The fastest single-GPU card we've seen, but it can't shake ATI in the price war.
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The GTX 285 is the most recent Nvidia release and is is essentially a GTX 280+ under the old naming convention. The die size has been shrunk to a 55nm process and the clock speed bumped to 648MHz, 1476MHz, 1242MHz for the core, shader and memory respectively. The use of a smaller process has other advantages too. The power requirement has dropped 22% to 183W, and now requires only two 6-pin power connectors. As a result, the whole card runs cooler. Otherwise, there are few physical differences to distinguish the GTX 285 from its predecessor. While it's still a long way off the top scorers this month, the GTX 285 managed to hold its own with a comfortable 50fps in high-detail Crysis - just 2fps more than the GTX 280 - and we saw results just nudging out those of the GTX 280 in our other benchmarks, too. In Call of Juarez, the GTX 285 matches ATI's leading single-GPU card - the HD 4870 - in both High-detail settings and when maxed out at Very High, with scores of 40 and 21fps respectively. With results matching or exceeding the HD 4870 in our other benchmarks, it's hard to pick between them in terms of raw grunt.Its performance places it comfortably at the top of Nvidia's single-core offerings. It's also just enough for Nvidia to finally steal the performance crown from ATI as well. If you were thinking of purchasing a GTX 280, it makes sense to spend the extra $70 for a cooler and slightly faster card. The addition of PhysX acceleration and the slight performance bump just doesn't just justify the extra $220 over the HD4870.
This Review appeared in the June, 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
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