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Steping Up. With NO cash limit! 285 or 275?

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April 15, 2009 8:49:20 PM

I currently have 2 EVGA GTX 260 core 216s in SLI, but am going to step up to either 2 GTX 275s or 285s. The cost difference is considerable, but I'm willing to spend the money.

Is the 512-bit of the 285 better than the 448-bit of the 275?
And is 1024MB that much better than 896MB?
Which one has more overclocking potential?
Which one will perform better with future games (not considering DX11)?

What do you think?

I will be running at 1920x1080. I have read all of the reviews, now I'm just looking for your thoughts and opinions! Thanks in advanced for any input!
April 15, 2009 10:06:04 PM

To be honest bro iv'e never thought or noticed a difference with the MBS in a card, its not a big difference, i really would go with the 275, either way these cards are amazing and can run high demanding games ;) ,
April 15, 2009 10:35:31 PM

I just stepped up to the 285 a week before the 275 came out, and I honestly have to say I'm a little peeved. Although the 285 is better than the 275, the 275 is $100 cheaper, by FAR the better deal. The extra $100 really can't be justified on the 285.
April 15, 2009 10:36:34 PM

+ 1 , your not going to see a ton of improvement if you get the 285 over the 275 but what system specs do you have?
April 15, 2009 10:56:43 PM

I have an i7 at 2.8GHZ and 12GB of 1333mhz OCZ RAM, and a Corsair TX850... and two WD Caviar Blacks @7200 RPM and 32mb of cache in RAID1.

I'm #1 and #2 in the queue for the 285s so I think I'll just stay with that and pay for them when i can. I was at the front of the GTX 275 queue earlier this week but canceled out of it when I saw I could still step up to the 285s.

What exactly does the increased memory bandwidth accomplish? And there are 4 more ROPs in the GTX 285... Shouldn't that allow for greater use of AA and AF?
a b U Graphics card
April 15, 2009 11:02:18 PM

I'd stick with the sli 260's tbh.
April 15, 2009 11:11:52 PM

Why's that jennyh?
April 15, 2009 11:20:38 PM

dekleining said:
Why's that jennyh?


If you're not getting any problems as it is then there's no point in upgrading right now, should some more demanding games come out or you need the extra power in the future get them then when the prices will have come down, otherwise you're not going to see that much of a difference.
April 15, 2009 11:22:37 PM

Forget the 100 more... I just want to get the best possible performance for crysis, crysis warhead, world in conflict, far cry 2, etc...

Which card will last longer, which card is built the best, which will offer better performance? which card will support the FUTURE?
Most importantly, which will be COOLER. Reviews show the 275 hitting 90C !!!

What do you guys think?

I already had the chance to send my cards in for the 275s but canceled and applied for the 285s. So either talk me out of it or tell me they are awesome cards. Hahah.

Thanks for all your input.
April 15, 2009 11:27:40 PM

dekleining said:
Forget the 100 more... I just want to get the best possible performance for crysis, crysis warhead, world in conflict, far cry 2, etc...

Which card will last longer, which card is built the best, which will offer better performance? which card will support the FUTURE?
Most importantly, which will be COOLER. Reviews show the 275 hitting 90C !!!

What do you guys think?

I already had the chance to send my cards in for the 275s but canceled and applied for the 285s. So either talk me out of it or tell me they are awesome cards. Hahah.

Thanks for all your input.


They are awsome cards, I think you should get 12 more
a b U Graphics card
April 15, 2009 11:27:54 PM

Well yes sli 275's/285's will be better but the difference will be so minor in almost every game you play that you wont even notice.

2x260's in sli are already too good for most games, even at 1920x1080. If you had a 30" monitor at 2560x1900 then maybe it would make sense to upgrade but what you have now is really good enough and then some.

The reason you shouldn't upgrade now is we are due a new series soonish from ATI and I guess Nvidia will have theirs released around the same time. This is why most of the cards you mentioned aren't all that future-proof. If you really want a future-proof card then you have to buy a new series gpu within a couple of months of it being released.

All we are getting from both ATI and Nvidia right now are 'optimised' versions of what is almost 1 year old tech. The next tech will obsolete everything below it, just ask anyone who bought a 3870x2 or 9800gx2. Note that both of those cards are still decent enough today - but are you the sort of person who will be happy with 'decent enough' or will you again be looking to upgrade your overpriced gpu's in 6 months - 1 year again?

