Review: One of the fastest cards around
We’ve been talking a lot about 9800 GTX cards these days, and today is no exception. Euphoria caused by overclocked Geforce 9800 GTXs is slowly dying down, so we’ve got a difficult task of pointing out the GTXs that will stay in our memories as good overclockers. We’ve already seen that 9800 GTX speeds can easily hit 800MHz, which is 125MHz more than reference 675MHz, and sometimes even further.
A large dual slot cooler keeps the G92 within 74 degrees Celsius, so we’ve been expecting some nicely overclocked cards from Nvidia’s partners. Nvidia initially launched only the reference versions of the cards, whereas the green light for overclocking came on 8th of April when partners got to show off their 9800 GTX craft. Different variations of G92 are already on the market, and the fastest cards run at 770MHz.
On our today’s menu we have XFX 9800 GTX Black Edition card running at 760MHz, which means that it’s one of the fastest 9800 GTXs out there. Apart from the fast core, GTX Black Edition also features memory overclocked to 1140MHz, and the shaders are at 1900MHz.
In order to reach these speeds XFX didn’t have to replace the cooler, which is fine since it does a good job. Dual slot design enables hot air to be pushed out of your rig, and keep the card’s temperatures at bay.
The cooler covers the entire surface of the card and makes it look sleek and stylish. It only has a couple of open spots reserved for air outlets, power cable and audio SPDIF connector. Under a workload, we could hear the fan, but it still didn’t get too loud. As far as appearance goes, the sticker is the only thing that makes this card different from any other 9800 GTX.
You probably thought, because we certainly did, that the fastest thing from XFX will be 9800 GTX XXX but Black Edition surprised us. Although 9800 GTX XXX runs at 740MHz, Black Edition simply outshone it.
Maximum consumption goes up to 156 Watts, but since XFX is overclocked you have to add a couple of W for the worst case scenarios. The card is powered through two power connectors placed on the upper side of the card. The card is 28 centimeters long and will fit in most cased, but you should still be careful since it’s longer than most ATX standard motherboards.
The card is black, just like the box, but other than that it’s physically identical to reference cards. 512MB of memory in eight Samsung memory chips forms a semicircle around the core. The cooler leans on the memory, core and power components (VRM) which helps the card with stability at higher speeds. Memory interface is 256bit.
The I/O panel features two dual link DVI outs, and HDMI+HDCP+Audio are supported through the HDMI adapter, that’s included in the box. In order to enjoy HDMI with sound, you’ll have to route the sound from your soundcard’s/motherboard’s SPDIF out and onto your graphics card.
Good multimedia features of the new GTX are only a part of what this card can do. HybridPower support means it’s not just a faster version of 8800 GTS (G92) card, but that it’s got a couple of aces up its sleeve. In order to take advantage of HybridPower technology, you’ll have to use the latest nForce 7 series motherboard with integrated graphics, and that will save you a lot of power. In a scenario when you’re on your desktop or viewing HD content and you don’t need your graphics card’s GPU, integrated graphics will kick in and discrete graphics will power down. TriSLI is also featured on this card so this card packs two SLI connectors.
Geforce 9800 GTX is a third card from Nvidia’s 9th series. This card, as well as other versions based on G92, feature PCI Express 2.0 x16 interface, they’re DirectX10 ready and have PureVideo HD technology, that makes sure you get a good and quality HD multimedia experience.
The card comes wrapped in a big black box, and XFX provided a treat for all gamers – Assassin’s Creed. We gave it a go during our breaks and testing, and we definitely recommend it. The graphics are nice and the speed and motion of the main character are excellent. At 1920x1200 and 4x Antialiasing, the game ran flawlessly and resulted in over 100 fps (updated - actually over 50 fps at 1920x1200 with max details) , so our gaming went without a hitch.