ABIT Radeon 9800 XT 256MB
Next up we have the high-end Radeon 9800 XT with 256MB.
- The Package
Just like the 9600 XT package, the included items with the ABIT 9800 XT is fairly minimal.
Unlike the 9600 XT, this card does not feature VIVO so the amount of AV cables included is less. You get an S-Video and Composite cable for running your computer display through your TV. If you intend on using the Composite cable you will need to use the included S-Video to Composite adapter which simply plugs into the back of your graphics card. Additionally you receive a DVI to VGA adapter if you intend on using two VGA monitors as well as a power extension cable for the extra power required from the PSU for the card to run.
The only software you receive in the package (besides manuals and drivers on the included CDROM) is the full OEM version of PowerDVD 5. Since the card is a Radeon 9800 XT, you also receive a voucher to download the full version of Half Life 2 when it is released. The voucher costs each ATI partner around $10 USD each to include.
- The Card
As we said previously, ATI enforces tight rules on most of their partners with the Radeon 9800 XT. Each partner is only allowed to add stickers to the card, just like you can see ABIT has done in the picture below on their card.
For this reason we did not bother comparing the ABIT Radeon 9800 XT against another 9800 XT as it will be a waste of time since the results we have seen have been almost exactly the same on a consistent basis from card to card from the likes of HIS, Power Color and GeCube.
- GPU and Memory
The ABIT Radeon 9800 XT GPU come clocked at 412MHz (same as standard). As you will soon see, we had no problems increasing the core speed higher.
The 256MB of onboard memory used on the ABIT 9800 XT consists of Hynix GDDR SDRAM in more power effective BGA chips with part number HY5DU573222AFM-25 and is rated for 400MHz according to the Hynix website, here. The memory is clocked at 365MHz (same as standard) which is 35MHz under what the memory is rated for so we can expect some head room for overclocking.
Overclocking is really the only section about the 9800 XT which is interesting since the ABIT card is really no different than any other besides a couple stickers here and there.
With completely stock cooling using RIVA Tuner we were able to get a maximum stable overclock of 480MHz out of the core (69MHz over default) and 378MHz or 756MHz DDR out of the memory (13MHz or 26MHz DDR over default). Anything at all over this speed would result in instant freezes.
It is a little surprising we couldn't clock the memory to at least 400MHz since the Hynix memory being used is rated for this speed. It may be that the memory timing on the card have been turned up higher than usual which would explain the fact we cannot reach the rated speed.
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