That's why I'd stick with the sli 260's if I were you, then make a big upgrade with the new series gpu's in a few months time.
April 15, 2009 11:33:15 PM

well.... if you really want good stuff with no cash limit then just get 295
a c 275 U Graphics card
April 15, 2009 11:37:25 PM

Well said, jennyh.

If heat is an issue, the 55nm parts should run cooler. Check to see if the candidate upgrades are 55nm.

Otherwise, how about looking into better case cooling?
a b U Graphics card
April 15, 2009 11:37:39 PM

Tbh, I seriously doubt anything can be faster than quadfire 4890's right now. That means a 790fx mobo however.
April 15, 2009 11:38:16 PM

GTX 285 are awesome cards. You will obviosly see a huge improvement in Crysis and Warhead, but I cant say the same for the other games as you must be playing them maxed out anyways.

Ill stick to your setup if I were you and buy your proposed setup when A) There are more games taking advantages of the cards at that resolution. B) When I am upgrading my montor. C) Prices of GTX 285 fall by another 75 USD.

So, in a nutshell, if you really got money to burn, do it. On another note, I am going to upgrade from my Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop (having 8600m GT) to a desktop having a 4870 or 260. Wish I could upgrade like you........lol..

Happy gaming mate....!!!!!
April 15, 2009 11:43:03 PM

^+1 and also listen to what jennyh says. 260 SLI is more than enough. Wait until GT212 comes out for an upgrade. The cheapest 275 is $250 and the cheapest 285 is $340 from EVGA. Don't know how prices will differ with step-up. But $90 per card is not worth it.
April 16, 2009 5:28:57 AM

Alright here's the deal... I only have 65 days left to step up... is that around Q2? Will there potentially be anything new out within the next 2 months? If so, I'll cancel and wait...
a c 107 U Graphics card
April 16, 2009 6:32:06 AM

The 275 can be overclocked somewhat. The 285 on the other hand doesn't seem to have any overclocking potential. I'm wondering if the 275 has a better PCB layout, but whatever. Anyway the advantage of 2x GTX285 over 2x GTX275s is generally very small. The 285s only pull ahead in the few cases where the extra RAM gets used. Take a look at some of the 275 reviews where they compare both cards in SLI. I don't think it's worth the extra money. Of course if it was me I'd just get another 260sp216 and overclock and SLI them.
April 16, 2009 6:40:16 AM

I'm a college kid, and when the year starts back up after this summer, I won't have the same cash flow either. So I'm kinda just looking to upgrade and be happy until I feel like upgrading again a year or so later.
With that in mind I'm leaning towards the 285s.
That and the fact that I'm #1 in the queue. And I'd probably be #890765298356 in the queue for the 275.

And if I don't spend this money now on cards, it'll probably just go towards fast food and books etc, and I won't be able to appreciate my hard earned cash if it's not spent in one place on something I love.
Granted, the GT212 with 300+ SPs looks great, but will they be released within the next 65 days? Because that's the limit of my Stepup.
a b U Graphics card
April 16, 2009 8:53:51 AM

+1 for jennyh...
The 260 SLI is more than suffice for the 1080P resolution...
And as you still have 65 days left, stick with the 260 for now...and if the GT212 Q2 release is true, get that else there is still the 275/285...
April 16, 2009 11:02:30 AM

^+1
April 16, 2009 5:28:50 PM

^ Everybody knows that. Its just that you don't get enough of a boost in performance for the extra cash.
April 16, 2009 5:47:11 PM

@ rags_20

but the OP has said numerous times that money does not play a factor, so i was making it as clear as i could to help him make his decision.
April 16, 2009 7:30:52 PM

one other thing if u have no cash limit than why dont u go with one of these....

GTX 295
HD 4870X2

or even...

(2) GTX 285 SLI
(2) HD 4890 Crossfire
April 16, 2009 7:59:34 PM

megamanx00 said:
Of course if it was me I'd just get another 260sp216 and overclock and SLI them.



I agree, Do you have 3 or 4 PCI-E slots? A 3rd GTX260-216 will save $$$ and give you more power that two 275's or two 285's.
That will bide you over untill the new cards come out.

What processor, i7?
April 17, 2009 12:45:49 AM

lasoski311 said:
one other thing if u have no cash limit than why dont u go with one of these....

GTX 295
HD 4870X2

or even...

