Gigabyte and Palit GeForce 9800 GT Face Off


NVIDIA's current list of graphics products reads like a mathematician's crib sheet; there are no fewer than 10 active SKUs in their GTX 200- and 9000-series of graphics cards.  It's generally understood that higher model numbers typically mean better peformance, but the subtleties behind the GSO / GT / GTX / GX2 monikers are enough to confuse even the most stalwart tech gurus.  NVIDIA admits to creating some buyer confusion, and plans on making things easier from here on out with the model type coming first (GTX meaning high-end) and the part number corresponding to the performance level second, with higher numbers obviously equalling better performance (ie, a GTX 280 is faster than a GTX 260).

Adding to this confusion, however, are cards like the GeForce 9800 GT.  Unlike the prevailing theory that higher numbers mean newer / better performing products, the 9800 GT is actually little more than a rebranded 8800 GT with support for HDMI audio output and HybridPower.  HDMI audio output is achieved using a secondary audio cable, like the current cards in the GTX 200 series.  And HybridPower is an interesting feature in which your video card is turned off when not needed in favor of a low-power IGP, but it requires a compatible motherboard and for now they only come AMD-flavored.  Currently 9800 GT and 8800 GT cards share the same 65nm GPU, but rumor has it a 55nm version will be arriving soon. What that means in terms of clock frequencies and power consumption remains to be seen, but for now most 9800 GT and 8800 GT cards share similar GPU and memory clocks as you'll see in the specifications below...

NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT
Features & Specifications
GPU Engine Specs:

Processor Cores 112 
Graphics Clock (MHz) 600 MHz
Processor Clock (MHz) 1500 MHz
Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec) 33.6 

Memory Specs:
Memory Clock (MHz) 900 MHz
Standard Memory Config 512  MB
Memory Interface Width 256-bit GDDR3 
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 57.6 
Feature Support:
NVIDIA SLI®-ready* 2-Way
NVIDIA PureVideo® Technology* HD
NVIDIA PhysX™-ready*
NVIDIA CUDA™ Technology
HybridPower™ Technology*
GeForce Boost  
Microsoft DirectX 10 
OpenGL 2.1 
Bus Support PCI-E 2.0 x16 
Certified for Windows Vista
Display Support:
Maximum Digital Resolution 2560x1600 
Maximum VGA Resolution 2048x1536 
Standard Display Connectors Dual Link DVI
Multi Monitor
HDMI* Via adapter
Audio Input for HDMI S/PDIF 
Standard Graphics Card Dimensions:
Height 4.4 inches
Length 9 inches 
Width Single-slot 
Thermal and Power Specs:
Maximum GPU Tempurature (in C) 105  C
Maximum Graphics Card Power (W) 105  W
Minimum System Power Requirement (W) 400  W
Supplementary Power Connectors 6-pin 

Above are the complete specifications and feature-set of the GeForce 9800 GT.  Due to the fact that we’ve already covered the underlying technology employed in the G92 GPU powering the 9800 GT, we’re not going to rehash those details again here.  If you need a refresher, please check out our release piece on the
8800 GT, where we cover all of the main features and inner workings.  The two cards from Gigabyte and Palit that we will look at today share all of the above characteristics with the sole exception of Palit's Super+ 1GB, which ships with a larger frame buffer.

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