Gigabyte 9800GT review
Price when reviewed
Nvidia has never been a company to keep things simple. The G92 core, which débuted a year ago, has now been served up in no fewer than seven different packages, with various complements of processing units running at differing speeds. The GeForce 9800 GT, as here offered by Gigabyte, is the latest member of the family.
In reality, though, there’s nothing new about the 9800 GT. With its 65nm core, 112 stream processors and 600MHz core clock it’s blatantly just a rebadged version of the first G92-based card, the 8800 GT. Even the 512MB of GDDR3 is unchanged from the original specification.
That’s no disaster, though, as the 8800 GT was always a competent card. And our tests proved that it’s still a very effective pixel-pusher. In Crysis with medium settings it averaged a very playable 38fps in 1,600 x 1,200. It’s not up to high detail, though: in this mode it struggled to exceed 23fps at 1,280 x 1,024.
And its Call of Juarez score wasn’t bad either: 19fps on high settings is very respectable for such a tough test. You can see why Nvidia might think there’s still life in the G92 architecture.
Unfortunately, while Nvidia has contented itself with repeatedly re-releasing the same GPU in different guises, its major competitor has been designing new, better chips. As a result, Nvidia’s 2007-vintage card now finds itself going up against ATI’s groundbreaking Radeon HD 4850.
That’s not a fight it can win. In our tests ATI’s rival card convincingly outshone the 9800 GT, sailing through our high-detail Crysis test at 32fps, and keeping up 31fps in Call of Juarez. And the best bit? Shop around and you can get a 4850 for exactly the same price as the 9800 GT.
In short, it simply makes no sense to buy the 9800 GT, and we’re left wondering why it was released in the first place. And as long as Nvidia keeps relaunching cards based on the increasingly-dated G92 core, we’re afraid that the situation is unlikely to change.
|Graphics card interface
|Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT
|Core GPU frequency
Standards and compatibility
|DirectX version support
|Shader model support
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs
|Graphics card power connectors
|3D performance (crysis), medium settings
|3D performance (crysis) high settings
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Reviews | Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512MB (Page 3 of 10)
Page 3 — A Closer Look, Test System
Shown above are the Gigabyte 9800GT 512MB on the left, and the Gigabyte 8800GT TurboForce on the right. While both cards are essentially the same (With the exceptions mentioned on the previous page), the Gigabyte 9800GT 512MB is about a centimeter longer than the Gigabyte 8800GT TurboForce. Otherwise they’re mostly the same — most prominently is the preinstalled Zalman VF-830 aftermarket heatsink/fan. This heatsink/fan is a lightweight aluminum unit with two copper heatpipes; on top of it is an 80mm fan. It primarily cools the GPU through direct contact, with its flower-shaped design bringing airflow over most of the board itself. The Gigabyte 8800GT TurboForce’s PCB is the shortest we’ve seen, and the Gigabyte 8800GT’s PCB is almost as competitive in size. Both boards are manufactured by Gigabyte’s facilities in Taiwan.
At the back of Gigabyte’s 9800GT 512MB are two DVI ports and a video out connector in standard configuration — unlike the 8800GT TurboForce, all DVI ports are colored the same so they probably don’t offer HDMI audio passthrough — although it does support HDCP over DVI. Composite, component, and S-Video out are usually offered by the provided Gigabyte A/V connector block, but in our case, it’s not included for some reason. On the side of the card is an SLI connector with a plastic cap attached by default for protection. All connector ports has removable protection caps on them too, as shown in the photo above. Four spring loaded screws with clear plastic washers are located on top of the board for heatsink attachment.
Flipping the card around reveals more on components residing on Gigabyte’s 9800GT 512MB video card. Again, Gigabyte is big on highlighting its MOFSETs and low choke ferrite cores. As usual that we’ve seen on majority of today’s graphics cards, the PCIe 6-pin power connector is located on the outer edge of the end of the board. While it’s more preferable in terms of cabling to have the connector in the middle rather than the outer edge, majority of the graphics cards we’ve reviewed in the past have it in this particular location.
