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Poor performance from 9800GT Green

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 8, 2011 2:14:24 PM

hello, i've recently 'upgraded' our sons little gaming rig from an nvidia 8600GTS to a 9800GT Green Edition.

I had read that the green edition is only marginally slower than the normal 9800GT.

I swapped the cards over, done a fresh install of nvidia's latest drivers and ran 3DMark06 just see the improvement...

The 8600GTS scored 6766 points, the 9800GT Green scored only 5207!

checking the frequencies, the 8600GTS showed Core = 730 Mhz, Mem = 1130 Mhz & Shader = 1450 Mhz

The 9800GT Green, Core = 550 Mhz, Mem = 400 Mhz & Shader = 1375 Mhz.

Is the Memory supposed to be that low?

I've been to Inno's site for a dedicated driver and it sends me to nVidia's driver page.

Can i manually raise that clock speed without damage? (the card is considerable cooler than the 8600)

PS: The PSU is an old Tagan 430W
a b U Graphics card
January 9, 2011 2:01:05 AM

The power supply shouldn't be a problem. "Green" edition cards (though I've never tried one myself for the following reason) are not cot cards specifically sanctioned by Nvidia. These cards are usually manufacterer specific since each card is different. What I'm trying to say is that "green" cards are crappy since they are designed to give the illusion that you can maintain performance and still cut down on power, the chip itself uses the most power so if power is cut from there the chip itself might not be designed to use so little power hence the instability. I say you can return the card and get one of Nvidia's newer 400 series cards or AMD's mid range 5000 or 6000 series card if you want to see the improved performance.
a c 173 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 9, 2011 2:12:46 AM

Check the drivers and update to the latest drivers if you haven't already. I own two 9800gt my self although they are not green editions they are still not crap and your card should blow that 8600gt away so there is indeed a problem. The 9800gt green edition and the normal version are good cards for the sub $90 price segment as Nvidia has taken a dive in the low end segment.
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a b U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 9, 2011 6:53:14 AM

What motherboard are you using and what's the processor on it, one card is a PCIe X16 card and the other is a PCIe x16 2.0.....
Keeping in mind that they are compatible with the slot, it could have other reasons for it to slow down so drastically, even the Green edition needs a minimum of 400W PSU, so you are running it pretty much on a margin.....
The card needs the PCIe slot to supply a minimum of 75W of power.....
and the timings should be around 550/1375/1800 MHz...... so it's pretty amazing.....
a c 175 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 9, 2011 7:52:54 AM

What speed should the memory be? If you bought a card with DDR2 memory, thats your problem.
January 9, 2011 9:29:01 AM

i've taken the card out of the kid's system and tested it on a Zotac board (with PCI-e 2.0), FSB is at 300Mhz, CPU is at 3.9Ghz & the PSU on the test system is a Corsair 650W.

I've had a GTX 295 running happily on this system.

I've had 8800GTX's in the past, which should be slightly faster than the 9800GT. A single 8800GTX gave me around 10-13K in 3DMark06 in the past, so i was expecting 8,000+

i'm assuming the memory clock on the 9800 is wrong, as it's only giving 400Mhz in the nvidia page, but i wasn't sure if that's a base frequency like FSB on a motherboard...but then why would the 8600 show 1130 Mhz? I can manually change the frequencies of the card. The Mem clock slider is at the low end of the scale (in factory presets), i'm a bit unsure of pushing the clock back to where it's should be.

I've used nVidia's latest driver, there's no separate driver for Green edition 9800's
a c 175 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 9, 2011 9:49:11 AM

400 actual = 800MHz effective, which would make it a DDR2 card. This would cut the memory bandwidth to horrid figures, which would make the card perform badly. What I don't know is if its using DDR2, or those are some idle numbers.
January 9, 2011 10:15:03 AM

it's supposed to be 1800 Mhz (DDR3) which i suppose, should have a frequency of 600 Mhz on that basis. But why would the 8600GTS show it's clock at 1130 Mhz (which is also DDR3)?

here's the Inno3D's page...

http://www.inno3d.com/products/graphic_card/gf9/9800gt_...

it does say RAMDAC of 400 Mhz and Memory at 1800 Mhz?

I can manually alter the clocks in nVidia's suite, what's the worst that can happen if i move it up to 600Mhz?
January 9, 2011 10:34:38 AM

Quote:
download evga precision here:


i use the " XFX 9600gt green edition".
the default clocks are 600/1500/700.
with this tool i can easily OC to 725/1900/1120. (higher than reference standard 9600gt)

the memory is intentionally downclocked even below the reference cards to minimise the power consumption and enable the card to function without a power connector.

you can find your max OC with a little patience. i found mine in about 2 days. believe me, after OC, performance will increase.

what i found was that the core was least able to OC.
the memory was the next champion.
the shaders were the most OC happy.
and in games like crysis, shaders are what matters.


that's a good overclock! my problem, is the low default frequencies 550/400/1375.

