Palit 9800GX2 Reviewccokeman - August 6, 2008
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The Palit 9800GX2 is a big video card. If your case does not have at least eleven inches of room between the expansion slots and the hard drive cage, you better start shopping for a new case. The 9800GX2 by design is going to take up two expansion slots even though it only physically occupies one 16x PCIe slot. The heatsink is sandwiched between the two pcbs and has the fan used in a blow through design. The housing is made of metal and is adequately vented to help reduce heat build up inside the housing. The card uses two G92 based cores built on a 65nm process and is clocked to 600MHz on the cores 1100MHz on the 1GB of GDDR3 memory and 1500MHz on the shader cores. Again our buddy the Frobot is front and center ready to take on whatever comes his way.
The top of the 9800GX2 has some additional venting that will discharge some hot air into the chassis so case ventilation has to be high on the list of things to do before the installation of the 9800GX2. The bottom shows the 16x interface as well as the electronic certifications and recycling warnings.
The front end of the 9800GX2 houses the interface connections to the display. The two DVI ports can be run in a Dual Link mode and the HDMI port can be used to go to an HDTV or monitor that supports the 1080p standard. To get the most out of this connection, use the included SPDIF in cable that can be connected to the sound output source from your motherboard or sound card. The vent that discharges heat from the two GPUs is really not that large and is mostly ineffective. More of the air is vented into the chassis via the top venting than out the rear of the card. The back end of the card is vented to allow the cool air in the chassis to be used for cooling the card. Since this card uses a sandwich type construction with the heatsink between the two PCB's the more air pulled through the card the better.
Along the top side of the 9800GX2 you will find the power connections, the HD Audio-In port and the SLI Bridge connection. The power requirements for this card include at a minimum a 500 watt power supply with at least one 8 pin(6+2)and one 6 pin PCIe connection. The HD sound input connection is next to the 6 Pin power connection. This allows HD sound to be output through the HDMI out connection. The 9800GX2 can be run in SLI mode with the 2 onboard GPU's. To gain more performance a second 9800GX2 can be added to an SLI capable motherboard to enable Quad SLI. Four GPUs should provide an incredible increase in performance at high resolutions with all the eye candy turned on.