A quick count shows the Gigabyte 9800GT 512MB, like its almost-twin-brother 8800GT TurboForce, has a four-phase power design, which is an improvement from reference NVIDIA board that requires a minimum of two-phase power design. The more the better for more consistent power delivery.
The Zalman flower shaped heatsink brings airflow well to all components of the board in addition to directly cooling the G92 core. We were quite surprised to see that the memory chips aren’t cooled though, since Gigabyte does promote overclocking capabilities with this card — including the included Gigabyte HUD software which allows overvolting. The Zalman heatsink/fan brings a considerable amount of airflow over the memory chips; but having ramsinks would definitely be beneficial.
After removing the four screws at the top of the Gigabyte 9800GT, the heatsink didn’t come off automatically — in fact, it was stuck on. Quite a bit of prying effort was required to detach the heatsink from the GPU core, since the thermal interface material Gigabyte decided to use on the 9800GT had a little too much adhesive property to it. Not to mention that they are really hard to remove.
The base of the heatsink has a shiny aluminum finish to it, with the two heatpipes leading away from the base to more evenly spread heat throughout the heatsink fins to be more evident in our photo above. The heatsink fan is connected to a two-pin fan connector on the Gigabyte 9800GT 512MB. Notice that there’s no fan RPM monitoring on this card; it also lacks the circuitry on the board to sense fan RPM — and the fan runs at a constant high RPM at all times regardless of load or temperature. We found the Gigabyte 9800GT be quite loud even under idle conditions.
A total of eight Samsung K4J52324QE-BJ1A memory chips are implemented on the Gigabyte 9800GT for a combined 512MB video memory. More information on these memory chips can be found on Samsung’s website. These memory chips operate at stock 1.9V at maximum frequency of 1GHz — we were actually quite surprised that Gigabyte actually downclocked these chips by 100MHz out of the box. These chips are identical to the one used on the Gigabyte 8800GT TurboForce 512MB.
Again, it would be nice if there’s heatsinks over the RAM chips on the Gigabyte 9800GT. This is probably the last review that are going to be using our nearly 2 year old set of benchmarks. But since this is really a 8800GT, it’s fair enough haha.
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 @ 2.80GHz (400MHz*7 — 1600MHz FSB QDR)
CPU Cooling: Asus Arctic Square
Motherboard: Asus P5K-Deluxe/WiFi-AP
Memory: OCZ Reaper HPC PC2-8500 2x1GB
Chassis: Danger Den Torture Rack (1x Thermaltake 120mm LED Fan)
Power: OCZ EliteXStream 800W
Sound: Integrated ADI SoundMAX 1988B
Optical Drive: Liteon 16X DVD-ROM
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar 7200RPM 80GB 8MB Cache
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2
Compared graphics cards:
— ATI Radeon X1950 Pro 256MB
— NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS 320MB
— Asus EN8800GT TOP 512MB (NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT 512MB @ 700/1000)
— Asus EN8800GTS TOP 512MB (NVIDIA GeForce 8800GTS 512MB @ 740/1035)
— Asus EAh4870 TOP 512MB (ATI Radeon HD 3870 512MB @ 851/1140)
— Asus EN9600GT TOP 512MB (NVIDIA GeForce 9600GT 512MB @ 740/1000)
— Gigabyte GeForce 8800GT TurboForce 512MB (NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT 512MB @ 700/920)
— Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512MB (NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT 512MB @ 600/900)
1. Introduction, Specifications, Bundle
2. NVIDIA 9800GT Architecture
3. A Closer Look, Test System
4. Benchmark: FEAR
5. Benchmark: Prey
6. Benchmark: Half Life 2: Lost Coast
7. Benchmark: CS:Source HDR
8. Benchmark: 3DMark06
9. Power Usage, Overclocking
10. Noise Factor and Conclusion
Review of video card Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512 mb.
August 12, 2008, Tuesday
This material was written by a site visitor and has been rewarded.
Review of video card Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512 mb.
The one and a half year long era of Nvidia’s leadership has come to an end. After the vague announcement of a line of graphics cards based on the GT200 — GeForce GTX 260/280 and AMD, which came close to them in terms of performance, with its just released, and already gained the status of the most successful, RV770 graphics processor, a parity situation has developed between the two leading manufacturers of discrete 3D graphics.
