Gigabyte Radeon 9800 Pro (GVR98P128D)

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The Gigabyte GV-R98P128D
Powered by the ATi Radeon 9800 Pro

By - Marco Chiappetta
July 17, 2003

We continued our benchmarking with Croteam's Serious Sam: The Second Encounter.  We configured the game to use OpenGL (this is one of the few games that can use either DirectX or OpenGL) and ran a series of tests using the built-in "Little Trouble" demo.   To ensure the playing field was level, we used Beyond3D's "Extreme Quality" script which maxes out the texture and filtering quality with all of the cards tested.

Head-to-Head / Performance With Serious Sam: TSE
Lots of Guns, Action and Explosions!

The GeForce FX 5900 eclipsed the Radeon 9800 Pros by about 8% at 1024x768 in Serious Sam: TSE, both with and without Antialiasing enabled (The FX doesn't offer 6X AA in OpenGL, hence the N/A in the graph).  The tables were turned when we raised the resolution to 1600x1200, however.  At 1600x1200, the 9800 Pros pulled ahead of the FX by roughly the same 8%, regardless of which AA method was in use.  Once again, the Radeon 9600 Pro performed well, but was clearly outclassed by the high-end cards.

Overclocking With The Gigabyte GV-R98P128D Radeon 9800 Pro
Fast = Good.  Faster = Better!

Obviously, the Gigabyte GV-R98P128D is fast.  The Radeon 9800 Pro powering this card is arguably the highest performing GPU currently available, but there is always some room for improvement!  We set out to see just how much headroom was available, by overclocking the card until visual artifacts started to appear during the benchmarks.  We ended up overclocking the GV-R98P128D's core up to 422MHz and the memory up to 373MHz (746MHz DDR).  These speeds are 11% (core) and 10% (memory) higher than default.  Actually, the GV-R98P128D overclocked even higher than this without crashing, but there were visual anomalies galore.  To demonstrate the benefits of overclocking the card, we ran the Gun Metal benchmark at 1024x768.  When overclocked, the Gigabyte GV-R98P128D was about 9.7% faster, almost catching the GeForce FX 5900.

The Gigabyte GV-R98P128D Radeon 9800 Pro is an excellent product.  With the Gigabyte GV-R98P128D, gamers are blessed with all of the power and visual splendor of an ATi Radeon 9800 Pro, but Gigabyte includes a handful of games and an overclocking utility at a lower price point than an "ATi Built" equivalent.  As of today, the Gigabyte GV-R98P128D can be found for roughly $355 US at various on-line resellers.  The "ATi Built" Radeon 9800 Pro is selling for about $369 US.  $14 may not be a significant amount of money to most people, but it is money than can be spent elsewhere!  The Gigabyte GV-R98P128D proved to be very stable throughout our benchmarking process, it had a good amount of overclocking headroom, great image quality, "best of class" performance and the included accessory and game bundle was better than most similar products, at any price point.  In the end, we don't have anything really negative to say about this card.  We would have liked to have seen a more recent game bundled with the card to show of its true power, and heatsinks on the RAM would have been a welcome addition, but there is no denying Gigabyte has done a great job.  Based on its bundle, performance and competitive price, we're giving the Gigabyte GV-R98P128D Radeon 9800 Pro a HotHardware Heat Meter Rating of 9.5.


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