FTW Edition of Evga's GTX 285 tested

Evga Geforce GTX 285 FTW reviewed

The FTW Edition of Evga is the fastest Geforce GTX 285 on the market. PC Games Hardware tested the graphics card and checked performance, power consumption, loudness and the cooling solution.
Evga Geforce GTX 285 FTW reviewed (3)
Evga Geforce GTX 285 FTW reviewed (3) [Source: view picture gallery]
Evga Geforce GTX 285 FTW reviewed: Introduction
FTW is an acronym commonly used on the Internet and stands for "For the Win” which means some kind of praise for the term it is attached to. Accordingly Evga's Geforce GTX 285 FTW is the fastest GTX 285 in the company's product array - so FTW beats Super-Superclocked. But in matter of clock speeds the device also beats all the other Geforce GTX 285s on the market and only Evga's Hydro Copper can keep the frequency pace of the FTW Edition.

The chart below lists the most important technical details.

Our retail sample of the GTX 285 FTW was delivered in a paper box and it appears that Evga focuses on the hardware and adds only a few extras: A DVI to VGA adaptation, an YPbRb breakout cable for TV connection and a Molex to PCI-Express adaptation as well as stickers for the PC case and a Quick Start manual - plus the common driver CD.

Evga Geforce GTX 285 FTW reviewed: Loudness, cooling and power consumption
Since the Evga GTX 285 FTW is based on Nvidia's reference design there are no real differences in matter of hardware. Not even the Volt Mod of our previous sample is missing - our card runs at 1.6 volt if stressed and 1.05 volt in 2D mode. Nevertheless the power consumption of the card is higher than it is on other cards - in our opinion the increase is a little to high to be explained with the increased clock speeds only.

Especially in the stress test Furmark the fan has to work hard to keep the card cool. It is running at 95 percent and doesn't leave a big margin for further temperature raises - the noise level reaches 8.7 sone which is quite loud. The 4.2 sone the GTX 285 FTW reaches if stressed with Race Driver: Grid are a not suitable for silent systems, too.

Evga Geforce GTX 285 FTW reviewed (4)
Evga Geforce GTX 285 FTW reviewed (4) [Source: view picture gallery]
Please pay attention to the fact that the real power consumption of the graphics card had been recorded - in three different scenarios. Besides the idle mode while running the Windows desktop and the game test with Race Driver: Grid we also challenged the card with the "Xtreme Burning Mode” of the Furmark which represents a worst-case scenario. The loudness of the card was recorded at a distance of 50 centimeters.

Evga Geforce GTX 285 FTW reviewed: Benchmarks
We tested the performance of the Evga GTX 285 FTW in four popular games. For comparison we also deliver results of a regular Geforce GTX 285 as well as the biggest competitor from AMD the HD 4890. All those graphics cards have 1 GiByte video memory. For a bigger selection of benchmarks please take a look at our extensive chip reviews.

Evga Geforce GTX 285 FTW reviewed: Overclocking
Manual overclocking is affected by several disadvantages: First of all the ex factory frequencies almost reach the absolute maximal values; secondly the Volt mod of our previous test sample is missing; the third factor is that the card has stock cooling only - and Furmark pushes the solution up to 95 percent fan speed. Accordingly increasing the clock speeds even further results in aberrations in Crysis Warhead (DX10, 64 Bit) and an automatic reset of the driver. Please bear in mind that overclocking is a little like lottery and that each single graphics card has individual capabilities.

Evga Geforce GTX 285 FTW reviewed: Conclusion
The GTX 285 FTW is the fastest single GPU graphics card we had access to up to now - but the difference to a stock GTX 285 is not extraordinarily big. Evga also asks for quite some extra money for the increased ex factory frequencies: in Europe the FTW costs about 380 Euros while normal GTX 285s are available for about 260 Euros already - but here you have to overclock the card yourself and loose the warranty or make do with the lower performance.

The stock versions of AMD's HD 4890 (about 160 Euros) or Nvidia's Geforce GTX 285 (about 260 Euros) are alternatives even if they deliver lower framerates. Nvidia tries to counter the lower price of the Radeon with additional features like Physx support and currently there are more CUDA applications that use the Nvidia GPU rather than the appropriate Ati stream variant.

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

Author: Raffael Vötter (Jun 26, 2009)

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