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ASUS GeForce GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card

Today we have a look at the stock GTX 285 from ASUS and see how it goes in the performance department.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Thu, Jun 11 2009 1:09 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:28 PM CDT
Rating: 91%Manufacturer: ASUS

Introduction

ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
IntroductionWhile there's no denying that anyone who is after maximum power will want the GTX 295, for many people the GTX 285 is going to be fine for the plain fact that most users don't have the monitor to really make use of such a powerful graphics card.We've always been pretty happy with the GTX 285; it costs a good chunk less than the GTX 295 and still offers some serious performance, which for most people is more than they need.Today we're going to check out the GTX 285 from ASUS and while we've seen the TOP version from the company before, we'll have a closer look to see what happens when we want to save a few dollars by moving back to a stock clocked card.

The Package

The PackageLooking at the package we see there isn't anything new going on with the design that's been present for quite a while now; apart from the courier sticker that was sitting in the middle of the box, that is. To the right we have a picture of a knight on a horse, while to the left we have mention of a discount on some games.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card

(Click the above image for the large version)
Across the top we have the ASUS logo, while working from the bottom we have the model; in this case the GTX 285. Above that we have mention of some of the main features the card offers which include 1GB of GDDR3 memory and some exclusive software that ASUS includes like SmartDoctor and GamerOSD.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card

(Click the above image for the large version)
Looking at the back we again have a run down on some of the features, but we also see a fair bit of information on all the software programs that the company includes. We've also got a recommended requirements list, resolution table and a few other bits and pieces.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card

(Click the above image for the large version)
Opening the package up and diving inside, we have a CD that includes the manual in a number of languages. We've also got a Speed Setup guide and a voucher that gives you a discount on some games and applications. You can get more information following the website address. We also have a driver CD that isn't seen here; it looks like a fellow reviewer who got the card before us decided to keep it for themselves. This CD also includes the applications that are mentioned on the back of the box.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card

(Click the above image for the large version)
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card

(Click the above image for the large version)
In the cable department we've got a DVI to VGA connector, duel molex to 6-pin connector and a component out dongle. As far as extras go ASUS has also included a brown mouse pad with the ASUS branding. Again, though, someone has decided to pinch some of our cables, so what you will also get that isn't seen here is a S/PDIF loopback cable and a DVI to HDMI connector.

The Card

The CardWith the package looked at it's now time to have a closer look at the card itself. It doesn't come as much of a surprise that ASUS has opted for the reference cooler. While a bit boring due to the fact that we see it on a regular basis, it does do a good job of keeping temperatures down while having noise levels kept to a dull roar.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card

(Click the above image for the large version)
ASUS has of course mixed it up with a bit of color; to the right we have the ASUS logo on the fan while the left is taken up by a picture that is similar to the one we saw on the front of the box. We again see the ASUS logo in the bottom corner.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card

(Click the above image for the large version)
Making our way around the card, we see everything that we've become accustomed to. There are two 6-pin PCI-E connectors towards the rear of the card along with a little black port for the loopback cable that comes in the package, albeit not our one.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card

(Click the above image for the large version)
Closer to the front of the card we have our SLI connectors; two to be exact, which gives us the ability to run up to three of these bad boys together.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card

(Click the above image for the large version)
The I/O department finds us looking at some holes that let the hot air escape. We've also got two Dual-Link DVI connectors along with a single TV-Out port; nothing too out of the ordinary and really everything we need to get up and running.SpecificationsAs we mentioned earlier, this particular model from ASUS carries with it the standard clocks. As you can see below, this means that the core comes in at 648MHz, the shader clock 1476MHz and the 1GB of GDDR3 memory sitting at a clock of 2484MHz DDR.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage

Test System SetupProcessor(s): Intel i7 920 @ 3.8GHz (190MHz x 20)Cooling: Noctua NH-U12P (Supplied by Noctua)Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE EX58-UD5 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)Memory: 3 X 2GB OCZ Technology PC-12800 DDR-3 8-8-8-24 (OCZ3G1600LV6GK) Hard Disk(s): Western Digital 300GB Velicorapter (Supplied by Western Digital)Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1 64-BitDrivers: ForceWare 185.85, Catalyst 9.4Today we'll check out how the GTX 285 from ASUS compares to the lower end GTX 275 and the top dawg card from ATI, the HD 4890. 3DMark VantageVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.comProduct Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/Buy It Here
3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware. 3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
In our first test we see the GTX 285 take out top position. Compared to the GTX 275, however, there isn't a huge gap.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

PT Boats: Knights of the SeaVersion and / or Patch Used: Benchmark DemoDeveloper Homepage: http://en.akella.com/Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/
PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
PT Boats sees the GTX 285 perform well with the best gains being seen at the higher resolution.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10

CINEBENCH R10Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net
CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
CINEBENCH sees the NVIDIA offerings perform similar, while the ATI one does pull out a win here.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict

World in ConflictVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in TestDeveloper Homepage: http://www.massive.se Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com
World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10).The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
Again we see at the higher resolution the GTX 285 manages to shine; it's also the only card that's able to break that 30 FPS minimum we need at 2560 x 1600.

