Asus 9800 GTX 512MB EN9800GTX


The 9800 GTX represents a refresh of the G92 chip and as such it's hard to get overly excited by it. Whilst performance is good and certainly edges out the GTS and the GT G92 parts, at points the G80 8800 GTX gets a one up on the young pretender to its crown.
Asus have bundled and priced the card to sell at an RRP of £227, with Microdirect stocking it at a decent £223. Whilst some G92 8800 GT's have dropped in price, the £200 mark is a good place for a graphics card to be so it's sensible move by Nvidia positioning the 9800 GTX in this price segment.
This brings me to another good point: availability. The cards are out there and sitting in the shops. Nvidia slightly delayed the launch of the card to enable partners to get it out there to the e-tailers in time for launch and you can actually buy the card as of today, which is very good.
In the benchmarks I ran the 9800 GTX seemed to make gameplay generally a little more smooth and noticeably Crysis was a fair bit smoother with no jerky frame jumps that you sometimes see. The thing is, the performance isn't "next gen"'s just not impressive and overclocking an 8 series G92 chip will get you pretty much the same performance.
So herein lies my problem: what do I give the card? It's good, but not very "new".
I'm going to give Nvidia some leeway and say that if you have an 8 series G92 (or 8800 GTX) card then I would keep it, but if you're after a new card and want a good performing, well priced mid-high end GPU then get the 9800 GTX: you won't be disappointed.
The Asus 9800 GTX gets a "Recommended" Award along with a "Gamers Choice" Award for being a good all-rounder and playing all of the games benchmarked very well.
Recommended Award  Gamers Choice 
The Good
+ Excellent performance throughout
+ Smoother gameplay
+ Good heatsink design
+ Fairly quiet
+ Good looking
+ Decent overclockability
The Mediocre
* Very close in performance to 8 series cards
* Not a fantastic bundle
The Bad
- An Nvidia marketing stunt??
Thanks to Asus for the review sample
Want one? Happy with your 8 series card? Want to see ATI smash the 9800 GTX in their next gen cards? Let us know here.
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Most Recent Comments

01-04-2008, 21:01:06

We gave you the preview, now it's time for the full shebang!

Take a look hereQuote

02-04-2008, 03:24:50

Ahhh man gotta go work... no time to read.

Will take a look at lunch.Quote

02-04-2008, 03:27:31

Good review mate.

I'm not very impressed with the 98** series so far, but at least the card is reasonably priced and is a good buy for someone who doesn't currently own an 88** card.Quote

02-04-2008, 06:19:09

That's a good, well rounded review - much appreciated.

I won't be swapping my 8800GTX - but for for someone buying a card, well... is a much lower priced 8800gt better value?

How would anyone feel spending £210 on this (lowest I've seen), knowing the next gen chips (if they really are next gen) are just a few months away?

It looks quite a good card - but the timing of it's release seems a bit strange.Quote

02-04-2008, 06:35:49

Mr. Smith
I'm in a bit of a situation.

My X2 died a death and it needs replacing. It cost £270.

I was going to upgrade to the GX2 and cough up the extra £120ish as the other reviews I have seen of the gx2 show it smoking crysis etc (they included youtube vids/screenshots to give an idea, mascaras @ xs iirc). That and a few other things sold me.

Now, I have my 88GT atm as backup but it is sold to my mate who is the slowest pc builder in the world so I can't keep it forever.

The 9800GTX is ~£220 so if I got that as a replacement I'd get £50 back.

I demand performance, high res, aa/af etc. I get very angry if my gpu doesn't perform well, conversely I don't like wasting money and the new gpu's are coming, which are probably just die shrinks but who knows...

Does the gx2 justify the extra £170 over the 98gtx? This review suggests no...

Have you just been too nice Matt? I need to read this at lunch or after work... Food for thought.Quote

02-04-2008, 07:02:38

Originally Posted by name='Jim'
Good review mate.

I'm not very impressed with the 98** series so far, but at least the card is reasonably priced and is a good buy for someone who doesn't currently own an 88** card.
Very much so.

Nothing established as to the extra 6 pin power requirement ?

If I`m not buying for a new pc, I don`t think I`ll bother. Need to get out of this plateau of similar cards released ~£200.

