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NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX Early Test!

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Mar 25, 2008 4:00 am

The Card


Like most high-end NVIDIA graphics cards these days, the front is taken up completely by a cooler that spans from one end to another. The cooler really resembles that of the 8800GTS 512MB with a few aesthetic changes.



Instead of being square at the end we see it kind of curves around the back and has an all round smoother finish. We also see the same fan design as the 8800GTS 512MB, which is also seen on the 9800 GX2.



What was kind of surprising is that if you make your way around the card you find yourself with two 6-pin PCI Express power connectors. We really thought that the card would only require a single connector but we were mistaken. The problem is that with support for three-way SLI (which means you have the ability to have three of these bad boys) a total of no less than six PCI Express power connectors are needed. Considering that most power supplies only have four at most you're probably going to run into some troubles unless you have Molex power adapters on hand.



Continuing across the top of the GTX we find two SLI connectors, which is something we haven't seen in a while with the 9600GT, 9800GX2, 8800GTS 512MB and 8800GT all only having a single SLI connector but this is not without reason.


The second SLI connector provides the ability to run three cards together if you have a supporting SLI motherboard such as NVIDIA's new NForce 790i Ultra SLI boards. If you find yourself with one of those three-way connectors in your 780i board and have been holding out for the GeForce 9 series, it might be time to pull that connector out of the box and make use of it. It is something we will investigate more later.



Finally we have the I/O side of things which unlike the GX2 doesn't hold any surprises. We've got nothing more than the standard two Dual Link DVI connectors and a single TV-Out port.




As you would expect with all new cards, GPU-Z doesn't always like to play nice. The good news is though we get some of the more important information like core, memory and shader clocks as you can see below. We removed the vendor ID information to protect whoever sent us this product which is normal for our early look articles.



The core is at a healthy 675MHz, which gives us a 1688MHz shader clock. What's nice though is the whopping 2200MHz DDR that we get on the memory clock.


As far as other spec goes on the card we have 512MB of GDDR3 memory, 256-bit memory bus and 128 Stream processors. Spec wise it's quite similar to the G92 8800GTS bar the clocks which get a bit of an increase over the standard reference clocked G92 8800GTS 512MB which had 650MHz core clock, 1625MHz shader clock and a 1940MHz DDR memory clock.


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