Product: nVIDIA 9800 GTX
Company: nVIDIA
Authour: ChrisRay
Editor: Charles 'Lupine' Oliver
Date: April 1st, 2008
9800 GTX and SLI / 3-Way SLI Performance Preview

nVidia 9800 GTX
nVidia 9800 GTX

Today Nvidia unveals its newest single GPU high end video card sporting the G92 core: the GeForce 9800 GTX. In addition to higher clocks, the 9800 GTX joins the 9800 GX2 in supporting several features that separate it from its the 8800 GT and 8800 GTS brothers, including Hybrid Power and Tri SLI. The GeForce 9800 GTX comes with an attractive MSRP of $299 to $349. Join Rage3D as we examine Nvidia's new offering as we discover how well the 9800 GTX positions itself as a new contender in the price/performance arena.

Introducing the 9800 GTX

The 9800 GTX sports a sleek new black shroud which covers the entire top of the card, protecting the capacitors and other segments of the card. The black covering isn't for aesthetics alone, creating a wind tunnel as the fan pushes air out to the back of the case. Two gold SLI fingers sit at the edge of the PCB, flaunting the card's 3-Way SLI capability. The length of the board remains identical to that of an 8800 GTX, and sports the same dual 6-pin power connectors.

nVidia 9800 GTX Shroud
nVidia 9800 GTX Shroud
nVidia 9800 GTX Exposed
nVidia 9800 GTX Exposed
The Specs
  • Core: 675 MHz
  • ROPS: 16
  • Texture Address Units: 64
  • Stream Processors: 128
  • Shader Clock: 1,688 MHz
  • Memory Interface: 256 Bit
  • Memory Clock: 1.1 GHz
  • Memory Amount: 512 Megabytes

Power Requirements

With a single 9800 GTX installed, Nvidia recommends a 480 Watt PSU, for SLI operation a 750 Watt PSU, and for 3-Way SLI a 1000 Watt PSU is recommended. These recommendations are somewhat conservative, but Nvidia tends to make these estimates based on worse case scenerios along with the simple fact that all power supplies are not created equal. Remember that these are only guideline, and Nvidia keeps an current SLI compatible PSU list at SLIZONE.

Thermal Characteristics

Okay, we see the new shroud and are familiar with the G92 core, so how hot do these cards run? To answer this question, we tested the hardware in a 3-Way SLI configuration with an app well known for its ability to increase GPU temperatures.

nVidia 9800 GTX 3-Way SLI Temps
nVidia 9800 GTX 3-Way SLI Temps

No additional cooling or case modifications were used for this testing because, frankly, we did not feel they were needed for operating in a standard 70 degree room environment. The results were impressive: with our 8800 GTX 3-Way SLI configuration, we were forced to install additional case cooling to keep the cards from overheating. Even with these modification's the 8800GTX would hit 85-90C tempatures while the 9800 GTX Tri SLI setup hovered in the mid 70s without any additional cooling modification. so 9800 GTX SLI and 3-Way SLI temperatures should be much easier to manage for the average user.Single 9800 GTX and 9800 GTX SLI users will probably never be concerned about their temperature of their card.

Drivers and Software

To maintain consistency, this preview will use the same drivers and software seen in our recent 9800 GX2 and 9800 GX2 Quad SLI.

Test Setup
  • Windows Vista x64 SP1
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 @ 3.2 GHz
  • XFX Nforce 790I @ 1828 FSB
  • 2 Gigs Crucial Ballistic Memory @ 2000 MHz
  • Geforce 9800 GTX/9800 GTX SLI/3-Way SLI
  • Forceware 174.53
  • Topower 1.1 Kilowatt PSU
  • Olevia 27 inch HDTV
Other Cards Tested
  • 8800 GTX
  • 8800 GTX SLI
  • 8800 GTX 3-Way SLI
  • 8800 GT SLI
  • 9800 GX2
  • 9800 GX2 Quad SLI

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