NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX Round-Up: BFG, EVGA, Zogis

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary:  Considering all we knew of the GeForce 9800 GTX going into this article, its performance was right in-line with our expectations.  The GeForce 9800 GTX is marginally more powerful than the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB and was faster than the GTS in every game we tested to some degree.  The new GeForce 9800 GTX was also faster than the older GeForce 8800 GTX most of the time, but the battle was very close in UT3 and the 8800 GTX  pulled ahead in ET: Quake Wars.  And the dual-GPU powered Radeon HD 38070 X2 and GeForce 9800 GTX traded victories in our tests, but the X2 was the faster card more often than not.  Traditional two card and 3-way GeForce 9800 GTX SLI configurations also showed good scaling in the games we used for testing, typically finishing at, or near the top of the charts.


As you saw throughout our benchmarks, the new GeForce 9800 GTX does not blow its competition out of the water, like the GeForce 8800 GTX did when it was introduced.  Based on the GeForce 9800 GTX's performance alone, we're sure a many of you with 8800 series cards aren't going to be itching to upgrade just yet.  That's not to say the GeForce 9800 GTX isn't superior to every other single-GPU powered NVIDIA built graphics card, however.  Keep in mind, the new GeForce 9800 GTX offers full support for PureVideo HD, which the G80 based 8800 GTX does not.  It also offers HDMI with audio through the use of an S/PDIF pass-through and adapter.  And its power consumption is lower than the older GTX, while offering similar or better performance.  Although it doesn't annihilate its predecessors like the GeForce 8800 GTX did upon its introduction, the GeForce 9800 GTX is definitely a solid offering.  Owners of previous generation mid-range cards would be well served by a GeForce 9800 GTX.

The GeForce 9800 GTX only gets better when running in an SLI configuration, where it showed good performance scaling across the board.  And 3-way SLI is obviously an uber-powerful graphics setup, although if you're going to play at the ultra high-end, we'd steer you toward a Quad-SLI setup over three 9800 GTXes.  Pricing is similar at the moment, but you won't have to sacrifice all of your expansion slots with a pair of GX2 cards installed in a single system.

Just in case you were wondering, the GeForce 9800 GTX finally does away with a couple of its predecessors in NVIDIA's product stack.  As you can see in the slide above, the GeForce 8800 GTX and Ultra are going EOL and are being replaced by the 9800 GX2 and GTX.  NVIDIA is positioning the new GTX alongside the Radeon HD 3870 X2, but the GTX is far more affordable.  GeForce 9800 GTX cards should be available immediately with prices ranging from $299 to $349 according to NVIDIA.  NewEgg actually has all of the cards we tested here already
listed for $329 at the moment, but over time as overclocked variants arrive, we expect the prices of reference models to drop a bit as has historically been the case.


  • Fastest Single-GPU Card
  • PureVideo HD
  • Good Power Consumption
  • Hybrid Power Support
  • Competitive Price
  • Quiet Cooler
  • Doesn't Smoke its Predecessors

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