EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC Edition

by Rob Williams on March 1, 2009 in Graphics & Displays

When NVIDIA released their GTX 285 card last month, it became the fastest single-GPU card on the market, and that fact still remains. But with our insatiable appetite for more performance, we can’t help but be curious as to how the cards perform when overclocked. So let’s check that out, with the help of EVGA’s SSC Edition.

Page 7 – Mirror’s Edge

What was the last first-person game on the PC to truly blow you away, or offer some unique gameplay experience? New first-person shooters come out quite often, and while some show off some new features and gameplay twists, few of them truly regenerate the genre like we’d hope. Mirror’s Edge is a title that strived to do just that, and for the most part, I’d have to say they’ve done a great job.

First and foremost, Mirror’s Edge isn’t so much a first-person shooter as it is a first-person adventure game, because for the most part, combat isn’t the main focus. Throughout some of the few levels I played through, at times there could be a full ten-minute span without even seeing a single person, which is actually somewhat refreshing. The game focuses on figuring out the best way to get from point A to point B, heavily utilizing the parkour style of travel.

Most levels in Mirror’s Edge offers a similar level of system-intensity, so I based our choice on one that was fun to play through, and one that allowed an easily-replicable run-through. It takes place in chapter six, “Pirandello Kruger”, and Checkpoint A. We begin in a large building, behind a window, looking out at the city. Our run-through takes us outside of this building, down to the street and up to the top of the building shown to the right in the above screenshot.

Yet again, our EVGA’s card delivered great performance at all resolutions. Even our highest 2560×1600 could be enjoyed in just over 60 FPS. How do things change once PhysX is introduced?

Mirror’s Edge – PhysX Testing

If there’s one title that’s been burned in editor’s brains over the course of the past few months, it’s this one. NVIDIA has been quite proactive in making sure we know how great the game is, and with its heavy use of PhysX, it’s not hard to understand why they believe that. Luckily though, as I mentioned above, the game is actually quite fun, and unique, so I think it deserves to be pushed a little bit.

Since Mirror’s Edge is really the first commercial game to feature PhysX use throughout, I thought it’d be appropriate to test each card with the technology enabled, since it’s generally going to be something that people would want. Bear in mind, though, that ATI cards are automatic losers, simply because they are unable to accelerate PhysX on the GPU like NVIDIA’s cards can. For that reason, their cards are going to be unable to handle PhysX computation reliably at any resolution, regardless of the CPU. Using the old-school PhysX dedicated card would rid this problem, however.

Interestingly enough, the FPS drop at 2560×1600 is quite minor compared to the others, but all three still offer more than enough performance for silky-smooth gameplay.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Avg. FPS
NVIDIA GTX 295 1792MB x 2
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
118.680 FPS
NVIDIA GTX 285 1GB x 2
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
88.346 FPS
Zotac GTX 295 1792MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
70.562 FPS
EVGA GTX 285 1GB SSC Edition
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 8xAA
52.316 FPS
Zotac GTX 285 1GB AMP!
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
51.733 FPS
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
48.385 FPS
Palit GTX 280 1GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
44.806 FPS
Diamond HD 4870 1GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
41.452 FPS
XFX GTX 260/216 896MB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
38.122 FPS
Palit HD 4870 X2 2GB
2560×1600, Max Detail, 8xAA
35.297 FPS
Sapphire HD 4830 512MB
2560×1600 – Max Detail, 4xAA
32.589 FPS
Sapphire HD 4670 512MB
1920×1200 – Max Detail, 0xAA
39.204 FPS

In our above graphs, we saw that 4xAA was more than possible at all resolutions, and things don’t at all change with 8xAA. With that, we still managed to see 50+ FPS. Note that this is without PhysX, but even with it, we’d still have good frame rates. The game feels much smoother with it disabled at that resolution, however.

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Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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