A short while ago the EU press was on a conference call with NVIDIA regarding the GeForce GTX 660 launch. In that call the press was briefed about the new GK106 based GPU. What was a little strange to see is that in that presentation the good old GeForce 9800 GT reared its head in some benchmark examples.
Last week I got a call from NVIDIA explaining why that was ... a lot of the demographics show that end-users who purchased their PC a couple of years ago very likely still have a GeForce 9800 GT. NVIDIA's demographics show that lots and lots of people are still using that card (and apparently it is a lot of them) are bound to upgrade, and the most logical step is the GeForce GTX 660.
With that mindset NVIDIA asked us if we'd be interested in doing a little article on the two products. Sure why not, it's something different for a change and the thesis makes sense. Most of all it will be interesting to see how a four year old card and the latest one from the mainstream segment perform.
For those who forgot it, the GeForce 9800 GT was DX10 based and the follow-up product of the 9800 GTX. It was launched four years ago I believe in October 2008. Priced at the time at roughly 150 USD the product had a 700 MHz core / 1500 MHz shader clock for the 112 shader processor based product , it actually was a hit in terms of value for money. Armed with a 256-bit memory bus and DRR3 memory it had a 57.6 GB/sec memory bandwidth (obviously depending a little on brand SKU).
Back in the days 512MB was the standard, these day's with that frame buffer you'll quickly run out it with the modern titles.
Where I personally feel that graphics cards are at a bit of a standstill these days (they only focus seems to be performance) innovation back then was on top of the list. It was the time that CUDA started, PhysX was on the move and PureVideo was up and coming for 1080P content.
So in this little article we'll use a DX10 based GeForce GTX 9800 GT and the all new DX11 ready GeForce GTX 660 reference model.
This article will do nothing more then observe performance so you know what you gain in that gaming experience if you come from that 9800 GT card. With the GTX 660 being a much more evolved card the differences are obviously extensive. And next to that, the feature are richer. But hey .. it's about performance and value for money. Now is a good time to upgrade. Let's meet the two products and run a couple of games in DX9 and DX10.
Oh and let me just start by saying that graphics cards in 2008 made a heck of a lot more noise ;)