In the $299 segment and a bit higher, AMD products are protected by Radeon HD4870 video cards. In order to compete with them, Nvidia received a serious markdown on the new generation GeForce GTX260 video cards. Step down at $199, AMD has the Radeon HD4850 solutions that combine a moderate price with excellent performance. To combat them, the prices for 9800GTX were reduced, which moved into the same price niche as the HD4850, but new GeForce 9800GTX+ solutions were announced for 229$. As time passed, for better competition, the «old» GeForce 9800GTX video cards were abolished, and the price for 9800GTX+ was reduced to $199.
What’s below $199? But this, or rather «these», price niches included all video cards of an earlier release. From Nvidia, both the 8800GTS-512, which de facto fell under the reduction after the release of the 9800GTX, and the very popular 8800GT migrated here. If in the first case 8800GTS-512 only a small part of the latest batches, which gradually disappeared from the price lists after the cards were sold, got here, in the case of 8800GT everything is not so simple. There are a lot of 8800GT video cards in warehouses, besides, they are constantly supplied. The release of video cards Radeon HD4850 determined the price level for 8800GT near the mark of 150-170 USD, which allows them to quite successfully compete with competing products from AMD. This company had solutions of the Radeon HD3850/3870 series in this price segment, which chose the niche of 120-140 USD. which joined another representative of the Nvidia GeForce 9 video card family600 GT.
Until recently, in the 9th GeForce line, gradually replacing the 8th, there were 3 models of video cards — 9800GX2, 9800GTX (both with «+» and without) and 9600GT (9600GSO semi-underground fourth). Recently, two more have been added to them. They turned out to be GeForce 9500GT and 9800GT. The «first» was intended to replace the 8600GT/GTS series video cards and was based on the «new» G96 GPU. The «second» was based on the good old G92, as well as on its 55 nm version G92b, and was replacing the popular GeForce 8800GT video cards. But if in all previous cases successors from 9-th series, which replaced the solutions from the 8th, had increased frequencies, or had no analogues, like 9800GX2, then a rather strange situation happened here. Video cards GeForce 9800GT have the same characteristics as GeForce 8800GT! The operating frequencies and the number of functional blocks are completely preserved. Besides, 9800GT have a recommended retail price equal to that of cheaper 8800GT and should completely replace them on store shelves in the near future.
Well, what are GeForce 9s really like?800GT, I suggest that you familiarize yourself with our today’s review on the example of a video card — Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512 MB.
Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512 Mb.
1. Front and back.
2. Box: front, rear and sticker.
3. Complete set.
4. Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT versus Club3D GeForce 8800GTS-512.
The Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT is based on its own non-reference PCB design. Its length is 200 mm, which is much less than the reference video cards manufactured by Nvidia ~ 220 mm. The smaller length of the video card is achieved mainly due to the compactness of the board’s power supply system.
But as you know, everything new is well forgotten old. In the fall of 2007, immediately after the announcement of 8800GT video cards, this manufacturer released a line of GeForce 8800GT video cards with a redesigned design and a Zalman VF700AlCu cooler, called GV-NX88T512HP. According to the manufacturer, this board was much cheaper to manufacture than on the reference design. In the spring of 2008, the second modification of the video card with a cooler manufactured by Zalman VF830 appeared on the shelves. Video card Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT has a very similar design with them, but it has the same cooler as the second version of the «non-reference» — Zalman VF830. Besides, the board itself does not carry a sticker, but is specially designed for 9800GT cards and is marked with paint.
Gigabyte GeForce 8800GTS 512 mb (reference PCB sample for video cards 8800GT/GTS-512)
Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512mb
Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512 mb based on Nvidia G92-270 GPU (8800GTS 512 mb — G92-400). The number of transistors is 754 million pieces. The graphics processor is manufactured using 65 nm technology. Area G92 is equal to 330 mm2. The chip basically has: scalar unified shader processors (ALU) — 112 pieces, texturing units (TMU) — 28 (56) pieces, rasterization units (ROP) — 12 pieces.
