Foxconn GeForce 9800GTX Reviewccokeman - May 14, 2008
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So what's the upside to the 9800GTX over the 8800GTX? Performance-wise, it did not provide the world dominating performance increase that the G80 8800GTX did when it was first introduced. As enthusiasts, many times if the performance increase on the replacement for a successful product (video card in this case) is not considerable, then the product is considered a flop by many of those same enthusiasts. But the 9800GTX is nowhere near the flop side of the fence. Sure, the performance increase over the G92 8800GTS and G80 8800GTX is not as significant as the world would like to see, but it still is an increase. The Foxconn 9800GTX came out on top in roughly 68% of the benchmark tests run when compared to the single GPU cards. The multiple GPU cards were shown to see just how well the 9800GTX performed against them. Surprisingly, the GTX kept pace when overclocked and actually competed with both dual GPU cards in the benchmarking when at the maximum overclock.
It is now almost two months past the launch date for the 9800GTX and the pricing is still in the $285 to $360 range, depending on the manufacturer. This price point is about half of what the 8800GTX sold for as little as six months ago and is less than its current going rate of about $380. Performance for the dollars spent makes the 9800GTX a wise investment. If the performance of one card is not enough, the 9800GTX is able to be used in a Tri SLI configuration, much like the G80 8800GTX and Ultra. According to Nvidia, the cards scale well as a multi GPU setup with Tri SLI providing a 2.5x performance increase as an added bonus.
Overclocking the 9800GTX results in a nice performance boost, eclipsing the performance of the multi GPU solutions in several of the game benchmarks. The clockspeed increase on the GPU core of 152MHz and the increase on the memory of 116MHz represent 18.5% and 9% increases, respectively. If you need additional performance, it's there for the taking. With the drivers not cooperating when I set the fan speeds manually, temperatures were automatically controlled. Even so, the highest temperature I witnessed was 69 degrees Celsius coming out of an extended run of Call of Duty 4 at max settings with a resolution of 1920x1200. One thing I noticed, or more accurately, failed to notice, was the noise from the fan on the Foxconn card. As with the others I have tested, when automatically controlled it stays dead silent and kept the temperatures respectable even under load.
The 9800GTX is Hybrid Power compatible, meaning that when used in conjunction with a Hybrid SLI/Power capable motherboard, the 9800GTX can be turned off in non-demanding 2D graphic situations, while still offering all of the 3D performance needed when called upon. It's just one way to reduce the overall power consumption of the system. Saving power is a good thing in today's climate of escalating energy costs. Able to offer an increase in performance over the previous generation of cards, offer the energy savings we need, multiple GPU scaling for a massive increase in performance, High Definition capabilities, the 9800GTX can be all things to all people. Add in that it comes at an attractive price point well below that of the 9800GX2, and you have it all, price, performance and flexibility.
- Overclocking potential
- Runs cool
- HDMI Certified
- Tri SLI Capable
- Fan control