12 - The Conclusion
NVIDIA knew pretty well what they where doing by releasing the GeForce 9800 GTX+ a day before the Radeon HD 4850 release. Each card (4850/9800GTX+) wins and loses some. When you tally up, in the end I consider them both to be pretty equal. However I do feel strongly that the GeForce 9800 GTX+ must shift toward 199 USD as well as the 30 USD difference just seems too big. The 4850 has DX 10.1, the GTX+ has better thermals & cooling. Choices choices. Heck, I never said this was easy.
One of the most stunning facts for the GTX+ however was the flexibility in overclocking. I means seriously, this was the real deal for sure, we boosted the already impressive 728 core, 1836 shader and 2200 MHz clock frequencies pretty easily towards an amazing 860 MHz on the core, 2133 on the shader domain and 2490 MHz on the memory. That instantly will add another 15-20% performance towards your framerate. So tweaking wise this also is a very interesting product. Though in all fairness .. overclocking results can differ per batch and board partner.
Next to the smaller 55nm fab, internally some small features might have been altered as well. The GTX+ does seem to be a tad more efficient compared to it's 65nm counterpart. In fact is was performing precisely the same as the Black Edition GeForce 9800 GTX we just tested. Bang for your bucks people.
All this mid-range maddness is just grand, I mean two weeks ago a GeForce 9800 GTX would have cost you near 275-350 bucks, now you can get it for 199,- USD. At 229,- USD / 169 EUR this is just a superb product that will get you very good framerates in combo with excellent image quality settings pretty easily up-to 1920x1200. And that's just bloody brilliant. As stated, the product does need to come down towards 199 USD for it to really compete with the Radeon HD 4850. Unfortunately the design and more expensive and better cooler might prohibit just that. All in all, it surely is worth the money, yet I also realize you guys stare yourself blind at the price. And you know what ... ? You really should do that as for you it's about bang for buck. I'm merely stating, both the 4850 & 9800 GTX+ offer a lot of it.
If you got some dough to spare, now is a good time to pick up a 199-229 USD mid-range product my friend. Whatever card you choose, you will just not regret the purchase. The GeForce 9800 GTX+ definitely is a pleasure to have in your gaming rig, and you'll just adore it very much.