Inspecting the GTX 285
The new GeForce GTX 285 looks very much like the GeForce GTX 280 that came before it, save for a few minor differences. For the purposes of this article, we procured a reference GeForce GTX 285 and a full-retail version from EVGA, that also happened to be factory overclocked.
As you can see, the GeForce GTX 285 has a very similar appearance to the GeForce GTX 280 it will eventually be replacing. There are some differences worth noting, however. The GeForce GTX 285, for example, does not feature a cover over the back side of the PCB like the 280, instead the backside is left exposed. The GTX 285's dual-link DVI outputs and HDTV output are unchanged from the 280, but the 285 has a longer set of ventilation holes alongside the DVI outputs, that run almost the full length of the bracket. There is also a slight curve at the front of the GTX 285's fan shroud where it meets the case bracket, whereas it's perfectly straight on the 280.
Looking at the card, you can see that it is still has a dual-slot form factor, despite the die-shrunk GPU. And a pair of SLI connectors reside along the top edge of the card. Like the GTX 280, the new GeForce GTX 285 supports up to a 3-way SLI configuration.
The EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition card you see pictured here looks much like the reference card above, expect for the EVGA decals affixed to the fan shroud, but there are some differences to point out with regard its specs.
First, let's get some particulars out of the way. The EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition, is the first retail-ready GTX 285 to arrive in the lab. Like most other EVGA cards, the GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition carries a lifetime warranty. It ships with the usual compliment of accessories including a pair of PCI Express power adapters (both of the 6-pin variety), a DVI-to-VGA adapter, an S/PDIF digital audio pass-through cable, a DVI to HDMI adapter, a driver CD, an EVGA case badge, and a user's manual. There were no games bundled with the card, but EVGA does include a coupon to get a 10% discount on up to 5 games or CUDA enabled applications through the nZone Global website.
The EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition may not have an over the top accessory bundle, but its specifications stand out. Whereas NVIDIA's reference specifications call for a 648MHz core clock and a 1476MHz shader clock, with 1242MHz (2484MHz DDR) memory, EVGA's offering sports a 702MHz core clock, with 1584MHz shaders, and 1323MHz (2646MHz DDR) memory. Those bumps in frequency should give the card a nice boost in performance, especially as resolutions increase.