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XFX 9800GTX Review

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At OverclockersClub.com, we use a series of benchmarks to stress the graphics card. We will use a series of newer, as well as a few more seasoned, gaming benchmarks to show how well the XFX 9800GTX compares to some of the other enthusiast video cards on the market. All driver settings and clockspeeds will be left at factory default settings on both the CPU and GPU to minimize or eliminate any variables from impacting the results. The test system used in this review is listed below. After testing the card at stock speeds, I will overclock the video card to see what kind of performance can be gained. All testing is done with the default settings in the respective control panels as well as default settings in the BIOS of the motherboard used in this test.

Comparison Video Cards:



Overclocked settings:

  • XFX 9800 GTX 842/1280

One thing the XFX 9800GTX does really well is overclock. Finding the highest GPU core and memory clocks individually results in higher clock speeds, but the idea is to find the area where the two work well together and don't crash the application and driver. 842MHz on the GPU core and 1280MHz on the memory with the shader clocks just a hair over 2100MHz results in a nice performance boost. Overclocking the GPU core while leaving the memory at the stock 1100MHz resulted in a core clock speed of 862MHz. Overclocking the memory with the GPU core clock at the stock 675MHz resulted in a memory clock speed of 1288MHz. Unfortunately, I could not manage to boost both clockspeeds to their independent maximums. But the final results are more than I was expecting after the 8800GTs that I have worked with. In many of the benchmarks, the performance increases were not huge, showing the CPU to be the bottleneck in this system. To prove this theory, I overclocked the CPU to a modest 3.0GHz just to see if a larger increase in performance resulted from the video card overclock. In 3DMark06, the score increased to 14683 with just the increase in CPU clockspeed. After the controversy surrounding the 9600GT cards being linked to the PCI-E bus clock as well as the onboard 27MHz clock, I thought I would test and see if the same thing happened with the 9800GTX. I raised the PCI-E clock to 108MHz and proceeded to increase the clockspeeds until I reached the maximum I could achieve, 816MHz on the GPU core and 1224MHz on the memory. Comparing performance at the two overclocked speeds showed performance to be almost identical with the two scenarios. In my book, the increase is an increase no matter how you look at it. If this is indeed true, it is just another tool in the overclocking toolbox that can be used.


  • Video:
  1. Crysis
  2. Knights of the Sea
  3. Bioshock
  4. Call of Duty 4
  5. World in Conflict
  6. Call of Jaurez
  7. 3DMark 06 Professional


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