Asus 9800 GX2 1GB (EN9800GX2)
Introduction, Specification, Packaging and Package
Launched last week to an expectant enthusiast scene, the 9800GX2 was always going to be a card that would divide opinions even before launch. Nvidia had launched the 7950 GX2
before which had blazing performance but was always felt to be a slightly middle-ground attempt at a new card.
Well, the 9800 GX2 has been in the pipelines a while and is now sitting in stores (and indeed already in some enthusiasts PC's), ready to go. We take a look at a model from Asus to see exactly how the card gets on in the labs.
It's hard to think what exactly to put in this section as the 9800 GX2 is based on the G92 architecture,
which in turn is based on Nvidia's awesome G80 architecture
. This time though, Nvidia have grabbed two G92 cores on two PCB's with a total of 1GB memory and wrapped it all up in a (rather large) but tidy package.
This means that the card has two banks of 128 Stream Processors, working off of a 256bit memory bus equipped with 1GB GDDR3. These together produce 128 GB/sec of memory bandwidth and a super-fast 76.8 billion/sec Texture Fill Rate.
Stream Processors 256
Core Clock (MHz) 600 MHz
Shader Clock (MHz) 1500 MHz
Memory Clock (MHz) 1000 MHz
Memory Amount 1G
Memory Interface 512-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 128
Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec) 76.8
* PCI Express 2.0 Support
Designed for the new PCI Express 2.0 bus architecture offering the highest data transfer speeds for the most bandwidth-hungry games and 3D applications, while maintaining backwards compatibility with existing PCI Express motherboards for the broadest support.
* NVIDIA® PureVideo® HD Technology1
The combination of high-definition video decode acceleration and post-processing that delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for movies and video.
* Dynamic Contrast Enhancement & Color Stretch
Provides post-processing and optimization of High Definition movies on a scene-by-scene basis for spectacular picture clarity.
* HDMI Output
Integrated HDMI™ connector enables sending both high-definition video and audio signals to an HDTV via a single cable.
* NVIDIA HybridPower™ Technology2
Lets you switch from the GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics card to the motherboard GeForce GPU when running non graphically-intensive applications for a silent, low power PC experience.
* Enthusiast System Architecture
The new ESA-enabled NVIDIA control panel provides a state-of-the-art interface for performance tuning and monitoring of your GeForce 9800 GX2-based graphics card on NVIDIA nForce 790i platforms.
Asus have stuck with their packaging featuring Company of Heroes for the 9800 GX2. They've also stuck with the huge box as well, good if you like OTT size boxes but it would be nice to have a little smaller box for a card that only takes up a 6th of the size (max).
The inside of the box shows that Asus have taken care to make sure that the card is well protected although being so huge, there's a lot of spare room in the box itself.
Still, it's not going to end up in a broken card unless you get a particularly nasty courier.
Here we have:
* 1 x Asus CD Wallet
* 1 x Driver CD
* 1 x User Manual CD
* 1 x Speed Setup Guide
* 1 x 2 x 6-PIN PCI-e to 8-PIN PCI-e power
* 1 x Dual Molex to 6-PIN PCI-e power
* 1 x DVI to VGA adapter
* 1 x Graphics card to Motherboard sound pass-though
The package supplied by Asus is a decent one and covers most angles from a hardware perspective. The game included is Company of Heroes which is a very good popular title, but perhaps getting a little long in the tooth. Still, at least it has a DX10 patch, enabling you to make use of your DX10 GPU.
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