XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition Video Card Review

Posted: May 16 2008, 12:00am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 9:24am CDT , in Computer Hardware


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Features & Specifications
The XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition has a memory clock of 2.1 GHz and a shader clock of 1700 MHz. The core clock rate of the card is 700 MHz and it uses the same 1GB of GDDR3 that other 9800 GX2’s take advantage of. The card supports SLI, is HDCP ready and RoHS compliant. XFX bundles the card with a full copy of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

Test Machine
My test machine has the following specifications:

  • OS- Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 32-bit
  • PSU- Top Power 1100W
  • RAM- 2GB Kingston HyperX DDR3
  • CPU- Intel QX9770
  • Display- 30-inch Dell

Benchmarks & Testing
Testing for the performance of the XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition was done with 3DMark06, Crysis, Bioshock, and Quake Wars. The first test up is 3DMark06.

I ran 3DMark06 at default settings in the 3DMark control panel and default settings in the NVIDIA control panel. The XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition scored as follows on 3DMark06:

  • Total 3DMarks- 16642
  • SM2.0- 6315
  • HDR/SM3.0- 8074
  • CPU- 4676
  • Return to Proxycon- 54.512
  • Firefly Forest- 50.736
  • Canyon Flight- 93.998
  • Deep Freeze- 67.492
  • CPU1- 1.532
  • CPU2- 2.284

To compare 3DMark06 scores a bit the ASUS EN9800 GX2 Top I recently reviewed scored 16936 3DMarks, slightly edging out the XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition. The BFG 9800 GTX scored 14201, the XFX 9800 GX2 scored 16227 (on a different test machine), and the PNY 9800 GX2 scored 16583 (on a different test machine).

The next test up was Crysis ran at a screen resolution of 1920 x 1200 with 2x AA and all settings on medium. I used Fraps to record frame rate data starting on the initial beach insertion until the fight with the first enemy soldiers. Fraps recorded the following frame rate data:

  • Min- 50 fps
  • Avg- 87.148 fps
  • Max- 123 fps

Quake Wars
The next game test up was Quake Wars. I ran the game at 2560 x 1600 with all setting son high and ultra shaders with 4x AA. Fraps recorded frame rate data on a single player Africa Refinery map. Fraps recorded the following frame rate data:

  • Min- 43 fps
  • Avg- 59.818 fps
  • Max- 62 fps

The final game test up for the XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition was Bioshock. The game was run at 1920 x 1200 with all setting son and all settings on high. Fraps recorded frame rate data on the level when you have to release the hatch entrance to the medical bay. Fraps recorded the following frame rate data:

  • Min- 43 fps
  • Avg- 59.77 fps
  • Max- 63 fps

Final Thoughts
There is no doubt that the XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition is one of the best performing video cards on the market. It outperformed all the stock 9800GX2s I have tested and posted significantly better minimum frame rates on game tests. The XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition and the Asus EN9800GX2 Top were a virtual tie performance wise. Both the cards also offer a nice game bundle. However, the XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition edges the Asus card out in game quality and warranty.




  • Great performance
  • Excellent game bundle


  • PSU needs 6 and 8-pin power connectors
  • Large size

The XFX 9800 GX2 Black Edition is one of the best performing 9800 GX2 video cards on the market and comes bundled with one of the best video games currently available—Call of Duty 4. Couple the game, the performance and the XFX double lifetime warranty and what you have here is the best 9800 GX2 around.


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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
Shane can be contacted directly at shane@i4u.com.




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