Motherboard: MSI P45D3 Platinum ( Provided by: MSI );
Processor: Intel Core 2 QX9770 Extreme edition at 3.6GHz ( Provided by: Intel );
Memory: Corsair Dominator 12800 7-7-7-24 ( Provided by: Corsair);
HDD: WD VelociRaptor 300G 10,000RPM ( Provided by: SmoothCreation );
Driver: AMD 9-4_vista32_win7_32_dd_ccc_wdm_enu.exe
Vista 32 SP1
MSI’s card runs 30MHz faster than the reference card, and it results in slightly higher scores.
All the games are playable even at the highest 2560x1600 resolution with antialiasing and anisotropic filters on and detail settings at maximum.
Left 4 Dead
World in Conflict
Overclocking the N285GTX Super Pipe OC card depends on the GPU cooling, and our highest overclock to 740MHz required fans running at maximum RPM. Default fan RPM couldn’t muster more than 718MHz. The main question here is whether you want to sacrifice the silence for some additional muscle. The memory did well with our overclocking, and we managed to push it by as much as 130MHz (260MHz effectively).
Overclocking resulted in 8% better scores in FarCry 2 at all of the four tested resolutions.
MSI N285 GTX Super Pipe OC isn’t quite what you’d call cool while gaming, but at the same time it’s far from dangerous levels. The reference GTX 285 is only 1-2°C hotter, but MSI’s card is completely silent unlike the reference card. When the fans are set to run at maximum RPM on MSI’s card, the GPU temperatures don’t exceed 69°C.
MSI card’s consumption is good, and it consumes slightly more than the GTX 275 during operation. In idle mode both cards consume about the same (+/-2%).
MSI N285GTX Super Pipe OC comes with non-reference cooling, and it found its way place in the card’s name as well. Basically it’s a cooler with two 8mm heatpipes, dubbed SuperPipe by MSI, and it enables faster heat transfer to the heatsink. The cooler is dual slot and has two small fans which stay silent even in 3D mode. Core temperatures are slightly lower than on the reference cards, but it’s the silent operation that sets this card apart from the pack. If you crave lower temperatures that won’t be a problem either, but know that it will make your card a bit louder.
Although the core is factory overclocked to 680MHz, shader clocks were left unchanged. The memory could be considered as non-overclocked as well, as it’s only 8MHz faster than the reference 1242MHz.
The card comes with Tomb Raider Underworld gift game, which is a nice touch and should make this card a bit more appealing. Note that Geforce GTX 285 is the fastest single-GPU card on the market, and MSI’s slightly overclocked N285 GTX SuperPipe OC produces slightly better results than those scored by the reference card. Additional overclocking to 740MHz however, boosts the results by about 8%.
The N285GTX SuperPipe OC’s €322,- price point seems justified when taking into account that the reference card is about €290. The card packs non-reference cooling and comes with a gift game, so if you want the fastest single-GPU card but at the same time prefer quiet operation, then look no further than MSI’s N285GTX SuperPipe OC card.