With the recent struggles Nvidia faced throughout 2008 -- problems with its manufacturing process, slumping stock price, a reemergence by ATI into the competitive high end graphics market -- the chip maker can use all the friends it can get, and Nvidia certainly has a BFF in EVGA. Save for a small lineup of Nvidia-based motherboards, EVGA has zeroed in on the videocard market in its nearly 10-year tenure, culminating in what some enthusiasts would argue as the king of graphics hill. We can think of at least two other vendors who would argue otherwise, but for EVGA's part, the company has set the tone for what a lifetime warranty should consist of, allowing power users to tinker with overclocking and swap heatsinks without invalidating the lifetime backing.
But the warranty is only as good as the card it guarantees, and today we look at one of Nvidia's newest GPUs, the GeForce GTX 285. EVGA ups the ante over Nvidia's reference design by increasing the core, memory, and stream processor clockspeeds, resulting in the GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition. But how does it all compare to Nvidia's previous videocards?
|EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition||GeForce GTX 285||GeForce GTX 280||GeForce GTX 260 (Core 216)||GeForce 9800GTX +|
| Manufacturing Process||55nm||55nm||65nm||55nm||55nm|
| Core Clockspeed||702MHz||648MHz||602MHz||576MHz||738MHz|
| Memory Clockspeed||1323MHz||1242MHz||1107MHz||999MHz||1100MHz|
| Shader Clockspeed||1584MHz||1476MHz||1296MHz||1242MHz||1836MHz|
When Nvidia introduced its 9800GTX last year, we called shenanigans on the naming scheme after discovering it was essentially an overclocked G92-based 8800GTS videocard. This time around, Nvidia does away with the funny business and makes good on an earlier vow to simplify its product lineup. By name alone, the new GTX 285 indicates a moderate bump over the previous GTX 280, and looking at the specs, that's exactly what you get.
Die shrinks typically result in cooler running chips, which paves the way for higher clockspeeds. By shrinking down to a 55nm manufacturing process, Nvidia is able to increase the core frequency from 602MHz on the GTX 280 to 648MHz on the GTX 285. EVGA takes this a step further and cruises along at 702MHz, a full 100MHz faster than Nvidia's previous top-end videocard. Memory and shader clockspeeds both get a boost as well, and both also benefit from EVGA's aggressive overclocking.