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Gigabyte 9800GT Review

ccokeman    -   August 28, 2008
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Conclusion:

So what does the Gigabyte 9800GT offer to you, the purchasing public? It offers the performance of a G92 based 8800GT. Why, you ask? In essence they are one and the same. Each card offers identical specifications with little added in the way of features. Pure Video HD and Hybrid power capabilities have been added. Of course, you will need the prerequisite Hybrid power capable motherboard to take advantage of this power saving feature. Other than that, there is not much new. What is new, is the cooling solution used on this 9800GT. Manufactured by Zalman, this cooling solution kept the Gigabyte 9800GT nice and cool to the tune of 61 degrees Celsius when under load, while over volted and overclocked. All this while looking good and not being audible from outside the chassis. As good as this cooling solution works, there is a downside to this type of cooling solution. Good case airflow is a must, since the heat is dumped into the enclosed case. I saw an increase of 4 degrees Celsius with just the addition of the card to my test setup. Not major, but something to be aware of.

When it came time to push the 9800GT from Gigabyte, the card responded quite well to the increases in clock and memory speeds. In fact, this card overclocked better than any of the 8800GT (it's really the same thing) cards OCC has tested. With the increases in clock speeds, came the improvement in frame rates across the whole benchmark suite. Pretty impressive! Part of the praise has to go to Gigabyte for including a small application with the 9800GT to help achieve the massive clock speed increases. The Gamer HUD (Heads Up Display), allows the user to enable or disable the 2D/3D clock switch, so that clock speeds for the memory, GPU core and the Shader cores can all be adjusted. But Gigabyte goes one step further. They include a voltage adjustment for the GPU core to allow access to that last MHz of power. By using this tool, I was able to increase the GPU core speed from 600MHz to 787MHz, which was a 24% improvement. The memory had a similar increase going from 900MHz to 1075MHz.

To take advantage of the Pure Video capabilities of this card, Gigabyte has included a DVI to HDMI adapter. This connection will allow the best picture quality to be sent out to the display of your choice. Unfortunately, there was no cable included to send the sound output from the motherboard to the 9800GT. Even with not much new, the 9800GT is a good upgrade path for those with a lower 8 (8600,8500) series card or even lower. Add in the price point and the card represents good value. If you want to take advantage of the new features, the 9800GT is better value, but for gaming performance and price, the 8800GT presents a slightly better value at this time.

 

Pros:

  • Aftermarket cooling
  • Massive overclocking
  • Gamer HUD
  • Performance
  • Non-reference design
  • Hybrid Power
  • HDMI output

 

Cons:

  • No RAM sinks
  • 8800GT rehash
  • Heat dump into chassis

 

OCC Bronze



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (The Video Card)
  3. Configuration (Drivers & Programs)
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  6. Testing: Crysis
  7. Testing: Knights of the Sea
  8. Testing: BioShock
  9. Testing: Call of Duty 4
  10. Testing: World In Conflict
  11. Testing: Call of Juarez
  12. Testing: Company of Heroes - Opposing Fronts
  13. Testing: 3DMark06 Professional
  14. Testing: 3DMark Vantage
  15. Conclusion
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