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Monday, 14 September 2009 11:34

Gigabyte 9800GT Silent Cell tested - 2. Benchmarking and Conclusion

Written by Sanjin Rados

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Review: When power and silence collide



TestBed

Motherboard: MSI P45D3 Platinum ( Provided by: MSI );
Processor: Intel Core 2 QX9770 Extreme edition at 3.6GHz ( Provided by: Intel );
Memory: Corsair Dominator 12800 7-7-7-24 ( Provided by: Corsair);
HDD: WD VelociRaptor 300G 10,000RPM ( Provided by: SmoothCreation );
Driver:  ForceWare 190.62, Catalyst CCC 9.8 Vista 32 SP1



Futuremark Tests


Gigabyte GV-N98TSL-1GI starts nicely in 3DMark06, where it scores almost as well as the HD 4850 graphics card. The reference 9800 GT with 512MB of memory was noticeably slower than the Gigabyte 1GB card in Futuremark tests , as the reference card lagged behind by up to 13.9%. 


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Gaming

Far Cry 2

FarCry 2 shows that GV-N98TSL-1GI’s additional memory brings significant frame advantage over the reference 9800GT as well as competing Radeon cards which ended up slower in antialiasing tests. Gigabyte’s card beats the reference card by 65.7% better result at the highest resolution, but shows its strong side at lower resolutions as well by up to 15.2%.

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HAWX

HAWX shows the advantage of additional memory as well. The highest tested resolution, 2560x1600 was unplayable, but it clearly shows the superiority of Gigabyte’s card over the reference one. On the other hand, HAWX has DX10.1 support, something Nvidia’s card lacks, so turning it on resulted in Radeon cards winning the test.

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Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead shows that Gigabyte’s card is far ahead of the reference card when antialiasing is on.

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World in Conflict

World in Conflict also reports Gigabyte Silent Cell as better than the reference 9800GT, despite the fact that it too runs at reference clocks. GV-N98TSL-1GI scores up to 16.65% better results, most likely due to two times more memory than on the reference card.

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Overclocking, Temperature i Potrošnja

Gigabyte prepared a little treat for 9800GT Silent Cell owners – the Gamer HUD Lite tool, which can be used to change the GPU, memory and shader clocks. We tried this tool and easily reached 725MHz GPU, 1750MHz shader and 1030MHz (2060MHz effectively) for the memory. Note however that the fans within our Cooler Master ATCS 840 were all on.

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Idle temperatures were excellent, only 36°C, whereas operating temperatures weren’t bad either as temperatures didn’t go over 56°C. We couldn’t help but try the same test with our case fans off, and the card quickly hit 100°C when we had to stop our test for safety reasons. 

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After overclocking, the temperatures hit 60°C whereas idle temperatures were about 40°C.

Our rig in total consumed about 220W during operation and about 90W in idle mode. Such low idle consumption is a result of Nvidia’s dynamic consumption regulation, which downclocks the core, shaders and the memory when the card isn’t in 3D mode. AMD unfortunately doesn’t have this, as Radeons only downclock the GPU in 2D mode, resulting in higher consumption.


Conclusion

Gigabyte has come up with one of the best passively cooled graphics cards. Geforce 9800GT Silent Cell, or GV-N98TSL-1GI if you like codenames, will offer nice gaming potential with no noise whatsoever. This card didn’t let us down in overclocking tests either, as it has proven to be every bit as potent as air-cooled Geforce 9800GT cards. Gigabyte claims that Silent Cell cooling on the GV-N98TSL-1GI will result in up to 18°C lower temperatures on the reference Geforce 9800GT, and we almost hit that number during our testing. Note however that smaller and cramped cases will definitely affect the quality of passive cooling on any card, so make sure the airflow within your case is as good as possible.

Gigabyte GV-N98TSL-1GI comes with Ultra Durable VGA components which ensure stability and with 1GB of memory, which will as you can see definitely add to the gaming experience. The card has a native HDMI, which is great in case HTPC is what you’re after. Note that this card is slightly longer than the reference 9800GT, but isn’t awkwardly designed and the cooling will not hinder other slots or components. The GV-N98TSL-1GI follows the standard shape of a dual-slot card and will fit in any case capable of housing a GTX 260 or any other high-end card.

We had a chance to see and discuss the GV-N98TSL-1GI back in Cebit, and we must say that Gigabyte delivered on everything they promised. You can find it priced at about €110, which is some €30 more than the cheapest 9800GT card. If you’re looking for a card that brings quality performance and silent operation in one package, then look no further as this card is what you’ve been looking for.



(Page 2 of 2)
Last modified on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 11:16
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