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XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card

The 9800 GTX+ continues not to create much of a splash. But today we see if XFX can with their variant.
@ShawnBakerTW
Published Tue, Aug 26 2008 11:00 PM CDT   |   Updated Fri, Sep 18 2020 10:50 PM CDT
Rating: 86%Manufacturer: XFX

Introduction


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card



When we looked at the 9800 GTX+ for the first time the other week, the ASUS TOP version did impress us to a degree. As mentioned in our review, the 9800 GTX+ is pretty much an overclocked 9800 GTX, while an overclocked 9800 GTX+ is just an extremely overclocked 9800 GTX.

The thing is, though, ultimately at the price point we had and the performance we got, it does offer some very good performance in its price bracket. There's no denying, though, that people aren't getting too excited about it. It feels last gen now; it's similar to AMD dropping the price of the HD 3870 through the floor, it represents some great value but no one really cares about it at the moment.

While XFX has overclocked the card, there doesn't seem to be any extra naming for the card like we've seen in the past. For example, the 9800 GTX+ XXX Edition or something similar.

Today we'll check out what XFX has done with the card and see if it can stand out from the pack like the ASUS one we looked at just the other week. But before we get into the performance side of things, let's take the time to have a quick look at the box and what's inside.

The Package




I have to say, when I first saw the press release for the card, the box really stood out and looks fantastic. The middle of the box has a turbo like picture which has been all pimped out with a purple and black theme. Across the top we have the logo along with the model.

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Across the bottom of the box we again have the model along with the NVIDIA logo. Above that we have some features, more logos and also mention that the core comes in at 765MHz. If you didn't know better, you could think this is the stock speed.

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Turning the box over, we have a bit of a blurb on the card. Below that we have some of the key features and to the left of that we have a larger explanation on what some of the features are.

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Inside the box we have a load of paper work, installation guide, important tips, guide to the TV-Out port along with a sign for your door. CD wise, we only have a driver disc included in the package.

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Inside we're loaded up with cables, component-out dongle, S/PDIF audio connector, molex to 6-Pin convertor, 8-Pin to 6-Pin convertor and a single DVI to VGA connector to wrap it up.

The Card




Pulling the card out of the box; you see the same theme that was going on with the front of the package. We have the turbo like device again on the front with a purple and black colour scheme going on. We also have the brand and model on the front of the card and the XFX logo on the fan.

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Like most 9800 GTX+ cards at the moment, the card uses the reference cooler which takes up every bit of the front and really not giving us a whole lot to look at.

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Looking around the card, we see everything a standard 9800 GTX would have. Towards the back of the card we have two 6-pin PCI Express connectors whilst moving across the top gives us two SLI connectors, giving us the ability to have up to three cards in a Tri-SLI configuration.

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card




Specifications

As mentioned, the card is overclocked out of the box. Although, it's worth noting that only the core has been increased from the stock 738MHz to 765MHz. The shader and memory both remain at their stock clocks of 1836MHz and 2200MHz DDR respectively.

Test System Setup and 3DMark06


Test System Setup

Processor(s): Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 3GHz (333MHz x 9)
Cooling: Corsair Nautilus500 (Supplied by Corsair) with Arctic Cooling MX-2 Thermal Compound (Supplied by Arctic Cooling)
Motherboard(s): GIGABYTE X48-DQ6 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Memory: 2 X 1GB Kingston PC6400 DDR-2 3-3-3-10 (KHX6400D2ULK2/2G) (Supplied by Kingston)
Hard Disk(s): Seagate 250GB 7200RPM SATA-2 7200.10 (Supplied by Seagate)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2, Windows Vista SP1
Drivers: ATI Catalyst 8.7


Today we'll see how the XFX 9800 GTX+ competes against the last generation 9800 cards and also against the 9800 GTX TOP from ASUS which we looked at just the other day.


3DMark06

Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/
Buy It Here





3DMark06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests.

3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today.


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Here we can see that the overclocked 9800 GTX is able to actually outperform the newer 9800 GTX+ from XFX in some situations.

Benchmarks - 3DMark Vantage


3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage/
Buy It Here




3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


While we see the XFX 9800 GTX+ come out ahead of the older overclocked 9800 GTX, we see it lags a fair bit behind the heavily overclocked ASUS version.

Benchmarks - PT Boats: Knights of the Sea


PT Boats: Knights of the Sea

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Developer Homepage: http://en.akella.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.pt-boats.net/





PT Boats: Knights of the Sea is a naval action simulator that places gamers in charge of a mosquito fleet of the Allied Forces, Russia or Germany during the height of World War II.

Using the latest Direct X 10 technology PT Boards - Knights of the Sea manages to apply a lot of stress to the components of today which in turn gives us quite an intensive benchmark.


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Here we again see that the newer 9800 GTX+ which XFX has overclocked comes out slower than the older heavily overclocked 9800 GTX from BFG.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Under CINEBENCH we can see the new GTX+ cards outperform the older 9800 GTX.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com





World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Under WIC we can see that both the BFG 9800 GTX OCX and XFX 9800 GTX+ score extremely close to each other.

