PROS / It's still a great graphics card that can run almost anything.
CONS / Same price as the newer and much better GTX 470.
VERDICT / Price needs to drop. Until then, there's no compelling reason to buy this card.
Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from viewing as part of this site because it has been replaced by a new generation of graphics card. You can still read our original review below, but TopTenREVIEWS is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 used to be one of the fastest single-core graphics cards on the market. It was the number two card in Nvidia’s 200 series lineup. There's a big enough gap between this card and the GTX 295 that with the releases of ATI 5000 series, it looks weak. But looking analytically, it really isn’t weak at all. Video games are some of the most GPU-intensive software and the GTX 285 will play them all just fine. The real problem is that it’s the same price as the GTX 470, which is a clearly superior card.
It has a single core clocked at 648MHz which is no longer anything special. However, its shader clock speed is 1476MHz, which is quick, even now. That's about the only thing this GPU has going for it though. The computing performance of the card is only 1063 GFLOPs, with only 240 stream processors. Numbers aren’t everything, we know, but when nearly every number is low by quite a bit, your results will be the same.
Unlike the specs on the GPU portion of the GTX 285, the video memory is actually robust. The closest competitor to this Nvidia graphics card is probably the ATI Radeon HD 5770. Both cards have a single gigabyte of memory and are sitting close together when it comes to clock speed. The 285 has only 42MHz more than the 5770MHz, which you probably wouldn’t even notice. The ATI card does have the step up to GDDR5 memory but it doesn’t even touch this GTX card when it comes to bus width and bandwidth. The GTX has an impressive 512-bit bus width and a 159 bandwidth measurement. That's 4 times more bus width and just over twice as much bandwidth.
One of the many things that comes along with buying an Nvidia card is called PhysX. PhysX is the technology that Nvidia came up with to help realize the effects of nature and real life movement experiences and implement them into games. In other words, it was designed to make reactions more real. A good example would be an explosion in a game where someone is close enough to get thrown back. What would the body do, exactly, when it initially gets hit by the shockwave? What about the transition to flying through the air? The body position and the landing? Maybe it bounces a little against the ground? In real life all these things would be unique every time. In games, that usually isn’t the case. The goal is to make games more and more real, and PhysX is a step in that direction. It’s a step towards capturing the physics of the real world.
In short, this isn’t a bad graphics card by any means. Comparatively it looks weak but it isn’t to the extreme that you’d think. It’s a great graphics card and those that already have them won’t need to upgrade for a while yet. The one real flaw is the price. The 3rd party sellers need to take a bunch off the price so that it’s comparable. If they don’t, they’ll be sitting with a pretty big stock of Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 graphics cards for a very long time.