Final Words & Conclusion
So then, the verdict. While I really like pre-overclocked products, I must say I am not at all disappointed with a reference based SKU. Here's the thing, the GTX 285 is by itself obviosuly a majestic graphics card to own. It's sturdy, powerful and armed with heaps of raw brute rendering powah!
Fact is, there is nothing more reference than the product shown today. And as you guys know, the basis is just awesome. However, we save roughly 25 to 50 bucks by purchasing this reference based model. Right now prices are fluctuating a lot, but these Gigabyte GTX 285 cards sell at really aggressive prices. They can save on bundle and they do not have the additional costs to qualify each individual card. As such the price is lower. Now if you know how to overclock and tweak a little (heck come on now, you are a Guru3D reader!), then you can save yourself that premium price of the OC models that other AIBs offer. And that's a good thing. As we have shown in the article, this cards overclockability is just as good as any pre-overclocked model. You just have to do it yourself. But there of course is more risk involved. BFG for example, offers a life-time warranty with the product being factory overclocked. And when you fry your Gigabyte GTX 285 due to overclocking ... well that's your loss then (rarely happens though if you know a little about what overclocking is and involves, read our guides and hints).
So while the product is very reference based and has very few extras in the bundle, there's really nothing wrong with it. Flying framerates, breathtaking performance, great video decoder and the benefits of a CUDA empowered VGA card. It's good stuff and that's the reality.
We really like the GeForce GTX 285 for what it is, the fastest single GPU based graphics card on the globe. The step from the 65nm GTX 280 to the GTX 285 at 55nm was a good one, as not only did the product get a little faster, it's more energy efficient as well. And in current days, that's an important issue that we like to raise awareness of. The most scorching game titles like Fallout 3, run at 8x AA at 1920x1200 and will return 60+ frames of rendering performance, each second. Call of Duty: World at War, no issue Sir, 4x AA and 16x AF @ 2560x1600 resolution gave back ~45 FPS on average. These are excessive and very high-end numbers for sure.
So if you want the fastest GPU available on the market, yet are bound by a budget, why not opt for this one?
We are all a little spoiled with the pre-overclocked products on the market, and sure, the AIBs make good money out of that. But why not do it yourself ... tweaking is a heck of a lot of fun. At the time of writing the card was available for 314 EUR in the Netherlands and 329 USD in the USA. And remember, this product was launched at 400-450 USD originally. So sure, it's recommended .. I remember the time that I was nitpicking about the fact that high-end cards were 500 USD. Look at what is changing right now. Keep them coming Gigabyte ... keep them coming.
Thanks go out to Gigabyte for sending out their board.
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