9800GTX in SLI vS GX2 - that`d be interesting.

Thanks for the review Kemp.Quote

02-04-2008, 07:37:59

should have been an 89xx

but all in all, a nice, well rounded card it seems

good review Quote

02-04-2008, 07:46:17

nice one, ace review. Got one on the way now Quote

02-04-2008, 07:50:22

Originally Posted by name='ionicle'
should have been an 89xx
Indeed, probably it was just a typo they could not correct because it was already in print? :-)

It's really a shame, imho... but if it works, we'll see more of that "next-gen" stupidity and buying graphics cards will get even more complicated.

Man I remember back in the days where you either had a GeForce (if you were rich), a Riva TNT or a Voodoo 2...Quote

02-04-2008, 07:52:57

very interesting review there Kempez, and I would agree for people with a 8800 series card, it isn't really worth the upgrade, but some someone looking at spending £200 odd on a new card, its def the way to go.Quote

02-04-2008, 08:01:34

Yeah seems decent for the price.

Like how it beats tri sli ultras in bioshock.. Very strange with the max frame rates but like you say the averages stay at a decent level so it doesn't really matter.

Ahhh well lets see what new drivers do for it.

Nice review anyway Matt... I shall more than likely be buying this to replace my GT for a couple of months until maybe something actually new comes out.

Get it under water though and I reckon that there is potential for some rather high overclocks.Quote

02-04-2008, 09:54:22

Mr. Smith
Would have been nice to see max stable OC tested on games to see what impact it had...Quote

02-04-2008, 10:04:42

Yup, the overclock-test is definitely missing! And it'd be very interesting to know how much that thing clocks, in contrast to the 8800GT or 8800GTS

This IS overclockd3d, after all :-)Quote

02-04-2008, 10:10:38

Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'
Would have been nice to see max stable OC tested on games to see what impact it had...
I'd like a new car, fancy buying me one?

In all seriousness, I just didn't have time to do it

I haven't been nice to the card - it's just not a BAD card, just not next gen Quote

02-04-2008, 12:33:25

Nice to see nvidia have decided to use decent stock coolers again, after the crappy 8800GT..

Shame it's nothing new though

Good review as always, Cheers!Quote

02-04-2008, 12:53:23

nice review as always

somehow I dont think I will get rid of my 88gt yet though as that does not seem to be worth itQuote

02-04-2008, 13:43:43

Fantastic review as usual Kemp.

Not that good a card though.Quote

02-04-2008, 18:36:23

Mr. Smith
Something very weird is going on... Just been on crysis DX10 as in 'Very High' 1650x1050 with the 8800gt, 700/1750/975. FRAPS floated between 10-22fps, excluding cut scenes 15-22fps, WHICH WAS TOTALLY SMOOTH!? WTF

The x2 the other night gave me ~20fps, looked better but wasn't as smooth...

Looking at these review figures I'm at a loss... I don't know what to buy anymore! gts/gtx/gx2... So confused.

Edit: nepas - oops, forgot to say, this gt WAS mine, it's now my house mates but he's not using it atm, but will need it back in the next week or so!Quote

02-04-2008, 18:46:52

I would stick with your 8800gt back up card for now,the next gen cards are due in june-ishQuote

02-04-2008, 22:52:53

Hmm I'm still within my 120 day trade in with EVGA, do I swap my 8800GTS directly for the 9800GTX or pay the extra for the GX2?Quote

02-04-2008, 22:58:00

if you really wanna upgrade I would say gx2,because so far that looks as worthwhile as a 96gt......imoQuote

03-04-2008, 10:50:22

Originally Posted by name='nepas'
if you really wanna upgrade I would say gx2,because so far that looks as worthwhile as a 96gt......imo
Despite that it lingers around the 88gtx level?Quote

03-04-2008, 15:30:52

Mr. Smith
Originally Posted by name='Deshman'
Despite that it lingers around the 88gtx level?
gx2 is much faster than the 88gtx!!!Quote

03-04-2008, 15:41:34

Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'
gx2 is much faster than the 88gtx!!!
Haha I meant the 98gtx

Not bothered how worthwhile it would be as an upgrade if it's a performance upgrade for little or no money Quote

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