(2) GTX 285 SLI
(2) HD 4890 Crossfire
Or even 285 SLI? 4890 CF? You haven't been paying attention at all. He has money for a 285 SLI step-up. He wants to know whether it is worth it or if he'd be better off spending on 275s and use the rest for burgers or whatever. Its not like he has a vault full of $100 bills.
a b U Graphics card
April 20, 2009 11:36:26 PM

lasoski311 said:
@ rags_20

but the OP has said numerous times that money does not play a factor, so i was making it as clear as i could to help him make his decision.



If money wasn't a factor then future proofing wouldn't be a factor either. You'd just buy the best and keep upgrading to the best if money truly wasn't a factor.
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2009 12:06:48 AM

Dang, I really want to buy two GTX260... >_>
April 21, 2009 12:10:12 AM

well what I would understand would be that he wants the best money could buy and get future proofing, I don't know why ppl are over complicating the situation.

Look at the question like this, if he would've asked the question during the 8800 honour days, the answer could be, money is no factor grab the 8800 Ultra, which even today can best some of the more modern cards From what I've seen, from its bus width and power, it should be ranked around the 4850. Which isn't bad at all for what 2-3 years being out.
So I guess then the best money could buy is the 285 GTX, which has the lonest lasting appeal from a card. Not far off from that, in my opinion would be the 4890, and then the 275 GTX.

If your not afraid of going dual GPU cards, I'd go for the 295 GTX or the new 295 GTX which is single PCB.

If I wanted top of the food chain, and money was no problem, the 285 GTX is my choice.

But if you want to be a bit more precautious, and save (what could be alot of money for the performance) the 4890 is your choice.

OC the 4890 to 1000 mhz or so and pretty much have a card thats the same strength as the 285 GTX give or take.

Though if you don't have money limit, the 285 GTX can be bought, have stock performance like that and have the potential for OC.

K good luck
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2009 12:17:08 AM

There is more to it than raw 'fps' liquid. Those 8800 ultras cannot compete at the highest settings nowadays. They can't do dx10.1, granted no Nvidia card can but at least a 260gtx will be able to go full out AA+AF whereas an 8800 ultra will die.

I know it's still a decent enough card, but at the price they are still commanding it's ridiculous. You can probably buy a 4850 on ebay and it beats the 8800 ultra hands down in just about every single test yet 8800 ultras still sell for more second hand.
April 21, 2009 12:30:07 AM

yes but your missing the point, the 8800 GTX ultra came out around 2 years before the ultra right?

So what? wait 2 yrs for the 4850?

I'm telling you right now, if my laptop 9700M GTS, can max out almost any game @ 1440x900 with 2X or 4X AA...I don't think it should be that much of a problem for the much stronger 8800 GTX and don't forget that the 8800 GTX has a bus width of 384 or something like that, which gives it an edge over certain 512 cards with AA and high resolutions.

Don't sell the 8800 ultras short even for todays standards. But I'm tell you right now, if 3 8800s could pretty much match 2 9800 GX2s, which both were a little weaker than 2 280s, trust me thats very impressive.

Your statement just doesn't make sense, you say that its more than just raw fps, yet after you say the 8800 Ultras cannot compete with highest setting, I dunno what your saying there because either your saying the 8800 have alot of raw power and contradiction your self in the 2nd sentance or welll...there is no or...

Now for your last statement, that 4850s sell for less even now, well thats not really a valid argument, because we're talking about then not now for the 8800s.

Now the 285 GTX will stomp the 4850, but it comes at a price right? So frankly we're not talking about buying the 285 GTX 2 yrs from now when the 5850 will be out for a lower price...we're talking about future proofing a present card as much as possible.

Future proofing is a "myth" but you need to take his statement with a grain of salt. IN other words, I want to pay 1,000$ and I want to make sure that it won't die as fast as 500$ card would.

Look at who bought the 8600 GTs at the time, or the 8800 GTS 320s, even at 1280x1024, the 8800 GTS 320 was crippled during its time, (i had 2 in sli), and they were each half the price of the 8800 GTX/Ultra...while the 8800 GTX can still play certain games at high res, with or with out AA.

