XFX GTX285 Black Edition ReviewRHKCommander959 -
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The XFX GTX285 Black Edition was the fastest single GPU option in all of the tests, minus Fallout 3, and even put up a good fight with the dual-GPU options. The fan on this card was not loud, with an idle speed of 40% and maximum of 56% under load for measured fan speed. The card never ran over 80 Celsius at load, and idled in the high 30s. The heat dump was high; the air was warm but not toasty. Cranking the fan speed up got things loud and air moving good, helping with overclocking stability a bit after the point I had it set for. The temperature drop was good on the load-side with stock thermal paste. The removal of the back plate, combined with the fact that the screws use springs instead of the direct clamping pressure of regular screws, may also contribute to the temperatures, although this card had excellent idle and load temperatures.
The clock speed, power and overall efficiency were definitely increased with the die shrink from 65nm to 55nm, as this card does very well against the older GTX280. It even put up a good fight with the dual-GPU solutions, while using less energy. This card is also one of the higher clocked GTX285s out, and the memory is running at 1300MHz instead of the reference 1242MHz. 1300MHz is the stock speed of these chips however, so they are not overclocked.
Unfortunately, the card does cost a bit, and extreme overclocking is seemingly crippled since software voltage adjustment was dropped with the switch to 55nm, but an end overclock of 11% over stock reference clocks is still good. The card had a little headroom left, but required much more tweaking for full stability. The perks that come with a card this prestigious are worth the extra pennies, including the support and double-lifetime transferable warranty. The card also Folds excellently for you folders out there! For the best non-SLI/Crossfire performance, this is the card to have. The price is at a premium, but so is the quality and support.
- Good running temperature
- Some overclock headroom left
- Nice bundle of accessories
- Free game
- Customer support / Black Edition membership