XFX 9800GT ReviewZertz - November 11, 2008
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As you may know, installing a video card is relatively simple, but there's more to it than just inserting it in a free PCI-e slot. The first thing you want to do, although boring, is registering the card with XFX. This has to be done within 30 days of purchase, so you better do it now before you start gaming and entirely forget about it. Don't forget XFX offers a lifetime warranty, so it's not something you want to miss. Once that is done, then you can take a look at the manual and install drivers.
Just in case you don't have Adobe Reader installed, like it is the case when you're doing a fresh install, XFX includes a copy of the PDF reader along with the electronic version of the installation manual.
Drivers are primordial to exploit the full capabilities of your newly acquired video card since, otherwise, it will just use default Windows drivers which are made to provide very basic functionality, but wide compatibility. XFX bundles a disc with the latest drivers available at the time the card was packed, but with driver releases coming in every so often it's generally a good idea to check their website for the most up to date ones.
If the default level of performance or visual quality is not up to your expectations, you can use nVidia's Control Panel to modify some options in this regard. There are a bunch of different tabs where adjustments can be done, though I will only take you through a few of them which I find important to gamers amongst us. The Manage 3D Settings tab allows the Global (all situations) settings to be tailored to your liking, whether you want to gear the system towards performance or quality. Under this tab are some game specific settings as well. There are pre-built profiles that can be adjusted to activate all the eye candy or to minimize the settings in order to get higher framerates. The choice is all yours. This is also where you can activate, or not, SLI if you happen to have picked up more than a single card.
Before moving on to the testing phase, let's take a look at the specifications given by XFX.