XFX 9800GTX Plus Black Edition Review :: XFX 9800GTX+ Black Features

11-13-2008 · Category: Hardware - Video Cards

By Doc Overclock
  • Core clock 785MHz
  • G92 chip
  • 754 million transistors
  • Memory Clock 1100MHz/2.3GHz effective
  • 256-bit memory interface
  • 70.4GB/second memory bandwidth
  • 512MB GDDR3 memory
  • 2340MHz Shader clock
  • DirectX 10.0
  • Pixel Shader 4.0
  • Vertex Shader 4.0
  • CUDA
  • PhysX
  • 128 Streaming Processors
  • Unified Shader Architecture
  • PureVideo HD

XFX 9800GTX Plus Black Edition Review

Brand Name XFX
Part Number PVT98WYDBF
Graphics Chip G92
Core clock 785
Shader Clock 2340
SPs 128
Fabrication Process 65 nanometer
Transistors 754 million
Memory clock 2.3GHz
Memory Interface 256-bit
Memory bandwidth 70.4GB/sec
Memory Size 512MB
ROPs 16
Texture Filtering Units 32
Texture Filtering Rate 20 Gigatexels/second
HDCP Support Yes
HDMI Support Yes (via adapter)
Connectors 2x Dual-Link DVI, TV-Out
Bus PCI Express 2.0
Form Factor Dual Slot
Power Connectors 2x6-pin

XFX 9800GTX Plus Black Edition Review
XFX 9800GTX Plus Black Edition Review

NVIDIA launched the G92 chip core last year with the release of the GeForce 8800GT. This chip had 112 Stream Processors, a 256-bit memory bus and performance that rivaled the higher selling cards of the time. Since that time, NVIDIA has released the 8800GTS which is the same core except all 128 SPs are enabled, the 9800GTX which is a higher clocked 8800GTS and the 9800GT which is the 8800GT with HybridPower. If this seems a little strange that is because NVIDIA has taken to using the same core chip across several product SKUs. It cuts down on the number of chips to design but can also lead to problems as NVIDIA found out with their notebook GPUs recently.

The GeForce 9800GTX+ is NVIDIA's first 55 nanometer chip. As the core chip on the 9800GTX+ is essentially the same chip (G92) it will only be a matter of time before the rest of the 9xxx series moves to the 55 nanometer processes from the 65 nanometer process the previous NVIDIA cards used. The use of the 55 nanometer process should provide lower power consumption, and allow the vendors to clock the cards higher. The 9800GTX+ Black Edition from XFX is clocked at 785MHz for the core, which is 110MHz faster than the original GeForce 9800GTX card. The memory speed has been kept the same but the Shader Clock has been increased from 1625MHz on the 9800GTX to 2340MHz on the 9800GTX+ Black Edition.

NVIDIA announced their version of multiple graphic cards in 2004 borrowing the acronym SLI which they took to mean Scalable Link Interface. The 9800GTX+ is capable of three-way SLI meaning that three 9800GTX+ cards can be put in a single system to improve performance in games. To run 3-way SLI you need two 9800GTX+ video cards, an SLI bridge and a compatible motherboard. NVIDIA recently announced that the Intel X58 chipset will support SLI but the only current chipsets on the Intel side are based on NVIDIA chips. The AMD side of things also has its share of SLI motherboards, but they pale in wake of Intel.

DirectX 10.0 was released with the Microsoft Vista Operating System. Key features of DirectX 10.0 include Unified Shaders, Geometry Shading, Pixel Shader 4.0, Vertex Shader 4.0 and more. Microsoft released DirectX 10.1 an incremental update to the DirectX 10.0 Feature-set with Windows Vista SP1 but NVIDIA cards do not support this update. The next major inflection point for video cards will likely be DirectX 11, which might hit in 2010. For now, DirectX 10 games have only just begun hitting the market place in stride and the GeForce 9800GTX+ supports the features that matter according to NVIDIA.

XFX 9800GTX Plus Black Edition Review
XFX 9800GTX Plus Black Edition Review

PureVideo HD is NVIDIA's trademark for their multimedia software and hardware. The GeForce 9800GTX has a dedicated video processor that when combined with the drivers, can playback Blu-Ray and High Definition content on the video card. One of the key additions to PureVideo HD is the ability to do picture in a picture due to Dual Stream Hardware acceleration. This means that the GeForce 9800GTX+ can play back a movie and the director's commentary in the background just like a high-end DVD player would be able to do. NVIDIA is really pushing their PhysX technology as the next step forward in gaming. They bought Ageia a few months ago and have already released two drivers for enabling PhysX acceleration on their GeForce 8, 9 GTX200 series cards. At the moment only games with the Unreal 3 Engine and 3DMark Vantage truly take advantage of PhysX on the PC. As we move forward, PhysX titles will be more prevalent as the games that take advantage of them. NVIDIA has released a PhysX Power Pack consisting of PhysX demos and games that take advantage of PhysX.