XFX 9800GTX+ Reviewccokeman -
Category: Video Cards
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This year has been the year of the launch and relaunch in the video card market. No sooner than one company brings in a new product, there is something to counter, be it on price or performance. This constantly changing technology, update or just rebranding has the effect of making more cards available at many more performance levels and price points than I have ever seen. ATI started the year with the 3 series and dropped a bomb with the release of the HD48xx series of cards. The G92 series were the top of the heap in the beginning of the year and by April the 9 series arrived with the 9600GT the 9800GTX to replace the 8800GTX and the 9800GX2, which is still a strong performer. The 9800GTX+ was brought into existence to offer direct competition to the HD4850 from ATI. The XFX 9800GTX+ features a die shrink to 55nm and increases in both the Shader and GPU core clock speeds to push the performance to the level of the competition. Not much else has changed from the initial release of the 9800GTX. Will the 9800GTX+ from XFX and Nvidia be able to compete in the price and performance arena that ATI is enjoying success in this year? Let's take a look and see.
The packaging of XFX products while sometimes similar are ultimately quite unique from any other manufacturers. XFX has played on the 9 with different cards to project an image. This time the packaging is slightly smaller and is roughly the size of the 9600GT packaging. The front panel features the 9 as a high performance engine. The assumption is that the Video card is a hyped up beast. The front also shows some of the capabilities of the XFX 9800GTX+ including Physx, SLI and the 738MHz core clock speed. The rear panel goes into greater detail on the feature set of the XFX 9800GTX+.
The card is stored in an inner box in the Lime green I have become accustomed to from XFX. This box has a window that allows the end user to glimpse the card before opening the package. The 9800GTX+ is packed tightly in a form fitting foam block to minimize and chance of damage. Underneath the foam block is where the bundled accessories are stored during transit.
XFX provides a bundle that contains a manual, quick start guide, connection diagram, a "Do not Disturb" door tag featuring the Alpha Dog and an assortment of cables for both power and connectivity. There are two power adapters provided, one is an 8 pin PCIe to 6 Pin PCIe and one is dual 4 pin Molex to a 6pin PCIe connection. The thin cable is an S/PDIF cable to connect the digital out sound signal directly to the 9800GTX+ so that sound can be carried over an HDMI connection. Of course this requires a DVI to HDMI adapter.
Now you know how it comes to your door and what comes with this replacement for the 9800GTX, the 9800GTX+ from XFX. Let's see what it's made of.