As you can see, the video card uses the G92 GPU manufactured using 65 nm technology. As it was officially announced, some manufacturers who decided to release GeForce 9800GT video cards immediately, at the time of their announcement, will use the 65 nm version of the graphics processor. Upgraded version («shrink») GPU G92 is produced according to 55 nm standards and is called G92b. The appearance of video cards based on this GPU will have to wait a bit. Video cards based on it will appear on sale only after all stocks of the 65 nm version of the G92 are used up. At the moment, only Sparkle has officially announced that it manufactures all 9800GT video cards on the G92b.
TMUs and ROPs operate at a GPU base frequency of 601 (600 specification) MHz, and unified shader processors at 1512 (1500 specification) MHz.
The memory installed on the graphics adapter is GDDR3, manufactured by Samsung with an access time of 1.0 ns. The nominal operating frequency is 2000 (2×1000) MHz, but the memory operates at a frequency of 1800 (2×900) MHz. The memory access bus is 256-bit, which at 1800 MHz gives a total bandwidth of 57.6 GB. Volume 512 mb.
Unlike most video cards of the 8/9 series, the Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512 mb video card has a frequency separation into 2D and 3D modes, that is, the card reduces its frequencies in idle. For 3D mode they are 601(1512)/1800, and for 2D 450(1188)/1404.
In addition to using separate frequencies for 2D/3D modes, the video card uses another energy-saving technology — HybridPower. Its use is currently only possible on motherboards for AMD processors based on Nvidia 7xx series chipsets. These motherboards have a built-in graphics core, which in 2D is responsible for the main task of displaying the image, while the discrete graphics card that supports this technology is simply turned off and thus even greater energy savings are achieved.
TV output and two DVI outputs on the rear panel, which can also be used via an adapter as HDMI.
The video card has one 6-pin auxiliary power connector through which an additional 75W of energy can be supplied to the accelerator.
As it was written earlier, a Zalman VF830 cooling system is installed on the video card. I haven’t seen this cooler in free sale and I can assume that it is supplied exclusively to large customers through OEM channels.
The base of the cooler is made up of an aluminum base from which two heat pipes emerge, which, making a U-shaped ridge, pass through the aluminum fins painted in golden color. There are no heatsinks for memory chips and batteries, and they are cooled only by air flow from the cooling system fan.
The cooler fan has a constant speed and is a bit noisy in my opinion. It is also impossible to regulate the speed of its rotation.
In idle, the temperature of the GPU of the Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT operating at nominal frequencies is 48 degrees, and in 3D it rises to 71 degrees.
On the whole, the cooling system of the video card of the video card Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512 mb looks quite good. You don’t have to worry about the nominal operating modes of the card, and for those who do not limit themselves to this, you can easily install even very high heatsinks from the Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 cooler kit on the memory chips, just like the cooler itself.
Riva Tuner 2.09 — this latest version of the utility supports GeForce 9800GT video cards.
The utility allows you to change GPU(Shader)/Mem frequencies, monitor temperature, control cooler speed (but not for this card).
ATITool 0.27b4 — GeForce 9800GT video cards are supported.
Video card Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512 mb ran up to frequencies 750(1836)/2156. In overclocking, the GPU warmed up to 76 degrees.
8800GT graphics cards manufactured by Club3D, XFX and ASUS.
Simultaneously with the Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512 mb video card, three 8800GT video cards from Club3D, XFX and ASUS happened to be on my home torture table. I could not take advantage of such a fortunate combination of circumstances and not test them, since the review of the 8800GT on my Personal Page did not happen.
Photos of the video card Club3D GeForce 8800GT 512 mb.
1. Front and back.
2. Box: front, rear and sticker.
3. Complete set.
4. GeForce 8800GT versus GeForce 8800GTS-512.
5. Card without cooler.
The Club3D GeForce 8800GT video card is based on a non-reference PCB design, but operates at standard frequencies of the reference 8800GT and in tests shows absolutely identical performance with the regular 8800GT.
Photos of video card ASUS GeForce 8800GT 512 mb.
1. Front and back.
ASUS GeForce 8800GT 512 video card has a reference design. There is simply nothing more to say about the video card.
Photos of the video card XFX GeForce 8800GT 512 mb.
