There has never been a better time to buy a video card because the market right now is massively competitive. Those of you who will have read our recent 4890 roundup will already be aware that for a modest outlay of around £140/$220 you can end up with a killer graphics card for your new affordable, yet very capable gaming system.
Today we look at a higher price bracket for those who demand a little extra and there is no better card to focus on than the massively successful, and extremely powerful 285 GTX from Nvidia. We have been noticing the prices of these cards dropping recently and rather than focus on a plethora of 1gb versions we thought it would be interesting to focus on possibly the cheapest 2gb 285 GTX available from lesser known manufacturer Sparkle. This card retails for around $390 in the states right now which is extremely competitive for such a high end board.
So why are we focusing on a 2GB Nvidia card today? Simple, with a 2GB card you are giving yourself a higher level of future proofing and already games on the market such as Grand Theft Auto IV demand huge levels of video memory to get maximum draw distance and a higher quality of texturing. When you combine this with full support for physX you are set to be in a strong position for games being released over the coming year.
To help ascertain the performance you will get we will look at the differences you can expect when upgrading from a reference design 1GB 4890 to the Sparkle 2GB 285 GTX.
We base the system build around the powerful, yet extremely affordable Phenom II 965 Black Edition and the very capable Asus Crosshair III Formula motherboard - this is the same system we used in our 4890 roundup last week.