I don't know if the 400 should be 600 (DDR3x3) or 1800, or if the 1375 should be 1800? :??: 
a c 175 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 9, 2011 10:48:16 AM

Doesn't work that way. DDR3 is still x2. So for 1800MHz you should have an actual clock of 900MHz. The RAMDAC should be 400MHz, they all are. Yours should use DDR3, so the next step is to see if its in idle mode. Load up something that will stress the GPU (ATITraytools artifact checker?) and then check the clocks with GPUz.
January 9, 2011 12:49:49 PM

Quote:
well, on my 9600gt, the clocks do not reduce when idle.

the clocks are low because low frequency = low power consumption.
as the card does not have any extra pci-e power connector, it has to make do with the 75 wall of the pcie slot.
as 9800gt is a fairly heavy card, probably at the standard clock, the power requirement would have been > 75 watt. hence the lower clocks.

for example, the standard 9600gt(with pcie power connector) has the core clock at 650.
so dont be bothered, just try to oc :) 


Ok, if i start overclocking the 9800GT, i'm presuming the wattage used by the card will increase, will i damage the card, motherboard or PSU if it goes over the 75W?

Is there anyway of knowing what amount of power is being pulled on the PCI-E slot? (preferably a software gadget, rather than poking multi-meters around the system!)
January 9, 2011 3:02:01 PM

Quote:
psu -> no
card -> no
mobo-> no

the max you can get is a hang/ driver not responding. simply restart. completely no harm done.

you CANNOT go over 75w as thats the limit of the pcie slot. so if you have oc the card to such a limit that it needs more power than 75w, it will simply hang. again, just restart.

i dont think there is any app to check the power being drawn. but you really do not need that.(75w and all).

i think that upping the core clock will take the max power. so that will OC the least. personally, i found that upping the shader had the most impact on gaming performance. so much so, that there is no appreciable difference between the stock core clock and the OC clock.
also, i found that the OC limit of shader and memory is NOT affected by the core clock. they both OC to the same limit whether i OC the core or not.

but simply because it does not have any impact on performance/temperature, i do OC it just for the sake of it.

FYI, you can save your OC profiles easily on evga precision. so if a setting works, you can save it.

EDIT: since 9800gt is more power hungry than 9600gt, i think that OC headroom will be less than mine. i was surprised that there is a "green edition" of such a big card.

the least you should try is to bring ALL the clocks to the "standard" 9800gt (the one with the pcie power connector) i.e 600/1500/900.


really appreciate your advice, i'll have a play later & see what i can get. i'll start push the shader first, memory clock & then the core. (i just couldn't figure out the poor performance straight out of the box or where this advertised 1800 Mhz memory was!)

many thanks :D 
a c 175 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 9, 2011 3:36:25 PM

Quote:
i'll start push the shader first, memory clock & then the core.


So rather then see if the clocks return to normal under load you're just going to start overclocking?

BTW, the card isn't bottlenecked by the shader clock. If it really has a 400MHz memory clock its horribly bottlenecked by the memory bandwidth. I would do everything possibly to increase the memory frequency.
January 10, 2011 6:23:24 AM

4745454b said:
Quote:
i'll start push the shader first, memory clock & then the core.


So rather then see if the clocks return to normal under load you're just going to start overclocking?

BTW, the card isn't bottlenecked by the shader clock. If it really has a 400MHz memory clock its horribly bottlenecked by the memory bandwidth. I would do everything possibly to increase the memory frequency.


the figures that i've got are from nVidia's own driver suite, every other nvidia card i've used (i've had quite a few over the last several years) the clock figures have been it's working frequency, not idle speeds.

3DMark06 would have made the card go into 'full speed' and yet the 9800GT (112 cores) performs way less than the 32 core 8600GTS.

Something's definitely not right with this card, i just think the factory preset is wrong (the temps are very low...around 21'c, where the 8600 is 40+'c idle)

PS: here's the useful reply from Inno3D:-

Dear Sir

Firstly, thank you for your kind support of our product,
Every region and sell products that are different, please ask your
reseller for inquiries,

Thank you
Best Regards,


i just think when these things was put together, the RAMDAC freq was confused with MEM freq (lost in translation?)

January 10, 2011 2:44:56 PM

i had a quick go at overclocking, spent about an hour using nVidia manual sliders & 3DMark06 in the background, for the sake of speed i was just running 'Return To Proxycon' test, then adjust clocks inbetween tests. As a guide i just recorded the total frames at the end of each run

I managed to push the clocks from 550/400/1375 to 695/510/1699. I couldn't get the Mem clock any higher than 510Mhz, shame as this was the most noticeable feature. Pushing the shader up, gave very little performance boost and also surprisingly the core overclocked did very little, i think as someone mentioned earlier, the Mem speed could be seriously crippling this card.

The total frames in 'Return To Proxycon' went from 1835 frames to 2380 frames! A good 25% increase.

I had to knock the core & shader down a notch for the rest of the 3Dmark06 test which gives me 687/510/1680 in the end.

however, the end result was still dissapointing, the score went from 5204 up to 6542, bearing in mind the 8600GTS is still higher than this.