1. Front and back.
2. Box: front, rear and sticker.
3. Complete set.
The XFX GeForce 8800GT 512 MB video card, like the Club3D product, is a carrier of a non-reference design, but in this case, the carrier of this RSV in the family of XFX GeForce 8800 video cards is not the only one. A similar shortened black textolite can boast of a series of XFX GeForce 8800GS video cards and semi-official 9600GSO of this manufacturer.
Characteristics of video cards 8800GT 512 mb.
All GeForce 8800GT video cards are based on the Nvidia G92-270 GPU (8800GTS 512 MB — G92-400). The number of transistors GPU G92 is 754 million pieces. The graphics processor is manufactured using 65 nm technology. The area of G92 is 330 mm2. The chip basically has: scalar unified shader processors (ALU) — 112 pieces, texturing units (TMU) — 28 (56) pieces (according to specification 28 (56)), rasterization units (ROP) — 12 pieces.
TMUs and ROPs run at 601 (by spec 600) MHz GPU base clock, and unified shader processors at 1512 (by spec 1500) MHz in all cases.
The memory installed on the graphics adapters is GDDR3, manufactured by Samsung with an access time of 1.0 ns. The nominal operating frequency is 2000 (2×1000) MHz, but the memory operates at a frequency of 1800 (2×900) MHz. The memory access bus is 256-bit, which at 1800 MHz gives a total bandwidth of 57.6 GB. Volume 512 mb.
The 2D operation of the cards corresponds to 3D, that is, the cards do not reduce their frequencies when idle.
Each video card has a TV output and two DVI outputs on the rear panel, which can also be used via an adapter as HDMI.
Video cards have one 6-pin auxiliary power connector through which an additional 75W of power can be supplied.
Cooling systems, thermal control and overclocking.
1. The video card Club3D GeForce 8800GT 512 mb uses a fairly simple single-slot cooler with a 70 mm fan. As it may seem from the outside — the cooler covers both the GPU and memory chips, but unfortunately this is not entirely true. Even small thermal pads are indeed pre-installed on the cooler, but they do not touch any microcircuit, there is not enough thickness. So for those who have such a video card, a small upgrade of the cooler supplied with the card should be done, which may give a slight improvement in the temperature regime of the memory chips.
The cooling fan runs at a constant speed. The noise from his work naturally takes place and he was not comfortable for my ear. The fan speed cannot be adjusted.
Besides, the card lacks thermal monitoring capabilities, so it’s also imposible to check the cooler’s performance.
The video card ran up to 650(1566)/2008 GPU(shader domain)/memory frequencies respectively. Very little.
2. The ASUS GeForce 8800GT 512 mb video card is based on the reference PCB design and has a single-slot cooler of the «first» versions, which feature a smaller air intake than those of the successors. In 2D the fan is quite quiet, but in 3D it noticeably speeds up.
The temperature of the GPU when the AUTO mode of the cooler was enabled in 3D reached 78 degrees, and when the cooler speed was set to 100% with the card overclocked to 758(1782)/2052, it was 84 degrees.
The general impression is an ordinary reference.
3. The XFX GeForce 8800GT 512 mb video card, like the Club3D card, is based on a non-reference PCB matte black. The cooling system is very similar to the coolers installed on the GeForce 6800 and 7800 video cards. The fan takes air from the image output ports and, after passing through the radiator, is thrown towards the elements of the video card’s power system, cooling them along the way.
As in the case of the XFX 8800GS 384 MB video card, the cooler makes a lot of noise. Even worse is that it is impossible to change its speed and you will have to constantly get along with a fairly high level of noise.
Thermal control, unlike the Club3D product, is implemented. In 2D, the temperature of the GPU running at nominal was 57 degrees, and in 3D it reached 74.
Overclocking of the video card was 732(1781)/2104.
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 G0 2.4 @ 3.6 Ghz
Thermaltake Big Typhoon
2×2 Gb DDR2-800 @ 960 Apacer CL5-5-5-15
ASUS Striker 2 Formula NForce-780i BIOS 1601
750 GB WD7500AAKS SATA-II 16 mb
Blu-ray Writer/HD-DVD Reader LG L20H SATA
DVD+/-RW LiteOn 165S6S SATA
TV/FM Leadtek WinFast XP 2000 Deluxe
Creative Audigy 2 ZS
ATX Miditower Chieftec LBX-01B-B-B
24″ DELL 2407WFP 1920x1200x60Hz
Windows Vista Home Premium x86 Eng SP1
Motherboard driver — NForce Driver 15.17
Video card drivers.
