NVIDIA has been on the charge this past fortnight with a pair of graphics cards that lead the way in terms of performance. Last week it was the GeForce GTX 295, a £400 heavyweight that stands alone as the fastest single-board graphics card in the world.
This week it's the GeForce GTX 285, NVIDIA's second 55nm part and one that takes the crown of fastest single-GPU graphics card. Despite its performance credentials, though, the card launched yesterday with a whopping-great asking price of around £315 for a stock-clocked model.
Fast it may be, but when a similar-performance Radeon HD 4850 X2 can be had for just £260, we found the latest-greatest GeForce very tough to recommend. Echoing our thoughts, HEXUS.community member sleepyhead added "at that cost, you may as well go the whole hog and get a GTX295".
Furthermore, with performance leadership back in its grasp, NVIDIA's new high-end pricing has somehow inadvertently made rival AMD offerings appear to be very good value for money.
Inflated launch-day prices for the GeForce GTX 295 are slowly-but-surely being eradicated, now let's take a look at GeForce GTX 285 pricing and availability some 24 hours after launch. Here's our summary:
|etailer||Product||Availability||Price (inc. VAT)|
|SCAN.co.uk||GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 285||In stock||£321.17|
|ASUS GeForce GTX 285||In stock||£332.67|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 285||In stock||£332.67|
|BFG GeForce GTX 285 OC||In stock||£332.67|
|XFX GeForce GTX 285||In stock||£344.17|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SC||Pre-order||£355.67|
|BFG GeForce GTX 285 OC2||Pre-order||£355.67|
|XFX GeForce GTX 285 XXX||In stock||£367.17|
|XFX GeForce GTX 285 Black Edition||Pre-order||£367.36|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 285 SSC||Pre-order||£369.15|
|BFG GeForce GTX 285 OCX||Pre-order||£378.67|
|As always, UK-based HEXUS.community discussion forum members will benefit from the SCAN2HEXUS Free Shipping initiative, which will save you a further few pounds plus also top-notch, priority customer service and technical support backed up by the SCANcare@HEXUS forum.|
|dabs.com||GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 285||In stock||£315.98|
|XFX GeForce GTX 285||Pre-order||£306.99|
|XFX GeForce GTX 285 Black Edition||Pre-order||£355.99|
|XFX GeForce GTX 285 XXX||Pre-order||£323.98|
|ebuyer.com||ZOTAC GeForce GTX 285||In stock||£294.99|
|ASUS GeForce GTX 285||In stock||£329.99|
Availability, then, is fairly widespread with generous availability from the likes of Scan, Dabs and Ebuyer.
From the three aforementioned etailers, the cheapest in-stock offering is Zotac's GeForce GTX 285, available from Ebuyer.com at a cost of £294.99. Readers should note, however, that the lowest GeForce GTX 285 price is still some £20 more than a pre-overclocked GeForce GTX 280 - a card that's likely to offer similar performance.
Overclocked models range in price from around £320 all the way up to the dizzy heights of £380. Far too close to the performance-leading GeForce GTX 295, and making very little sense, we feel.
While availability looks good, and prices appear to be edging down to £300 or less, it remains hard to ignore the cheaper alternatives - namely the Radeon HD 4850 X2 for £260 and the overclocked GeForce GTX 280 for £275.
Moving on, how about pricing in the rest of Europe and the US? Head on over to Page 2 for an up-to-date comparison.