XFX 9800 GTX Black Edition 512mb

Introduction, specification, packaging and package

A little while ago we looked at the 9800 GTX and although results were good and undoubtedly the single card performance was solid, it just didn't blast away the older cards.
This time we're looking at XFX's big bad 'Black Edition' 9800 GTX. Clocked to the max with a bundle that most gamers would jump at, the Black Edition is XFX's new Top End range 9800 GTX.
A bit of info about XFX:
XFX dares to go where the competition would like to, but can't. That's because, at XFX, we don't just create great digital video components--we build all-out, mind-blowing, performance crushing, competition-obliterating video cards and motherboards. Oh, and not only are they amazing, you don't have to live on dry noodles and peanut butter to afford them.

XFX is a division of PINE Technologies, a leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art processing components.
XFX are one of Nvidia's leading OEM's and as such seem to get clock speeds that are bordering on what your average overclocker gets.
The specification of the card speaks for itself:
Dual Link DVI - Supporting digital output up to 2560x1600
Yes (Dual)
Shader Clock
1900 MHz
Clock rate
760 MHz
Memory Clock
2.28 GHz
Game Bundle
PV-T98F-YDB9 w/ Assassin's Creed
GeForce 9800 GTX
512 MB
Bus Type
PCI-E 2.0
Memory Type
Memory Bus
HDMI w/ HDMI upgrade kit (included)
Highlighted Features
SLI ready , Vista , HDTV ready , Dual DVI Out , RoHS , HDCP Ready
More info and extra specs can be found here
 I just wanted to highlight that XFX's Black Edition GPU's are hand picked from it's XXX Edition GPU's and hot and cold chamber tested to give the customer 100% stability when it arrives at their door. In addition to this, XFX have said:
all customers will receive priority Live help support when registering the product and we have ensured our system allows for priority action on any customer requests.
Obviously this adds to XFX's manufacturing costs, but XFX have said this is something they wanted to give their loyal customers who go out and buy their top end GPU's. 
XFX have gone for some (surprisingly!), black packaging to put their Black Edition in. The packaging looks nice and the lettering of "Black Edition" is only visible at certain angles which should give it some shelf-cred.
 box front  box logo
Inside the box is well packaged as you would expect from XFX, top quality stuff.
inside box
As I have said previously, XFX have put together a very nice bundle for the Black Edition. We have:
* Quick Install Guide
* Hint and Tips Booklet
* S-Video Guide
* "Don't disturb me I'm gaming" door card
* Driver CD
* Assiassins Creed Full Game
* 1 x S-Video to Component Cable
* 1 x DVI to HDMI adaptor
* 2 x DVI to VGA adaptors
* 2 x Dual Molex to PCI-e Power
* 1 x S-Video to S-Video cable
* Motherboard/Sound card cable for HDMI sound pass-through
The bundle is quite frankly, awesome and Assassins Creed will certainly attract those buyers wanting an AAA title in with their top end card.
XFX have said that as an update on the bundle, they have exclusively given SCAN an exclusive deal. You would also get:
Includes XFX Gamers Bundle Exclusive to SCAN Only,
• Assassins creed.
• Assassins creed book
• XFX TShirt
• XFX Key Ring..
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Most Recent Comments

12-05-2008, 13:27:03

We check out something a little special from XFX



12-05-2008, 14:46:19

good review

and nice card

summet that the people with the money, and wanting performance must have then...Quote

12-05-2008, 14:58:37

And the people wanting to have overclocked, hand picked GPU's backed up by an excellent warranty and support packageQuote

12-05-2008, 15:23:13

Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
And the people wanting to have overclocked, hand picked GPU's backed up by an excellent warranty and support package
Yeah I`d go along with that tbh.

It`s a great review, and I have to be honest with ya`ll, my experiences of oc`ing the 8800GT alpha weren`t the best - and I don`t really put it down totally to the hardware, more the tools required to do it also.

I`d probably be more inclined, in the current climate (things can change of course) to get something above the reference clock and see what minimal % I can go higher than that.