Club3D GeForce 8800GT 512mb — ForceWare 175.16
ASUS GeForce 8800GT 512mb — ForceWare 177.79
XFX GeForce 8800GT 512mb — ForceWare 177.79
Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512mb — ForceWare 177.79
Driver settings — Default, all optimizations enabled!
Futuremark synthetic tests.
Video cards used in testing were tested with 3Dmark 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006 packages in two modes:
3Dmark_Default — initially set settings and default resolution,
3Dmark_Hard_1920 — resolution
1920×1200 when activated
AA4x and AF16x
In addition, video cards were tested by the recently released 3Dmark Vantage test in three modes:
Performance — resolution 1280×1024 without AA and AF
High — resolution 1680×1050 using AA2x and AF8x
Extreme — resolution 1920×1200 using AA4x and AF16x
* In all three test modes 3Dmark Vantage is specified
Testing in games.
All games listed under
without and also
using AA4x coupled with AF16x . Games were run 3 times after that
average FPS was calculated based on the results of ten identical places in the game where the results were filmed, or
three times run of the benchmark built into the application.
Crysis V1.2.1 DX9 High
Crysis V1.2.1 DX10 Very High
Crysis V1.2.1 DX9 High
So. We reviewed Nvidia’s Middle-End products based on the new-old 65 nm G92 GPU from Gigabyte, Club3D, ASUS, XFX. Let’s review everything
Vs Gigabyte GeForce 9 graphics cards800GT 512 mb based on the original design.
— excellent performance in a number of modern games for a recommended price of $150-170
— DX10 support
— reduced power consumption with the introduction of 2D frequencies and HybridPower technology
— moderate power consumption in 3D ~ 105W
— 8800GT with new number
— noisy cooling system
— no VIVO
On the whole, the video card Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512 MB showed very good performance for its price. But for it, and even a little cheaper, you can find very interesting offers of video cards of the past generation 8800GT with a similar or even lower cost. All the work done by Nvidia related to the release of graphics cards 9800GT consists of just renaming the 8-series video cards to the 9-series while maintaining most of the existing characteristics. Small innovations in the form of support for Nvidia PhysX, separate 2D / 3D frequencies and the introduction of HybridPower energy-saving technology do not make the weather, and one thousand units added to the ordinal number speaks more of a marketing step than a real need, given the lack of performance gain as such.
The current owners of GeForce 8800GT video cards would like to wish them not to make rash decisions and not upgrade the 8800GT to 9800 GT. At default frequencies, there will be no performance gain from such an exchange, and a slightly increased overclocking potential, even taking into account the use of a GPU made according to 55 nm standards in the future, will not bring a significant increase in the overclocking potential of a video card, only if it is initially very, very bad, as in the case of the Club3D 8800GT 512 mb.
For this, let me take my leave. Your GadkY-Utk, aka Gl4 🙂
Cost of video card Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512 mb at the time of publication of the material in the local
Estonian retail is 120 euros.
Video card Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 512 mb provided for testing
This material was written by a site visitor and has been rewarded.
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XFX GeForce 9800GT — an old friend in a new outfit / Video cards
Perhaps, never before has NVIDIA been so passionate about assigning new names to already existing and actively sold video cards, as it is now. The maximum that this eminent developer and manufacturer of video cards allowed himself earlier was to assign a new index to one of the existing video card models, change its clock speeds, and sell at a lower, rarely higher price. One example of such a policy is the GeForce 79 video card.00GTO, which was actually a GeForce 7900GTX video card with lower clock speeds, and which was sold at a lower price. But after the release of the legendary GeForce 8800GTX video card based on the G80 graphics processor, NVIDIA’s ideas have diminished.