And yes jenny it is about raw frames, thats what video cards do, produce the frames you want. yes today your getting 100 uneccessary frames but down the road, your frames will come down, and it will be worth the extra penny you paid (roll of the dice).
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2009 12:52:50 AM

It's not *just* about raw frames. People can still score almost 20k with sli'd 8800's on 3dmark 06 if they have a 4ghz+ cpu. My 4870 and Q6600 will never get to 20k, hell even if I xfired them i still probably wouldn't hit 20k. If we moved to 1900x1200 and 4xAA, 16xAF then we'd see a whole different story.

The same is true for a card like the 8800 ultra vs a 4850. The 8800 might score higher in ancient games like Doom 3 or UT on 1280x1024 but as soon as you move up a few screen sizes, and add a bunch of AA or AF the 4850 will go well ahead.

New archictectures do a lot more for graphics than just raw frames per second. I wasn't talking about then btw - just check ebay and you'll see for yourself that 8800 ultras are selling for MORE than 4850's are second hand. Today.
April 21, 2009 1:08:30 AM

re read my post plz, your misunderstanding it completely.

I said even though the 8800 Ultra is more exp now second hand, we're not talking about now, we're talking about then...I wouldn't recommend a 8800 GTX now, just LIke I wouldn't recommend a 285 GTX 2 yrs from now.

As for you just frames remark, ur missing my whole point, even with new arch design the graphic card shouldn't take too much of a hit, since it does have raw power.

Same situation with DX 10 and 10.1, although the 285 GTX can't benefit from the free AA, it has raw power to back it up, in the lost frames. (In other words, it has from where to lose, its like gambling extra money laying around, well you still haven't touched your actually money, just the extra money that happens to be there)

Now then about a year ago, the 3870 X2 came out, and exchanged blows with the 8800 GTX ultra, usually winning. now then, thats 1 year after the 8800 Ultra was released, Are we on the same page? now during that time, we had 8800 GT arch and the 8800 GTS 512 arch, which is basically what we still have today in present time from Nvidia. So really although ur right about arch, it just doesn't apply in this case, since the 8800 GTX is around the 9800 GTX (8800 GTS actually) for game performance, which when compared even in todays standards those cards still do well.

Now then let me say this again, not all of us CAN WAIT 2 years for ANOTHER 4850 to come around to be dirt cheap and offer better frames.

The OP is asking whats the best card, that money can buy, that will show some lasting power...JUST LIKE THE 8800 GTX, which I'm sure alot of users that still have the card, can confirm that even at 1920x1200 this card still shows some pull.

And please don't bring synthetic benchmarks up, the 1 3870 X2 beat 2 9800 GX2s in my old system in 3Dmark06, so theres no point in bring that up.

Again I'm not saying the 8800 GTX is cheaper or more exp than the 4850 now, that doesn't matter, the point is, that card came out 2 years ago, and if you can still compare it to card in todays term (I know for sure its around 8800 GT speed atleast, which should be 10-15% slower than the 4850), then thats a damn good card.

3 years later, we're still using DX 10 barely.
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2009 10:05:57 AM

The 285 might be ok in 2 years time, in fact it will probably be a lot like the 8800 ultra is now. A 260 will probably be a lot like the 8800gt in 2 years time.

I just don't see the point in upgrading to a 285 when you already have a 260, especially with future proofing in mind.
a b U Graphics card
April 21, 2009 12:33:00 PM

If I may put my 2 coppers in:


Being an upgrade junkie myself, knowing what it's like to have that bug in your head, and knowing that eventually I'd end up doing it anyhow:

I would recommend stepping up to a pair of 275's, with the full recognition they're overkill for my current resolution but also with the confidence they'll do every thing I need...


Right up to next year, when I change the OS to Win 7 and grab a DX11 setup. Again: With the full understanding it's overkill... Yeah, I know it's a waste...




But my OCD won't accept anything else...
April 21, 2009 1:02:23 PM

the only reason I didn't recommend the 275 GTX, is because they seem like 285s that didn't make it, I'd feel alot more confident in 1 4890 with 1 gig Vram and DX 10.1 capabilities, than a 260 GTX with SP 240, and the very unfortunate 448 bit bus width.

Plus if money is no issue, like the user said, why settle for a hybrid when you can get the full force of the card.

My choices in order are:

285 GTX > 4890 > 275 GTX.
April 21, 2009 3:01:52 PM

Stick with your choice of the 285's dekleining of your two upgrade choices you'll at least see some (not a ton in most games) of difference in performance upgrade that way. Worst case if you do choose to get next gen cards when they come out the 285's will sell better than 260's will.
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