Looking at the price, I don`t think it`s too bad. I can remember my card be around £225 on release.

Good stuff. Good single card imo.Quote

13-05-2008, 02:33:47

Nice in depth review Kempez. Strange results in FEAR Max fps lol.

Cue Hudson with his Alien motion tracker : 'It's reading right man look'...

Hicks : 'Well you're not reading it right!'


13-05-2008, 06:14:36

The COD4 results seem strange to me i get basicly the same if not better results on my 320mb 8800 GTS!Quote

13-05-2008, 06:21:23

Alot can depend on the config settings, not just the res and AA/AF which affects fps..Quote

13-05-2008, 07:58:45

Agreed, but all cards were tested using the exact same hardware and tested three times so it's hard to argue with what I got. I did also re-test several games again to ensure accuracy

Sometimes you just get one or two results that seem a little odd, but I think generally the results show how fast the card is Quote

13-05-2008, 08:06:11

What weirds me out is when u goto the nVidia driver download thing and there`s a new one - and top of the list of fixes will be something like "9800 cards will now work better with Crysis" - wtf ?!?!Quote

13-05-2008, 08:29:38

It's not uncommon for developers and manufacturers to work together to improve game performance, that's what Nvidia pay all their coders for Quote

14-05-2008, 04:31:51

Originally Posted by name='webbo'
Alot can depend on the config settings, not just the res and AA/AF which affects fps..
Very true but my guess was that they used stock menu options and stuck on 4xAA via COD menu.

My point still stands that the card does not seem to perform very well from what i can see when compared to the lowest 88xx series card.Quote

14-05-2008, 04:45:21

I think you'll find that the cards held back a little in CoD 4 by the fact that the engine's not exactly a toughie. Gameplay was smooth and silky throughout, but then it will be on all 88XX and 98XX seriesQuote

14-05-2008, 04:49:34

Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
I think you'll find that the cards held back a little in CoD 4 by the fact that the engine's not exactly a toughie. Gameplay was smooth and silky throughout, but then it will be on all 88XX and 98XX series
Indeed the engine is a bit strange i just would have expected to see some form of improvement.

Maybe this is as im hunting for the ability to get 125fps constant at 1920x1200 with AA which atm just aint possible.Quote

14-05-2008, 05:21:55

Well you see an improvement in the graph from my own benchmarks over the 8800's, just not much

The engine is good which is why so many cards can cope, but no your not going to get that level of FPS, although I would possibly attribute that to CPU/Memory as wellQuote

14-05-2008, 05:25:48

Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
I would possibly attribute that to CPU/Memory as well
I'd agree if the engine took advantage of Quad's! But my port Q6600@3.3ghz cant even start to sweat with this and yet cant handle the FPS

The COD/Quake III Engine has a bug in it that lets you jump further depending on FPS you see and 125fps is the sweet spot.

I'll just keep running at 800x600@4AA on my 24" TFT :S dont actually look that bad!Quote

14-05-2008, 06:02:44

Strange - in the 780a chipset review I did cod4 managed to run on the onboard 8400gs/8500 chip @ 1024x768 with 40fps+ albeit without AA. Testiment to Kempez's view that the engine allows most GPU's to run it ok.I'm surprised you're finding it hard to get a decent fps with the GTS.

76fps and 125fps are as you say the 'sweet spots' so with your screen you would perhaps be better upping the res and lowering the AA and setting the max fps to 76. I have found that on my 3007WFP-HC the AA is barely noticeble at 2560x1600 and certainly not noticble enough that it would warrant me dropping the res.Quote

14-05-2008, 06:07:25

I have a 8800GTS and was running at 125fps more of less constant at 1920x1200 without AA and with some basic tweaks to remove un-needed rubble.

When playing at a high level the slightest FPS drop does become annoying so although i limit at 125FPS really im after 250FPS constant to make sure theres not drops at all.

My system can more than handly it, just inital was stating that im shocked at the lack of improvment from my low end 8800 to this 9800Quote

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