You can see as soon as we let the 9800 GX2 breath more with an increased CPU overclock, we really begin to see some big numbers. Under 3DMark06 we can see we were just shy of 20,000 3DMarks.
NVIDIA's GeForce 9800 GX2 still isn't perfect though but with a good driver it could really begin to shine in the weeks to come but you get an early look with early drivers here today of what is to come. In our opinion, NVIDIA could have taken a different approach to the GeForce 9 series - instead of re-releasing the 8800GTS 512MB and introducing the 8800GT, these cards should have either not been released or released under the GeForce 9 series. The problem is that the 8800GT bought with it such exceptional value that NVIDIA were too high up on the podium. A new naming scheme should mean big things. Unfortunately at the moment it doesn't look like its being delivered.
The bottom line is spec for spec the 9800 GX2 is still lower than two 8800GTS 512MB cards. At least AMD didn't choose to release the HD 3870 X2 under a different series - the name that AMD chose perfectly explains the card: Radeon HD 3870 times two. This offering from NVIDIA is more 8800 than 9800 due to the fact that NVIDIA chose to implement the G92 core into the 8800 series products.
The next thing we want to know is how two of these GX2 cards scale. If we can bench Crysis at 1920 x 1200 and get an average of 80 FPS, we will be happy. If we get a 5 FPS increase though we will be as disappointed with the SLI Quad GPU setup as we were with a pair of HD 3870 X2 cards in Quad Crossfire.
Before we wrap this all up it's worth noting that I did a little bit of testing with the CPU at 3.75GHz and 3.8GHz with the GX2 at stock when I was just initially playing around and trying to find the sweet spot. The biggest gains were seen from the CPU overclock rather than the VGA OC. A standard 3DMark06 run showed us just over 16k under XP on our 3GHz setup. Moving the CPU to 3.75GHz we found our 3DMark score coming in at just over 18.5k. But as always we get into a bit of a mission and in this case it was to see if we could overclock this sucker. With Rivatuner we started messing around with the clocks and at 3.8GHz we actually managed to break 20k in 3DMark06. Unfortunately the system didn't want to consistently play nice at 3.8GHz so we did drop it back to 3.75GHz.
We could have tested the GX2 at stock speeds but with the CPU at 3.75GHz, it's kind of boring. You don't turn around and overclock a 2.4GHz quad-core processor to 3.8GHz and leave your graphics card at default speeds.