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GeForce GTX 285 On Water Cooling: Zotac's Infinity Edition

Conclusion

The Zotac GeForce GTX 285 Infinity Edition uses a lot of memory and moderate GPU overclocks to achieve notable performance gains compared to reference-spec cards. But the solution is most certain to grab the attention of performance fanatics who would have otherwise considered an overclocked GeForce GTX 285 and separate liquid-cooling water block.

Here's the rub: the card hasn't shown up yet at e-tail. As the availability story changes, we'll update this space to reflect Zotac's value-proposition for the enthusiasts looking to stack two or three of these in a high-performance SLI configuration, where heat is public enemy number one.

Initial estimates from Zotac peg the card around $519. Stock GeForce GTX 285s go for somewhere around $360 online. And the Danger Den water block sells for $145. In other words, buying pre-configured from Zotac will cost close to the sum of its parts, netting you a guaranteed overclock and two-year warranty (that's upgraded to "lifetime" coverage if you register the card immediately after purchasing it).

Our biggest reservation in outright recommending it over the competing model out there with an identical cooler is that the competition provides its card with a single-slot bracket. While we won't directly compare the two, since we don't have that other board on hand to test thermals, power, or performance, its single-slot mounting could open up three additional expansion slots when used in a 3-way SLI configuration. Zotac offers superior clock speeds, but buyers must weigh that advantage against any lost slot access.

Our previous 3-way SLI articles have shown good reasons to choose liquid cooling when multiple cards are installed back-to-front, but it’s up to the buyer to decide which liquid cooled solution is best for his or her needs.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • acasel
    It would be better if we could see how well the zotac overclocked card overclocked.. In other words pushed to the limits.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Page 2, 5th paragraph down. It's there ;-)
    Reply
  • 54 deg C above ambient for W/C 285GTX makes no sense.
    The temperature of my 8800GTS 512 running GPU at 800Mhz (from 650MHz) + W/C southbridge and 2 X 120 Radiator. My rig maxes out at 27 Deg C above ambient.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    gothminst3r54 deg C above ambient for W/C 285GTX makes no sense. The temperature of my 8800GTS 512 running GPU at 800Mhz (from 650MHz) + W/C southbridge and 2 X 120 Radiator. My rig maxes out at 27 Deg C above ambient.
    Perhaps the chosen liquid cooling system doesn't have enough pressure.
    Reply
  • MikePHD
    Wow! Was this supposed to fool us into thinking they knew anything about watercooling... this arcticle is a joke. Why does the water cooled card not get overclocked, while on the same token, the "air" card gets overclocked the hell out of.

    This is obviously not the limit of water cooling, it's either the product of a very lame product, or the testers ignorance of water setups.
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    I wonder why you bothered doing this article? As we can all agree this card only makes sense if you plan on putting it in a very tight place, or have 2-3 of them in a chassis. So why didn't you request 3 cards and compare it to a standard 3 card setup? The interesting thing would be to see if it actually helps enough to make a 3sli setup doable longterm. As it is, all the article shows is that the watercooling used is inadequate for the task it was given.
    Reply
  • rubix_1011
    It's really sad that you chose to use the Big Water kit to push the cooling on the GPU instead of incorporating the CPU loop with the GPU using the far superior 655 pump and just adding an additional radiator instead. Your temps of 56+ C are way to high for a watercooled component...you shouldn't see more than 40C at load, especially with that waterblock. You are crippling the temps and the basis of your entire article by using sub-par components in your tests. Anyone who watercools knows that today's GPUs need at minimum a 220 or similar surface area radiator to expend the heat being produced...same goes for your i7 CPU...but it looks like you have at least a 320 on it. You should have run a series loop and just added an additional 120 or 220 radiator/fans and been done with it. You'd have had much happier temp results.
    Reply
  • grevaeg
    Would make alot more sense to put in a decent watercooling setup... this test doesnt give anyone ANY idea how a watercooling kit can perform...

    Currently running two q9550 and a 4870+ a 4870x2 on my loop.. never gets anything near ur single rad setup on a single card and cpu. Have never seen the temp going past 30c at home.
    Reply
  • Kaldor
    Good card and cooler. Bad article.

    You guys need to invest in a decent radiator and pump if you want to test liquid cooled components. A D5 and a MCR 220 isnt that expensive.

    At least Zotac used a good cooler. Much better than the garbage EVGA uses on their cards. Al+Cu=lose.
    Reply
  • marraco
    A bit off topic:

    The first picture shows a case fan stating to get dusty.

    The fan flaps already are white-brown.

    On my city, fans become very dusty really fast. They end occluding radiators, and air vents. I even cutted out all the metal grid on the case, to reduce dust retention. but still it is catched on the metal borders.
    I wish there where something to do about it. maybe some liquid or painting, or some trick to repel dust, or make it less adhesive.

    (my father have a German shepper dog, and the last time I opened his case, it was completely full of dog hair.... fun)

    If somebody read this, and know a fixing (not involving dogs), please, post.
    Reply