Just last week, NVIDIA announced both the GTX 295 and GTX 285. Today we have availability on both and test results for the GTX 285. As we weren't able to get power tests done time to include in the GTX 295 review, we also have those available today.

EVGA was kind enough to provide the hardware for this review. They sent us two GTX 280s for single and SLI testing. They provided us with overclocked cards, but for this article we underclocked them to stock GTX 285 speeds in order to learn what we can expect from non-overclocked variants.

The hardware looks the same as the current GeForce GTX 280. There really isn't anything aside from the GPU that appears different (except the sticker on the card that is).

We've already indicated the changes that have gone into the GTX 285, but here's another look at the updated clock speeds and the test setup.

  GTX 295 GTX 285 GTX 280 GTX 260 Core 216 GTX 260 9800 GTX+
Stream Processors 2 x 240 240 240 216 192 128
Texture Address / Filtering 2 x 80 / 80 80 / 80 80 / 80 72/72 64 / 64 64 / 64
ROPs 28 32 32 28 28 16
Core Clock 576MHz 648MHz 602MHz 576MHz 576MHz 738MHz
Shader Clock 1242MHz 1476MHz 1296MHz 1242MHz 1242MHz 1836MHz
Memory Clock 999MHz 1242MHz 1107MHz 999MHz 999MHz 1100MHz
Memory Bus Width 2 x 448-bit 512-bit 512-bit 448-bit 448-bit 256-bit
Frame Buffer 2 x 896MB 1GB 1GB 896MB 896MB 512MB
Transistor Count 2 x 1.4B 1.4B 1.4B 1.4B 1.4B 754M
Manufacturing Process TSMC 55nm TSMC 55nm TSMC 65nm TSMC 65nm TSMC 65nm TSMC 55nm
Price Point $500 $400 $350 - $400 $250 - $300 $250 - $300 $150 - 200

The price point for the GTX 285 is $400, but newegg has parts for $380 right now and overclocked variants for not too much more.

The Test

Test Setup
CPU Intel Core i7-965 3.2GHz
Motherboard ASUS Rampage II Extreme X58
Video Cards ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2
ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285 SLI
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 SLI
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 SLI
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
Video Drivers Catalyst 8.12 hotfix
ForceWare 181.20
Hard Drive Intel X25-M 80GB SSD
RAM 6 x 1GB DDR3-1066 7-7-7-20
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1
PSU PC Power & Cooling Turbo Cool 1200W

Age of Conan Performance
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  • Kroneborge - Thursday, January 15, 2009 - link

    I'd like to second the request for info on sound levels. I do music production, AND play games on my computer. So it's important to be able to find a nice balance. I know some people don't care if their cards are loud, but there are many others that do.

    Thanks,
    Reply
  • mczak - Thursday, January 15, 2009 - link

    I'm not sure those power consumption figures are relevant. You're measuring a overclocked card. Even though you've downclocked it to standard speeds, it could well be setup to run at slightly higher voltages to guarantee stable operation at the overclocked frequencies without the manufacturer having to do much further qualification. Reply
  • gungan3 - Thursday, January 15, 2009 - link

    Oh and the GTX 285 has only 2 X 6 pin PCIE connectors while the GTX 280 had one 6 pin and one 8 pin connector Reply
  • gungan3 - Thursday, January 15, 2009 - link

    Yes i would have really liked to see some tests with the 4850 X2 as well. At a $299 pricepoint for the 2X1 GB version it should offer higher performance than a GTX 280/285. You could throw in 9800 GTX+ SLI as well there, it should probably smoke its own brother as well.

    Also why oh why are there no tests on fan noise and GPU temperatures? Those would be very useful to consumers. Another test could be case Temperature which would be a big help to buyers of the GTX 295 which dumps hot air inside the case itself. How about overclocking tests? No time for those as well?

    And some more insight into the actual changes in hardware would also be appreciated. Pictures of the fronf of the PCB and the cooling system would be helpful. To quote from your review "The hardware looks the same as the current GeForce GTX 280. There really isn't anything aside from the GPU that appears different (except the sticker on the card that is)"

    Might i point out that as is the case with the 55 nm GTX 260(as well as the GTX 295), that all the memory chips are now on the front of the card as opposed to the original PCB's which had memory on both sides thus requiring more layers in the PCB( afaik 16 layers as opposed to 12 layers). Possibly some changes in power/memory voltage circuitry as well. Was that too hard to notice?
    Reply
  • Daeros - Thursday, January 15, 2009 - link

    I was just noticing something about several gfx card reviews I have seen here lately, the lack of CF results to compare with SLI. Of course the top of the chart is full of Nvidia cards when you don't test any multi-card solutions from ATI. I know the new test platform supports this, so I really don't understand the reasoning.

    Also, there is an excellent competitor for the GTX285, the 4850x2. It comes with 2x1GB GDDR3 so it will be slightly stronger than two standard 4850's in CF, and Newegg has them for $299 w/ free shipping.
    Reply
  • Goty - Thursday, January 15, 2009 - link

    Why include Crossfire results when you have the 4870X2 in the mix? It's nearly identical to two 4870s in a Crossfire configuration, so there's no need to run another set of benchmarks if you're going to get the same numbers. Reply
  • Daeros - Thursday, January 15, 2009 - link

    My point is that the 4870x2 is designed to compete with the GTX280/285 cards from Nvidia. All I was saying was it would be nice to have multi-card comparisons for both brands at similar price points (ie GTX285SLI=$760, GTX280SLI=$650 4870x2CF=$860, 4870x2+4870(1GB)=$670), 4850x2CF=$600). So why not test a couple more cards in similar brackets and give more-useful, fully-fleshed reviews. Reply
  • elerick - Thursday, January 15, 2009 - link

    How I believe the Price wars between AMD and Nvidia are going to be good for consumers. I can't wait to see the new pricing for GTX 280 with these rolling out. Glad to see performance increases this early on in the year. Reply
  • Stonedofmoo - Thursday, January 15, 2009 - link

    Really I'm bored of reading about top end parts eating hundreds of watts of power.

    I'd really like to see the GT200 technology migrated too midrange parts. In the UK we have a situation where Nvidia does not have one single competative part for sale between £150-200. The GTX 260's are all above £200 and the Geforce 9 series parts are not worth considering when you see how much faster the ATI 48xx cards are in that price range.

    Nvidia really needs to forget the race for top performance cards that eat power for breakfast, and start taking note that not everyone wants the most powerful card, some of us are looking for the new 8800GT of this generation...
    Reply
  • Goty - Thursday, January 15, 2009 - link

    I think you hit the nail on the head when you said the only benefit to the end user from the GTX285 is that it will drop the price on the GTX280, Derek. You get more performance, but it still slots into exactly the same spot performance-wise: faster than the GTX260/HD4870, slower than the 4870X2. Add in the fact that there are no power savings and you've got a pointless product aside from the fact that it saves NVIDIA a little money.

    As for the review itself, why only results using 4xAA? I'd like to see how performance falls off with 8xAA vs the HD4870 and see if the marginally increased clockspeeds help at all in that department.
    Reply

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