It’s quite clear that AMD has reaped benefits by moving to a leaner manufacturing process and it’s about time Nvidia followed a similar path for its forthcoming GPUs.
The GeForce 9800 GTX+ was Nvidia’s first GPU that was fabricated using the 55 nm process. Even though it was 63 MHz faster than the 9800 GTX, it consumed less power and also ran cooler. The latest addition to Nvidia’s lineup of high-end GPUs is the GTX 285, which is a die-shrunk variant of the 65 nm GTX 280.
The GTX 285 is identical to its predecessor except for the faster core and memory speeds. Thanks to the 55 nm process, the core of the GTX 285 runs at 648 MHz which is 46 MHz faster than that of the GTX 280. Even the memory runs 135 MHz faster at 1242 MHz, albeit the type and amount is the same—1 GB DDR3.
__STARTQUOTE__At Rs, 30,000 the XFX GTX 285 costs around Rs 3,000 more than the same model by other manufacturers__ENDQUOTE__The GTX 280 has a 6-pin and an 8-pin PCIe power connector, while the GTX 285 has a pair of 6-pin PCIe connectors. It was a bit tedious to power the GTX 280 with power supplies that didn’t have an 8-pin PCIe connector, as one had to use the bundled adapter. This adapter takes two 4-pin Molex connectors to offer a single 8-pin PCIe connector.
The card has a dual-slot design and is a foot long with a 70 mm variable speed intake fan fitted at the end. The fan cools the gigantic heat sink packed within the plastic shell, which dissipates heat from the GPU and memory chips.
The rear panel sports dual-link DVI ports and an S-video port that also has additional pins for component output. The card comes bundled with a DVI to D-sub adapter, component output dongle, 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PCIe adapter, and Ubisoft’s FarCry 2.
As far as the price is concerned, at Rs, 30,000 the XFX GTX 285 costs around Rs 3,000 more than the same model by other manufacturers.
The core and memory of the GTX 285 is faster than that of the GTX 280 by 8 percent and 12 percent respectively. Due to a slightly faster core and memory, the GTX 285 can only throw a measly 3 to 5 fps more than its predecessor. This translates into a boost of 10 percent in the average frame rate, which is not very impressive — a factory-overclocked GTX 280 delivers similar performance.
We tried overclocking the GTX 285 but we got a bump of only one or two fps by cranking the core speed and memory speeds. So don’t be tempted by a factory overclocked GTX 280. In fact, if by any chance you come across a GTX 280 for a lower price, pick it up instead.
The biggest advantage that the GTX 285 has over the GTX 280 is that even though it’s faster, it consumes 10 Watts less in idle mode and 25 Watts less under load.
However, there was no difference in temperatures — it heats up to 80 degrees C while gaming. Make sure your cabinet is configured with enough fans to beat the heat.
If you already own a GTX 280, you’re not missing out on anything great.
Find our entire collection of stories, in-depth analysis, live updates, videos & more on Chandrayaan 2 Moon Mission on our dedicated #Chandrayaan2TheMoon domain.