You know, I was thinking, if there's one product series that is consistently in price-drop somehow .. it has to be the GeForce GTX 200 series GPUs. Even after the GPU update from GTX 280 towards the 55nm 285. This is what the GTX 285 is all about, not shocking ground breaking new graphics architecture, but a move to the 55nm fabrication process - making that chip (GT200b) die size smaller, aim for better yields, and in the end, a product that requires less voltage, performs better and is more affordable.
With the new SKU in mind, we were interested to see what we could save in terms of money if we just did not opt for an overclocked, xxx, OC, SSC and what not editions. It's interesting to see how well AIBs monetized the passion we all share; overclocking. So from that point of view it should be interesting to test the reference based product with no whistles and bells, and see if we can tweak it a little ourselves.
Luckily there are a number of manufacturers out there which sometimes do not infiltrate the channel with special overclocked editions, and whenever that happens, chances are good that their product have not been pre tested and qualified for higher clock frequencies. And that is making the chance for manual overclocks much better ... while you pay the lowest price possible.
Gigabyte is such a company. They only offer a non-overclocked GTX 285 and when you purchase their GeForce GTX 285, you can not choose between six different models. It's the GTX 285, and whatever you decide to do with it is your call. As such we picked up a retail Gigabyte GeForce GTX 285 with ironically ... a gigabyte of graphics memory (yeah lame puns, I like em a lot :).
So today we have a slightly different focus. How would a reference based high-end product perform, how would it overclock and can we save some money by purchasing such a regular product opposed to all the pre-overclocked models while boosting that clock frequency ourselves ?
It makes an interesting thesis, so we'll find out ... Of course we'll make a full blown review out of the product as well. But not before you have had a peek at the product we are testing today. Next page you guys :)
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