I picked up a GTX285 as an upgrade for my GTX260+ (reviewed here), so it’s time to put up some new benchmarks. As you may know, the GTX285 is nVidia’s 55nm variant of the original 65nm GT200 chip (my GTX260+ is 65nm too), along with higher clock speeds. It also has more shader units, texture units and ROPs than the GTX260+, along with a wider memory bus and 1 GB memory.
This article’s main focus will be the performance comparison between the GTX285 and the GTX260+, but the 4850 will be included whenever possible as a reference point. As such there will be a lot of combined mode anti-aliasing tests (the xS modes, which offer full screen super-sampling). These modes are not benchmarked in regular review circles, yet high-end parts really shine when using them. Note that these modes are exclusive to nVidia hardware, so it’s not possible to run them on the 4850 for a comparison.
For more information about the xS modes and how the vendors compare in terms of image quality, please see my image quality comparison article.
I’ve tested over 40 different games, some repeatedly across all three cards, so there’s bound to be something for everyone here. In many cases the settings I used are actual settings that I use when gaming. If you’re a fan of legacy gaming with super sampling AA, you’ll find the results particularly interesting.
Due to nVidia’s TrAA implementation being quite different to ATi’s AAA at times, I have not used TrAA/AAA in any tests where the 4850 is used. However when comparing the two nVidia cards with xS modes, I’ve used TrAA as indicated.
In the text charts, the % change column represents the percentage change of the 285 from the 260+, and it’s always highlighted green because the 285 is always faster.
Addendum: the video cards used in this review were selected because they were available to me from past upgrades that I paid for with my own money. By including a 4850, I am in NO WAY attempting to imply it’s in the same price or performance class as the GTX260+ or the GTX285. The 4850 has only been included as a matter of interest.