Why pay more?
Pros: Updated nVidia reference design (I received the revised version 2 layout board), same card as the other big names but cheaper, adequate packaging, free game included. Performance is roughly equivalent to 2 8800GTX Ultras in SLI. Only 2 6-pin PCI-E power connectors necessary. Excellent performance in all games at 2560x1600 on a 30" monitor.
Cons: Cooler is only held on with 4 screws. I haven't seen any other 285 GTX boards but I'm guessing Sparkle went a little cheap on the cooler. Looks adequate, but I'm using a waterblock so I don't care anyhow.
Other Thoughts: Up until recently all nVidia boards were based on the reference designs provided by nVidia. This is the 1st nVidia board I know of that uses a modified design, revised by EVGA and Zotac. Fortunately this design has become popular and all the aftermarket companies have revised their waterblocks to fit. Just be warned, the one I received was a Rev 2 so be sure to order the correct parts if you're going to mod it.
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Pros: Excellent video card, definitely feel and see the difference upgrading from 8800gts SLI
Cons: I think its stock HSF, not really a bad thing. Most companies stick with reference design. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Other Thoughts: gettting 80C on load. I don't know if its normal. Its summer and no AC. The room temperature is like 80F.
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