XFX 9800GTX+ Reviewccokeman -
» Discuss this article (5)
At OverclockersClub.com, we use a set of benchmarks to stress the graphics card. We will use a series of newer gaming benchmarks, as well as some that are more seasoned, to show how well the XFX 9800GTX+ compares to some of the other enthusiast video cards on the market. We'll be using single GPU models exclusively to show just how much the XFX 9800GTX+ brings to the table. All driver settings and clock speeds will be left at factory defaults for both the CPU and GPU in an effort to minimize or eliminate any variables that could impact the results. The test system used in this review is listed below. After testing the card at stock speeds, I'll overclock it 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. For this round of testing, our drivers have been updated to the 177.79 for the Nvidia cards and the Catalyst 8.8 for the ATI video cards used in this review. Will the additional clock speed on the GPU core and shaders be enough to add some much needed horsepower to your gaming rig? Let's find out.
- Processor: Intel Q9450 Core 2 Quad 333x8
- Motherboard: Gigabyte X48-DQ6
- Memory: Mushkin XP2 Redline 8000 2 x 2GB 5-5-5-12
- Video Card(s): XFX 9800GTX+ 740/1100/1836
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800 watt Modular power supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
- Optical Drive: NEC DV5700
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition
Comparison Video Cards:
- XFX 9800GTX+ 863/1250/2071
Since the XFX 9800GTX had some decent overclocking potential, the expectation was that this card would be just as good or better. Better? Yes and no! How's that? Well this card has a starting point 65MHz higher on the core and 148MHz higher on the shader clocks than the standard 9800GTX we looked at back in April and usually that means less overhead is left over. Not a general rule but just an observation. Since this card higher speeds from the start I had to wonder how much was left in the tank. As it turns out the tank had some gas left. I kept bumping it up and up until I hit the wall on the core and then the same with the memory. Then I had to find the best combination of the three clock speeds. Once I reached about 840-850 MHz on the core I was getting crashes, so I used RivaTuner to unlink and back down the shader cores a touch to move the bar a little higher. This yielded an increase on the GPU core of 123MHz and a final speed of 863MHz. The shader core clock increased by 235MHz and 150Mhz on the memory. All pretty substantial increases on air cooling. Speaking of cooling the stock cooler does a great job cooling this smaller core.The maximum temperature I recorded was 66 degrees Celsius with the fan controlled by the drivers. Bump up the fan and the temperature drops a nice 15 degrees, although there is a noise penalty to pay for this. The best compromise between cooling and noise came at around 60% fan speed for me. Depending on your tolerance level this could be to loud but for me it was just barely audible outside the case.