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XFX 9800GTX Review

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Closer Look:

The XFX 9800GTX is a full size video card that is designed to be used in a x16 PCI-E 1.0 or 2.0 slot on the motherboard. The 9800GTX features a GPU clock speed of 675MHz with a memory speed of 1100MHz on a 256-bit memory interface. The card uses a dual slot cooling solution, so two slots will need to be available to use the 9800GTX. The front side shows the Hot Rod number 9 again, leading one down the thought path that this is the fastest card there is.



















The available connectivity for the GTX includes two DVI ports that support Dual link DVI, as well as an S-Video port that can be used with a dedicated cable or hooked to the included S-Video to component dongle. Hot air is discharged out of the grill area, helping eliminate any chance of recycling hot air in the case. The rear of the card is open to allow cool air to flow into the fan enclosure and cool the capacitors on the way to the heatsink.



Along the top of the card are the power connections. Two 6-pin PCI-E power cables are required to power the 9800GTX. If one is not connected, the card does not function as intended. The overclcoking features are disabled when only one connection is made.  XFX includes two 4-pin molex to 6-pin adapters, but that setup is less than ideal according to the literature sent with the card. The digital audio connection can be seen just to the right of the power connectors. The GTX is Tri-SLI capable and uses two bridge connections instead of the one seen on all of the other 9 series cards.



Pulling off the heatsink we can see what lies beneath the shroud. The tail end of the 9800GTX carries the voltage regulation circuits while the mid section is dominated by the GPU and memory.



The cooling solution used on the 9800GTX is a copper/aluminum composite piece. The memory goes to the main aluminum body and the GPU core has a copper base that has several heatpipes running into aluminum fins to dissipate the heat. With the fan on automatic, I never saw the high side of 70 Celsius during testing.



The GPU is lettered G92-420-A2. The core is manufactured using a 65nm process and has 754 million transistors. XFX and Nvidia have used a shim around the core to prevent damage from occurring. Probably a good thing since these cards are bound to be put under subzero cooling by the extreme crowd! The memory used is manufactured by Samsung and is rated for 1200MHz. Looks like a good bit of head room is built into the 9800GTX, at least on the memory.



You have seen the bundle and seen what the card has to offer, so let's get it installed and running.


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