Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX: A card that's almost as fast as the 8800 Ultra at a much lower price is a good thing. But a year and a half after the release of the GeForce 8 series, and even though AMD doesn't really have anything that can go head to head with this card, we'd have liked a little more punch to replace the 8800 GTX with (which is also now being sold for under $400). What we got instead was a card that's very noisy under load and limited by a stingy 512 MB of memory. These drawbacks are especially disappointing given that the 8800 GTS 512 MB is very similar and less expensive.
+ Performance close to that of the 8800 Ultra at half the price / Support for HybridPower (with compatible motherboards) - Noisy under load / Only 512 MB of memory / Not different enough from the 8800 GTS 512 MB, 8800 GTX and Ultra, although they're previous-generation cards and often less expensive.
So, now that we have the 9800 GTX in the mix, what has changed? Honestly, not as much in terms of performance stack as in price. Yes, the 8800 Ultra is better than the 9800 GTX where memory bandwidth is a factor, but other than that the relationship of the 9800 GTX to the 3870 X2 is largely the same. Of course, NVIDIA would never sell 8800 Ultra at below the 3870 X2 price of $400 (the binned 90nm G80 glued on there didn’t come cheap).