The GeForce 8800GT and GeForce 8800GTS 512 video cards were the next successful products. Thanks to the G92 GPU, which became an inexpensive analog of the G80 chip, manufactured according to a finer process technology and operating at higher clock frequencies, these video cards gained popularity. But it is not clear whether NVIDIA did not expect the appearance of new worthy solutions from competitors, or whether the lion’s share of the funds was spent on the development of the expensive GT200 graphics processor and video cards based on it. In short, on the G9 chip2 ended the history of inexpensive and high-performance graphics processors from NVIDIA.
But life does not stand still, and new products are simply necessary for successful business. From this, a wave of renaming existing models of video cards into new ones began. The first sign was the video card GeForce 9800GTX, which was assigned to the 9th family of GeForce video cards, but actually became an upgraded GeForce 8800GTS 512 with support for 3-way SLI technology and higher clock frequencies. Then the younger representative on the G9 chip was renamed2, the GeForce 8800GS video card, it became the GeForce 9600GSO.
And, finally, the video card GeForce 8800GT turned into GeForce 9800GT. The only innovation in the new model compared to its predecessor is the Hybrid Power technology, which can only be used in conjunction with motherboards based on modern NVIDIA chipsets with an integrated graphics core. No other changes were noticed. Actually, see for yourself:
|Graphic processing unit (GPU)
|Amount of video memory, Mb
|Memory bus width, bits
|GPU clock frequency, MHz
|Effective video memory frequency, MHz
|Number of universal processors
|Number of texture units
|Number of ROPs
|System bus and other communication interfaces
|PCI-Express 2. 0 x16 / 2xDVI/S-Video/HDMI support via
It can be seen that GeForce 9800GT = GeForce 8800GT + Hybrid Power. It remains only to verify the above on their own experience. Meet the XFX GeForce 9800GT video card.
Packaging from the XFX GeForce 9 video card800GT is designed in combat style. On the front, the manufacturer announces the factory overclocking of the video card and the presence of the Assassin’s Creed game in the kit. Behind the slogan — great performance for a great price. And indeed, the price in this case will be of great importance.
The XFX GeForce 9800GT package includes the following:
- 6-pin power adapter for PCI-express graphics cards;
- DVI to D-sub adapter;
- Assassin’s Creed CD;
- CD with drivers;
- user manual;
It’s funny, but this time the manufacturer also provided the video card with an annotation about proper nutrition. It states that XFX graphics cards are not compatible with power adapters. What then the power adapter does in the kit is not specified.
The video card XFX GeForce 9800GT is made according to the manufacturer’s own design. However, much more remarkable are the black matte color of the board and the stiffening rib on top of the video card. The designers at XFX clearly wanted to draw attention to this video card.
The back side of the XFX GeForce 9800GT does not contain anything remarkable. The only thing for those who care about the absence of kinks in the board is to pay attention to the method of mounting the cooling system. It is easy to guess that in this case the board is bent, since the entire load on pressing and holding the cooling system falls on it. We can only add from ourselves that it is bent very strongly, but this did not affect its work in any way.
The well-known G9 graphics chip is hidden under the cooling system.2 and 8 video memory chips, forming a volume of 512 MB.
The graphics processor label has not changed since the first GeForce 8800GT video cards, it still sounds like “G92-270”. As before, the chip has revision A2.
And the GPU-Z utility calls the date of the announcement 2007. This is true, because the video card GeForce 9800GT is practically a copy of GeForce 8800GT.
GDDR-3 video memory chips are manufactured by Samsung and have an access time of 1.0 ns, which corresponds to an effective frequency of 2000 MHz. Nominal memory frequency set on XFX GeForce 9 graphics card800GT, slightly less.
The cooling system of the XFX GeForce 9800GT video card is made of copper and is quite weighty. There were no heat pipes in its composition.
Cooling efficiency and overclocking
We tested the cooling system of the XFX GeForce 9800GT video card for «strength» using the FUR Renderer Benchmark 1.4.0 program in the stability test mode, at a resolution of 1600×1200 with 8x anti-aliasing. The program didn’t stop until the GPU temperature stopped rising. As a result, the heating was 80 degrees. During the test, it became clear that the cooling system of the tested video card is very noisy, although, of course, everyone determines this parameter for himself. On our own, we’ll just add that it can be much noisier and the tested video card XFX GeForce 9The 800GT didn’t make noise like a vacuum cleaner at all. I just wish it was a little quieter.
