed at PC Games Hardware Online.
 
Geforce GTX 285 - new Nvidia graphics card reviewed at PC Games Hardware Online. [Source: view picture gallery]
Even without the heat spreader, which makes the graphics processor appear bigger than it actually is, the Die of the old 65 nm GT200 is, according to our digital caliper, about 606 mm² big (CPU-Z displays 576 mm²). TSMC, who produce the GT200 and GT200b, specify a linear shrink of 10 percent for the new architecture. If Nvidia was able to make full use of those possibilities, the Die size of the GT200b should be about 490 mm² - this is still almost twice the size of the RV770 Die which is working on AMD's Radeon HD 4800 cards.

Nvidia doesn't only lower the Die size, but also cuts costs on the board and the cooler. Instead of the full metal cover of the old GTX 2x0 series the GTX 285 only has the metal frame around the GPU, which has been used on the first Geforce 8800 cards already. The cooler has less heat pipes and is a little smaller - the radial fan is still the same. Due to the lower TDP, the 8-pin power connector isn't required for the GTX 285 anymore and the card only needs two 6-pin plugs. The used GDDR3 RAM is from Hynix's currently fastest selection and specified for 1,300 MHz - on the GTX 285 it is clocked to 1,242 MHz.

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Author: Spille, Vötter, Sauter (Jan 15, 2009)






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