For such a poor card it should not have been labelled as a 9800GT, it performs more like 9500 or 9400 realistically.

The only positive thing i can say is the temps only rose from 30'c to 34'c overclocked.
a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2011 2:48:44 PM

One more thing does the motherboard include a power port right next to the PCI-e slot? Some motherboards have a power plug through Molex or 4-pin or 6-pin right next to the slot that provides the bus with an additional 75Ws of power.
a c 175 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 10, 2011 6:11:09 PM

The link he provided showed no 6pin, thats the point of the green version.

Did GPUz show it to have DDR3 memory? DDR2 memory stops at 500MHz/1GHz which seems to be where you are. The box says it comes with 1800MHz DDR3, but you don't seem to have that.
January 10, 2011 7:50:22 PM

4745454b said:
The link he provided showed no 6pin, thats the point of the green version.

Did GPUz show it to have DDR3 memory? DDR2 memory stops at 500MHz/1GHz which seems to be where you are. The box says it comes with 1800MHz DDR3, but you don't seem to have that.


you're right, i've removed the card and had a better look, a little sticker says 512M DDR2! Even though it's exactly the same card on the website featuring the DDR3 :fou: 

well that's explained those numbers, but not the naff performance
a c 175 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 10, 2011 9:16:58 PM

It does explain the performance. DDR2 can't provide info fast enough to the CPU, so it spends a bunch of time waiting. CPU waiting means those extra cores aren't doing any work, so a "slower" card could be faster.

If you bought a DDR3 card and received a DDR2 card I'd take it back. Everything clearly stated 1800MHz DDR3 and thats not what you have. Its not what its supposed to be, so don't keep it.
January 11, 2011 3:36:13 PM

cheers guys for your input, i can't go with a standard 9800GT due to power usage. I really need to stick to a low wattage solution.

I may well return the card or use it in the HTPC, just need to find a DDR3 'green' card now :( 
a c 173 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 11, 2011 3:39:59 PM

Search for Zotac 9800gt eco or green edition. It is a small single slot GDDR3 card. Load puts it at 59.6w at stock clocks and it is a 55nm thus now need for a power connector all though it can be modded to have one. If all else fails and there is no 9800gt eco or green to be found at all then 5670.
January 11, 2011 4:42:35 PM

nforce4max said:
Search for Zotac 9800gt eco or green edition. It is a small single slot GDDR3 card. Load puts it at 59.6w at stock clocks and it is a 55nm thus now need for a power connector all though it can be modded to have one. If all else fails and there is no 9800gt eco or green to be found at all then 5670.


appreciate that, i've found one on ebay...although it's in USA a Zotac 9800GT DDR3, single slot as well, which is a bonus!

I did find a 250GTS Eco, but that still required a power connector.
a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2011 12:28:19 AM

The 250 is basically a renamed 9800GTX. Since it requires a power connector it probably won't work for you.
a c 173 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 12, 2011 12:59:32 AM

I would personally just settle with a zotac 9800gt eco or a 5670. The 9800gt eco by zotac has ok cooling and is a match to the higher end version of the 9800gt when it comes to memory instead of your current card. The 5670 comes in two common flavors with the gddr5 version being a good card but fill rates leave much to be desired on top of the drivers.
January 12, 2011 4:10:07 PM

TBH, i haven't a clue about the ATI/AMD cards, i've always stuck to nVidia since AGP 6800GT. I did buy a half-height ATI Radeon card last year for a HTPC system because of the 'better' HDMI solution, the motherboard refused to boot with it, even though any other nVidia card worked fine in it. I've never had a problem with nVidia cards or their drivers, better the devil you know! (no offense to ATI/AMD users)

I'm gonna go with the Zotac 9800 option, sounds ideal.
January 25, 2011 5:03:14 PM

hello, just to update, i've finally got a Zotac 9800GT (with DDR3!) from USA (got bleedin' hammered by Import TAX...again!) :fou: 

Anyhoo, thanks for the recommendations this card has surpased my expectations :D 

previously, best i could achieve with the Inno3D 9800GT (DDR2) was 6,542 3DMark06 (which was heavily overclocked)

The Zotac 9800GT scored 11,447 3DMark06 out of the box! (which is perhaps on par with a power-hungry 8800GTX)

The Zotac reached 70'c running the test, so i doubt there's much room for overclocking, but that score is plenty for my micro-ITX system!

Big thanks, for the replies & advice everyone! :bounce: 
a c 173 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 25, 2011 7:07:52 PM

That is good to know, by the way you can always slip in a slow moving fan near the card to help cool it.
January 26, 2011 6:55:23 AM

i need a very slim fan, i've got 10mm max gap better GPU heatsink & case! The case is the size of a shoebox, so there's not much room.

I played Crysis on mixed Very High/High settings last night, played OK, drawing only 140w from the wall!
a c 173 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
January 26, 2011 11:55:00 AM

Wow nice on the power consumption, hell that will run off a power inverter drawing from a 12v car battery.
!