XFX 9800 GX2 Video Card Review

Posted: Mar 18 2008, 12:00am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 9:22am CDT, in Reviews | Computer Hardware

 
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Benchmarks

Features & Specifications
The XFX 9800 GX2 uses a pair of NVIDI A9800 GPUs each of which has its own 512MB of RAM for a total of 1GB of GDDR3. The core clock runs at 600 MHz and the memory runs at 2GHz. The shader clock on the XFX 9800 GX2 runs at 1500MHz. The car has a 512-bit memory bus and is a dual slot design. This is the first graphics card form NVIDIA that requires both a 6-pin PCI-e and an 8-pin PCI-E power connection to operate. Before you plop out your bucks for this card you will want to be sure your PSU has the 8-pin connector or plan on buying a new PSU at the same time.

Outputs on the card include a pair of dual-link DVI ports and a HDMI port. This XFX 9800 GX2 runs at the NVIDIA stock reference clocks. XFX says that at a later date overclocked cards will be available as well, but not at the initial launch. The XFX 9800 GX2 also features the Quantum engine embedded physics, HDCP capable, hybrid power capable and uses the unified architecture we are familiar with already. The card also features 256 stream processors.

Test Machine
My test machine has the following specifications:

  • CPU- Intel QX6850
  • Mainboard- XFX 680i
  • PSU- PC Power and Cooling 1KW
  • Display- Dell 30-inch
  • OS- Windows XP Pro
  • RAM- 2GB DDR2 800MHz

Benchmarks & Testing
To test the XFX 9800 GX2 I will be using 3Dmark06, Crysis, Bioshock and Quake Wars. The first test up is 3Dmark06.

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

  • Total 3DMarks- 16227
  • SM2.0- 6233
  • HDR/SM3.0- 7672
  • CPU- 4715
  • Return to Proxycon- 50.732
  • Firefly Forest- 53.157
  • Canyon Flight- 88.639
  • Deep Freeze- 64.807
  • CPU1- 1.562
  • CPU2- 2.277

To compare the XFX 9600 GT that I reviewed recently scored 11397 3Dmarks, the 8800 Ultra XXX scored 14378 3DMarks, the XFX 8800 GTS 512MB XXX scored 14012 3DMarks and the ASUS HD 3850 Top scored 10257 3DMarks. The XFX 9800 GX2 shattered all records in 3Dmark06 and is simply the single fastest graphics card I have ever had in my computer.

Crysis
The next test up is Crysis. This is usually the point where I say that I couldn’t run Crysis at over medium settings. Today for the first time ever I was able to run Crysis at 1920 x 1200, all settings on high and with 2xAA at smooth and playable frame rates. I used Fraps to record frame rate data from the initial beach insertion until the battle with the first enemies. Fraps recorded the following frame rate data:

  • Min- 16 fps
  • Avg- 34.151 fps
  • Max- 56 fps

Since my 30-inch display will do 2560 x 1600 I decided to use Fraps on the same level with a screen resolution of 2560 x 1600 with all setting son medium and 2x AA. Fraps recorded the following frame rate data:

  • Min- 1 fps
  • Avg- 20.468
  • Max- 31 fps

Quake Wars
The next game test up was with Quake Wars. I ran Quake Wars at 1920 x 1200 with 2x AA and all settings on high. Fraps recorded frame rate data on a single player level at the Africa refinery. Fraps recorded the following data:

  • Min- 48 fps
  • Avg- 60.391 fps
  • Max- 62 fps

Bioshock
The final game test up for the XFX 9800 GX2 is Bioshock. I ran Bioshock at a screen resolution of 1920 x 1200 with all settings on high, distortion on, HD shaders on, HD post processing on and real time reflections on. I used Fraps to record frame rates on the single player level at Fontaine Fisheries where you leave your weapons behind. Fraps recorded the following information:

  • Min-34 fps
  • Avg- 104.74 fps
  • Max- 204 fps

Final Thoughts
When all the dust settled all you need to do is look at the benchmarks from the XFX 9800 GX2 to see that it broke records in each and every test. This is the first time I can say I ran Crysis on high settings and could actually play the game. If you want the best and fastest video card to ever hit retail shelves, the XFX 9800 GX2 is it. I can’t wait to see what the XFX 9800 GX2 will do in Quad SLI with a pair of these beauties running.

Verdict

Conclusion

Pros

  • Phenomenal performance
  • Plays even the most challenging games on high settings

Cons

  • Requires 8-pin PCI-E adapter
  • Large size
  • Cost

Verdict
If you want the best and fastest video card in all the land, the XFX 9800 GX2 is it. The XFX 9800 GX2 is a no holds barred record breaking speed demon of a graphics card.

9.5
10
 
 

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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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