XFX 9800GTX Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
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Over the past month, Nvidia has launched its 9 series graphics cards one at a time. Each launch is eagerly awaited by the enthusiast community just to see if the expectation that something new has got to be better actually holds true. With the 9600GT, the performance improvement over its predecessor was on the order of 77% or greater in my testing. The 9800GX2 was supposed to compete with the 8800GT when in SLI mode, but the early drivers were a bit buggy and so performance should increase as the drivers mature. The one everyone has been waiting for is the 9800GTX. Specifications and comparison data have shown up on the Net in recent weeks, as well as the associated speculation and rumors about the 9800GTX's performance. At last, after a few delays, the top single GPU card in the Nvidia food chain has arrived.
The XFX 9800GTX features a GPU core clock speed of 675MHz, a shader clock of 1688MHz, 1100MHz on the 512MB of high speed GDDR3 memory, and 128 Stream processors that run at 1.69GHz. The GPU core is built on a 65nm process and has 754 million transistors packed into that small patch of silicon. Will the 9800GTX be a worthy successor to the G80 8800GTX crown? Let's find out.
The box that houses the XFX 9800GTX lets you know that this is the factory hot rod. The 9 that lets you know what series this card belongs to shows some of the parts typically used to modify the engine in a car to increase performance attached to it. This says high performance all the way. The front panel lists several of the 9800GTX's specifications, such as the 675MHz core speed, its SLI capability and the fact that this card has 512MB of memory and is HDMI ready. The rear panel shows both of the capabilities of the 9800GTX; excellent gameplay and the top-of-the-line home theater capability are the highlights.
Sliding the inner box out, it is the familiar XFX/Nvidia green with the XFX logo on top. Opening this box reveals the documentation and software for this card. Under the software is where the 9800GTX is housed. Much like the XFX 9800GX2 we recently reviewed, the 9800GTX was packed tightly in a soft foam enclosure. Beside the foam is where the accessory bundle is stored. This includes the cables and adapters to get you connected.
The accessory bundle includes everything you will need to get connected, from a D-Sub to DVI adapter to the digital audio cable for the High Definition experience. Included are the S-Video cable, an S-Video to component dongle, DVI to HDMI adapter, DVI to D-Sub adapters, digital audio cable, a quick start guide, troubleshooting and tips guide and the driver and Company of Heros discs.
Now that you have seen how the card is shipped, packaged and what comes with it, I can break down the card and show it off.