GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB (PLUS) review -
2 - Meet the GeForce 9800 GTX+
Meet the GeForce 9800 GTX+
So then, with this new SKU the G92 based graphics processor is no longer based on NVIDIA's 0.65nm silicon, which actually already was a respin chip based on last years architecture from the GeForce 8800 series. NVIDIA made the transition onwards to a much smaller die (chip size), made at a 55nm fabrication process. Why move towards a smaller fabrication process you might ask?
A lower die-size often equals lower core voltages, better energy efficiency and typically better clock speeds. Important to know is that the G92 is based on the same chip that the 8800 GTS 512MB has, which means that the GPU on the 9800 GTX+ also has 128 shader processors.
How many transistors do the NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX GPUs have you ask ? No precise data has been given yet, but it's safe to assume roughly 754 million transistors. A question we hear a lot, why is the 9800 GTX 512MB a series 9 product, and the 8800 GTS 512MB (based on the same G92 graphics core), a series 8 product? The answer: I have no idea other then the fact that a Series 9 product sounds better (marketing wise). The G92 based 8800 GTS should probably have been called 9800 GTS or GS as people in the stores right now are really confused.
So in summary, the new features of G92+ opposed to the G80: an even smaller 55nm fabrication process, silicon optimizations (compression algorithms), usage of 256-bit memory, and compared to the older GTS models a higher shader processor count at 128 sub-cores.
The core frequency of the regular 9800 GTX runs at 675 MHz, the shader processors at 1675 MHz and the memory at 2200 MHz effectively (70.4 Gbps memory bandwidth); mind you that these are reference speeds.
So purely to counteract the new Radeon 4850 products NVIDIA decided to create another SKU in the market called NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+
The GeForce 9800 GTX+ thanks to the smaller fab now can run (easily) at 738 MHz, the shader processors at 1836 MHz and the memory at 2200 MHz effectively.
Also the new Series 9 cards are Hybrid Power ready, meaning on future Hybrid mainboards this card can deactivate itself (saving power). One more advantage for the 9800 GTX+ is that you can go three-way SLI with it.
Generally speaking it is a faster clocked NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX, and even more importantly the price is dropping pretty significantly towards a suggested retail price of $229 USD. Also the GeForce 9800 GTX will drop towards 199 USD, matching the Radeon HD 4850. You just have to like the competition as it's definitely going to be interesting to purchase a higher specced mid-range card. They'll get you excellent performance for the money you pay.
The card we received from NVIDIA definitely is a notch faster compared to the older GeForce 9800 GTX .
|GeForce 9800 GTX||GeForce 9800 GTX+||GeForce 9800 GX2|
|Stream (Shader) Processors||128||128||128x2|
|Core Clock (MHz)||675||738||600|
|Shader Clock (MHz)||1675||1836||1512|
|Memory Clock (MHz) x2||1100||1100||1000|
|Memory amount||512 MB||512 MB||512 MBx2|
|Two Dual link DVI||Yes||Yes||Yes|
We'll slowly start up the actual test. First we'll look at power consumption, heat levels and noise. Then we'll show you a thing or two in our photo-shoot after which we'll obviously fire off the hottest games of 2008 at the card to see if it can deliver what it's supposed to do. Also, we included a video transcoding benchmark to measure GPU computing.
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