Nvidia GeForce 9800 GX2 Review

Voodoo 6 5500?

Nvidia's earlier 7950 GX2

Unlike AMD and the legendary 3dfx, NVIDIA is faithful to the trend it started with the GeForce 7950 GX2 and uses two PCBs on the GeForce 9800 GX2, which cannot be seen in the photos due to the cooling system cover. Dual PCBs have their advantages, the first being easier wiring of the memory chips. Numbers favor NVIDIA, as the manufacturer was able to maintain a 1 GHz clock (970 MHz for the 8800 GTS 512 MB) when AMD had to content itself with 900 MHz on its Radeon HD 3870 X2 build using one PCB. That's even lower when compared to the 1125 MHz of a single Radeon 9870.

Unlike the 7950 GX2, the 9800 GX2's two PCBs face each other and transmit heat to the same heat sink, which is cooled by a single fan. If this approach increases cooling constraints (both GPUs are close and a single heat sink must dissipate the accumulated heat), there are no significant temperature gaps between the GPUs (a problem partially solved on the 3870 X2 thanks to the heat sinks). The small amount of heat transmitted by the GPU to the PCB is also spread more efficiently since there are two PCBs.

Unfortunately, NVIDIA was unable to squeeze all of the components onto a card design that was shorter in length. The 9800 G2X's length of 26.7 cm is typical of a high end card (8800 GTX, Ultra and 3870 X2). Likewise, two power connectors (6 pins + 8 pins) are still necessary and finally, only a fraction of the heat is sent outside the case. Most of the heat is sent to the top of the card and is therefore recycled inside the case, since the vent on the brace is too small due to the number of outputs.

  • dwfresch
    This author continues to refer to ATI as AMD in multiple articles. Not only does this bring into question this author's competence, it also causes me to question the accuracy of all articles on Tom's Hardware since the editors have overlooked such a blatant error.
  • ProphetMK1
    I am wondering about your competence. What does it matter if he refers to the parent company of ATI. If you aren't aware or have been MIA from the tech world in the last year. AMD owns ATI at a large 5.4 billion dollar so far debt that has yet to help my AMD shares.
  • AvatarC
    I think you owe an apology to the site, dwfresch. When was the last time you visited www.ati.com and what did you first notice?
  • honestly, i know amd owns ati, but the two are totally seperate entities. the product solutions for one are different and when i talk about graphics card, i refer to them as ATI or NVIDIA, rather than AMD and Intel. If I stood up in front of you trying to convince you to gain our market share and talk to you about our products, im not going to say "The new AMD Radeon HD 3800 Series" because its NOT AMD, its ATI. And if i make simple stupid errors like that, how do you know that the rest of my information is right? My facts on resolution, memory bus, core speed, may all be just as wrong as getting the ACTUAL COMPANY NAME THAT PRODUCED THE PRODUCT wrong. Attention to detail gentleman. Having 200 cars isnt the same as having 500. Having a Mayback Exelero isnt the same as a Kia Rio. The LAPD is not the NYPD. Get the drift? Thank you
  • Its AMD NOT ATI, and I think the above comment has lost the point completely tbh.
  • aww yer ana a 550watt power supply
  • listen what is the best value for money graphics card that can play crysis cuz im upgrading with a 64 bit 3.06 gig hert processoer asus p5n sli and a gforce 7600GT
    so yer i dont wanna spend grands on my rig id b happy with a rig thats 80% up dere with the market cuz getting 100% up with the market is to expensive