Use, Overclocking and Temperatures
Here's the screen that greets the users when they open GPU-Z. The most interesting parts of this screen can be found from the very top of the window. The revision is shown as B1 when the older 280GTX had a A2 revision. The technology has also changed from 65 nm to 55 nm. Other than those, the changes are mainly just frequency differences. This Gainward 285GTX runs at the reference clocks, meaning that the GPU, shaders, and memory run at 648 MHz, 1476 MHz, and 1242 MHz out of the box.
The Nvidia heatsink has gathered some fans after it has been released, and sure, it is a lot quieter than the AMD equilavent. The fan noises are kept down to reasonable levels even under load. The temperatures were checked by leaving the setup idle on the desktop and the load temperatures were gotten by looping 3DMark06s graphic-tests until the temperatures settled. The 285GTX idled at 41 centigrade and the load temperature evened out at 77 centigrade, both of which are good temperatures for such an power-hungry card.
While the fan on the heatsink didn't cause too much noise, the power circuitry of the card let me down once again. There is a buzzing sound coming from the card even at the desktop and the noise only gets worse when the card is loaded. The buzzing seems to be a problem that has plagued several different cards in the near history. To be honest the buzzing is more annoying than the sound of a fan, but luckily some of the noise is filtered out when the setup is placed inside a case.
Overclocking this card was fairly nice and easy. Rivatuner was my program of choice once again, and it really made adjusting the clocks easy. The GPU clock scaled pretty nicely, with clocking all the way to 730 MHz from 648 MHz, a fairly nice improvement. The shaders didn't seem to like to overclock that well with this card. Raising them over 1600 MHz would result in freezes in the benchmark programs. The best part, of this card atleast, was overclocking the memories. I was amazed how far their really stretched as I saw the first hints of corruption after raising their clocks over 1485 MHz (that is 2970 MHz effective) from their stock clocks of 1242 MHz (2482 MHz effective), which means that they were overclocked by almost a staggering 20%! The overclocked settings were used to run both 3DMarks and some other benchmarks to give you a feel on what the cards overclocked performance is like.
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