As regards overclocking, the XFX GeForce 9800GT showed approximately the same results as many GeForce 8800GT. From its nominal clock frequencies equal to 669/1620 MHz for the graphic processor and 1944 MHz for the video memory, the XFX GeForce 9800GT video card mastered the frequencies of 750/1890 and 2100 MHz for the graphic processor and video memory, respectively. Let us remind you once again that the XFX GeForce 9800GT video card has initially increased clock frequencies.
Today’s testing will be carried out on our test bench with the following configuration:
|Intel Core 2 Quad X6850 3. 0 @ 3.67GHz
|ASUS P5E3 based on Intel X38
|Corsair Dominator DDR3 2 x 1 GB 1333 MHz 6-6-6-18 1T
Note that we overclocked the CPU to 3.67 GHz.
The following video cards were chosen as rivals for the XFX GeForce 9800GT video card:
- GeForce 9800GT with nominal frequencies, obtained from the XFX GeForce 9800GT video card by lowering clock frequencies;
- GeForce 8800GT 512 MB;
- Radeon HD 4850;
- GeForce 9800GTX;
We don’t think we need to say why we took the GeForce 8800GT video card for testing. But the last two were chosen on the basis of price. We will give a plate with approximate prices in Russian retail at the end of the article.
The following drivers were used for testing:
- ForceWare 177. 79 for video cards GeForce 9800GT;
- ForceWare 175.19 for GeForce 8800GT and GeForce 9800GTX video cards;
- Catalyst 8.8 for Radeon HD 4850;
If we consider video cards GeForce 9800GT and GeForce 8800GT the same, then the difference in the results obtained between them can be attributed to different driver versions. Alas, the ForceWare driver, which supports all tested GeForce video cards, was only in Beta version at the time of this writing.
As always, let’s start reviewing the test results with 3DMark programs.
As expected, in this test the video cards GeForce 9800GT and GeForce 8800GT showed practically the same results. The overclocked XFX GeForce 9800GT showed a result close to the Radeon HD 4850. But, alas, 3DMark tests do not always reflect the real state of affairs.
In the 3DMark Vantage tests, the XFX GeForce 9800GT almost overtook the GeForce 9800GTX. But the Radeon HD 4850 took the lead and remained out of reach.
In the Call of Duty 4 game, the XFX GeForce 9800GT showed a good result, but did not beat the GeForce 9800GTX and Radeon HD 4850. Of course, it should not, but …
In Call of Juarez, the XFX GeForce 9800GT showed better results than the GeForce 9800GT and GeForce 8800GT, but the Radeon HD 4850 remained out of reach.
In the game Crysis with increasing resolution, the results of the GeForce 9 video card800GT are almost comparable with the results of GeForce 9800GTX, but not at all because they are close in terms of performance, but because they both lack their 512 MB of video memory. The Radeon HD 4850 graphics card, despite the same amount of video memory, does better. As a result, she became the undisputed leader in this fight.
In the game Need for Speed Pro Street Racing, the XFX GeForce 9800GT demonstrates a result close to the GeForce 9800GTX. In this game, NVIDIA video cards generally feel very good, apparently, that’s why this is the first test where the Radeon HD 4850 did not become a leader.
In the game Race Driver: GRID, the leadership returns to the Radeon HD 4850. But, thanks to its overclocking, the XFX GeForce 9800GT video card took the third place here.
The conclusion about the video card XFX GeForce 9800GT tested today suggests itself: nice, faster than its peers, but, in fact, is a GeForce 8800GT. Of course, if you have a motherboard based on a modern NVIDIA chipset with an integrated graphics core, for example, nForce 780A, then the choice between GeForce 9 video cards800GT and GeForce 8800GT should be preferred first. In this case, you can use the Hybrid Power technology, which at times of low activity of the video card almost completely turns it off and switches to using the graphics core built into the chipset. If you have a motherboard based on an NVIDIA chipset without an integrated graphics core, or on a chipset from another manufacturer, then Hybrid Power technology cannot be used. In this case, the differences between the GeForce 9 video card800GT and GeForce 8800GT really won’t.