Benchmarks - Crysis


Crysis

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom time demo
Developer Homepage: http://www.crytek.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.ea.com/crysis/
Buy It Here





From the makers of Far Cry, Crysis offers FPS fans the best-looking, most highly-evolving gameplay, requiring the player to use adaptive tactics and total customization of weapons and armor to survive in dynamic, hostile environments including Zero-G.

Real time editing, bump mapping, dynamic lights, network system, integrated physics system, shaders, shadows and a dynamic music system are just some of the state of-the-art features the CryENGINE 2 offers. The CryENGINE 2 comes complete with all of its internal tools and also includes the CryENGINE 2 Sandbox world editing system.


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Under Crysis we can see that the XFX and BFG cards perform quite similar to each other with the older BFG 9800 GTX OCX actually coming out ahead for the most part.

Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3


Unreal Tournament 3

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used:
Developer Homepage: http://www.epicgames.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.unrealtournament3.com/
Buy It Here





Following the formulae that made Unreal Tournament so great the third installment to the series has hit us recently with better than ever graphics. The games uses the latest Unreal Engine which like most modern day games when maxed out puts the pressure on our lineup of graphics cards.


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Under UT3 we can see the newer GTX+ from XFX comes out ahead of the older BFG across the board here.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF


High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.


3DMark06

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Turning AA and AF on; we can see again the BFG 9800 GTX OCX is able to outperform the newer XFX 9800 GTX+.


World In Conflict

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Under WIC we have extremely low FPS here, but in the average department we see the XFX 9800 GTX+ is able to come out ahead.

Benchmarks - 3DMark06 - XP


3DMark06

Version and / or Patch Used: Build 110
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06/
Buy It Here





3DMark06 is the worldwide standard in advanced 3D game performance benchmarking. A fundamental tool for every company in the PC industry as well as PC users and gamers, 3DMark06 uses advanced real-time 3D game workloads to measure PC performance using a suite of DirectX 9 3D graphics tests, CPU tests, and 3D feature tests.

3DMark06 tests include all new HDR/SM3.0 graphics tests, SM2.0 graphics tests, AI and physics driven single and multiple cores or processor CPU tests and a collection of comprehensive feature tests to reliably measure next generation gaming performance today.


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Firing up XP we again see the BFG and XFX cards performing very close to each other with the BFG card actually just coming out ahead for the most part.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH R10 - XP


CINEBENCH R10

Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10
Developer Homepage: http://www.maxon.net/
Product Homepage: http://www.maxon.net




CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


CINEBENCH under Windows XP shows all cards performing quite close to each other.

Benchmarks - World in Conflict - XP


World in Conflict

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.0.5
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage: http://www.massive.se
Product Homepage: http://www.worldinconflict.com




World in Conflict is a real-time strategy video game by Massive Entertainment and to be published by Sierra Entertainment for Windows (DX9 and DX10) and the Xbox 360.

The game is set in 1989 where economic troubles cripple the Soviet Union and threaten to dissolve it. However, the title pursues a "what if" scenario where, in this case, the Soviet Union does not collapse and instead pursues a course of war to remain in power. It is an intensive new game is sure to put plenty of stress on even the latest graphics cards and we use the built-in benchmarking for our testing.

XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


We continue to see the BFG and XFX perform very close to each other.

Benchmarks - Unreal Tournament 3 - XP


Unreal Tournament 3

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used:
Developer Homepage: http://www.epicgames.com/
Product Homepage: http://www.unrealtournament3.com/
Buy It Here





Following the formulae that made Unreal Tournament so great the third installment to the series has hit us recently with better than ever graphics. The games uses the latest Unreal Engine which like most modern day games when maxed out puts the pressure on our lineup of graphics cards.


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Finally we leave with UT3 and we can see again that the XFX 9800 GTX+ and the BFG 9800 GTX OCX perform extremely close to each other.

Temperature and Sound Tests


Temperature Tests



With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Temperatures between the three 9800 GTX cards are very similar.


Sound Tests



Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Noise levels are a lot lower on the new plus model GTX cards compared to the older 9800 GTX OCX from BFG.

Power Consumption Tests






Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.


XFX GeForce 9800 GTX+ Graphics Card


Power draw, like temperatures are also extremely close between the three 9800 GTX cards.

Final Thoughts




When pulling the XFX 9800 GTX+ out of the box and seeing the core speed displayed on the front, I wasn't 100% sure if it was stock or not. Just double checking, though, I quickly realized that it was overclocked. It was disappointing to see that XFX didn't make a bigger deal about the fact that it was overclocked, even though the shader and memory speeds remained the same.

With the memory and shader still running at stock speeds, we could see that the older 9800 GTX in a highly overclocked form could continue to beat the overclocked core of the 9800 GTX+ on offer from XFX.

For the most part you would probably be better off buying a second hand overclocked 9800 GTX off someone who has upgraded to a GTX 260 or GTX 280 and in the process saving some dollars.

It's not to say the XFX 9800 GTX+ isn't a good card, though. Really, their products come down to what NVIDIA offer and the simple fact is that the 9800 GTX+ is pretty boring. It's really only a step up from the 9800 GT or the 9600 GSO, which are exact replicas of previous generation cards.

Unless you were going to purchase an extremely overclocked 9800 GTX+, we would opt for a second hand 9800 GTX like we just mentioned.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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