Palit 9800GX2 Reviewccokeman - August 6, 2008
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The Palit 9800GX2 did not disappoint. After testing a previous 9800GX2 and seeing how well it overclocked, I was looking forward to this offering from Palit. On the overclocking front, I was able to squeeze increases of 166MHz out of the GPU core, 105MHz out of the memory, and 400+MHz from the shader cores. These increases are almost identical to the last 9800GX2 that OverClockersClub tested. The performance of the Palit 9800GX2 when overclocked keeps the performance slightly better to comparable with the king of the kill of single GPU cards, the GTX280. Since the price drops from Nvidia have reduced the financial hit of the GT200 series as well as the cost of the 9800GX2 coming down from the $650 dollar introduction price, the GX2 offers up some serious performance for the dollars you have for your graphics purchase. Put two of these cards in an SLI configuration to get Quad SLI and you should have a pretty interesting comparison between the GT200 series cards to see where the performance falls. Performance against the ATI HD3870X2 was outstanding in most of the benchmarks. In 3DMark06 the 9800GX2 was beaten by the HD3870X2 in all four resolutions. A weak point for sure even though the scores of the 9800GX2 were higher than every card but the 3870X2.
For the energy conscious crowd, having two GPUs is obviously going to use more power. There is just no way around it. An increase usage of 55 watts from my standard test system was noted when the system was under load. A small price to pay for better performance, but in the long run justifying the additional costs is up to the end user. Having two GPUs is of course going to give you twice the heat as well, thankfully Nvidia has designed a heatsink that works. The highest temperatures measured in my dungeon were 72 Celsius under load with the fan controlled by the drivers. By manually controlling the fan speed, noise was increased, but temperatures took a nose dive at 100% fan speed, dropping to 55 degrees Celsius under load in my 26 degree Celsius room. The amount of heat discharged into the case as well as out the back of the expansion panel can provide an increase in case temperatures, so installation of this card into a well ventilated chassis should be mandatory.
The HDMI output is a nice feature to have available. No adapter or dongle just hook straight into the card. Just think, High Definition gaming and movie viewing on that new 1080p plasma screen. Call of Duty 4 on the big screen is going to be sick. With this ability, the Palit 9800GX2 could be the perfect addition for your home theater computer. So after the dust cleared, the 9800GX2 has not outlived its usefulness as a performance video card. It performs well and is available at a price point that more people can live with. SLI for the masses, HD gaming, Quad SLI capable, what more do you need in a video card?
- Quad SLI
- HDMI Output
- High Definition capabilities
- Power Commitment
- Heat generation