Benchmarks - Crysis Warhead

Crysis WarheadVersion and / or Patch Used: unpatchedTimedemo or Level Used: AirfieldDeveloper Homepage: http://www.crytek.comProduct Homepage: http://crysiswarhead.ea.com/Buy It Here
Crysis Warhead updates and refines the gameplay of the original game through a sidestory plot involving Psycho, one of previous protagonist Nomad's allies. The game is a parallel story that follows Sergeant Michael "Psycho" Sykes, a character from the original Crysis, as he faces his own trials and challenges on the other side of the island during the time period of the first game.It also showcases a new, enhanced and optimized version of CryEngine 2 using full DX10 extensions and is the first game developed by Crytek's Budapest studio.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
Warhead doesn't run great on most cards, but we can see that the GTX 285 is again the only card that's able to break the 30 FPS minimum that we need in our games.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch LongDeveloper Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/Buy It Here
The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
Again we see that the extra performance on offer from the GTX 285 gives us that little boost we need at 2560 x 1600 to make Far Cry 2 playable.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear SkyVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07Timedemo or Level Used: Custom TimedemoDeveloper Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/Buy It Here
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
Clear Sky doesn't favor NVIDIA cards at all and we see both of them fall to the back of the pack compared to the ATI one. We do see that there's a little boost in performance when compared to the GTX 275, though.

Benchmarks - Left 4 Dead

Left 4 DeadVersion and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam UpdateTimedemo or Level Used: Custom TimedemoDeveloper Homepage: http://www.valvesoftware.com/Product Homepage: http://www.l4d.com/Buy It Here
Left 4 Dead uses the latest version of Valve's Source engine, with improvements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation to more realistically portray hair and clothing, and to improve physics interaction with enemies when shot or shoved in different body parts. Animation was also improved to allow characters to lean realistically when moving in curved paths. Rendering and artificial intelligence were scaled up to allow for greater number of enemies who can navigate the world in better ways, such as climbing, jumping or breaking obstacles. Lighting has been enhanced with new self-shadowing normal mapping and advanced shadow rendering that is important to convey information about the environment and player actions.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
Across the board we see the extra performance on offer give us a boost at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AFOur high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.Far Cry 2
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
We see a bit of extra performance on offer from the GTX 285 compared to the GTX 275, but we're still below that 30 FPS minimum we need to see.World In Conflict
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
The extra power on offer from the GTX 285 here is able to give us that 30 FPS minimum, which for gamers is the most important feature when it comes to a graphics card.Left 4 Dead
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
Across the board we see performance is quite similar with all three cards here, but the HD 4890 is able to pull out a win.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP

World in ConflictVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in TestDeveloper Homepage: http://www.massive.se Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com
World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
Under XP we find again the GTX 285 is able to offer us enough performance to play WIC at these settings at 2560 x 1600.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2 - XP

Far Cry 2Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch LongDeveloper Homepage: http://www.ubi.com/Product Homepage: http://www.farcry2.com/Buy It Here
The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
We're just below that 30 FPS minimum at 2560 x 1600, but with a slight detail move we would be able to rise above it which is a good thing. We again see that at the higher resolution the card shines the most.

Benchmarks - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear Sky - XP

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Clear SkyVersion and / or Patch Used: 1.5.07Timedemo or Level Used: Custom TimedemoDeveloper Homepage: http://www.gsc-game.com/Product Homepage: http://cs.stalker-game.com/en/Buy It Here
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky, is the stand-alone prequel for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, a first-person shooter computer game by Ukrainian developer GSC Game World.[3] The game consists of a roughly 50/50 mix of new areas and old, remodeled areas from the previous game. The X-ray graphics engine has been updated to version 1.5 and includes DirectX 10 support (later patch 1.5.06 included DirectX 10.1). Additionally, the AI received an overhaul to accommodate the new faction wars feature.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
Clear Sky in XP and we see it favors the ATI offering again. The two NVIDIA cards perform pretty similar at the higher resolutions.

Temperature and Sound Tests

Temperature Tests
With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
The stock cooler puts temperatures at similar levels to the HD 4890.Sound Tests
Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
Compared to the HD 4890 noise levels are a good chunk lower, which is always appreciated.

Power Consumption Tests

Power Consumption Tests
Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.
ASUS GTX 285 1GB Graphics Card
Power draw at load between all the cards is very similar. However, at idle we see the NVIDIA cards sit lower compared to the HD 4890 with the GTX 285 from ASUS using the least.

Final Thoughts

Final ThoughtsA lot of people argue that the GTX 285 doesn't offer the best value for money due to the fact that there isn't a huge performance increase for the card over the GTX 275, while the price is a good chunk higher.The thing is that we find the extra performance on offer from the GTX 285 manages to give us the numbers we need to game at 2560 x 1600. For people who own a big monitor, want to game at native resolution but don't want to fork out the money needed for a GTX 295, this is a good option.Some could argue that overclocking the GTX 275 will warrant the same benefits, but there are two things to consider. First, your numbers are guaranteed here and you don't have to worry about achieving certain clocks. The second is that if you overclock the GTX 285 you're going to get even more power, which is always a good thing.The ASUS version of the card is pretty good with everything we need being seen in the package; we also have those exclusive ASUS applications that are included in the bundle. If you can overclock yourself or just want to save a few dollars this is also a better option than the TOP model that we've looked at in the past.
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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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