Gigabyte 9800GT review

£108
Price when reviewed

Nvidia has never been a company to keep things simple. The G92 core, which débuted a year ago, has now been served up in no fewer than seven different packages, with various complements of processing units running at differing speeds. The GeForce 9800 GT, as here offered by Gigabyte, is the latest member of the family.

In reality, though, there’s nothing new about the 9800 GT. With its 65nm core, 112 stream processors and 600MHz core clock it’s blatantly just a rebadged version of the first G92-based card, the 8800 GT. Even the 512MB of GDDR3 is unchanged from the original specification.

That’s no disaster, though, as the 8800 GT was always a competent card. And our tests proved that it’s still a very effective pixel-pusher. In Crysis with medium settings it averaged a very playable 38fps in 1,600 x 1,200. It’s not up to high detail, though: in this mode it struggled to exceed 23fps at 1,280 x 1,024.

And its Call of Juarez score wasn’t bad either: 19fps on high settings is very respectable for such a tough test. You can see why Nvidia might think there’s still life in the G92 architecture.

Unfortunately, while Nvidia has contented itself with repeatedly re-releasing the same GPU in different guises, its major competitor has been designing new, better chips. As a result, Nvidia’s 2007-vintage card now finds itself going up against ATI’s groundbreaking Radeon HD 4850.

That’s not a fight it can win. In our tests ATI’s rival card convincingly outshone the 9800 GT, sailing through our high-detail Crysis test at 32fps, and keeping up 31fps in Call of Juarez. And the best bit? Shop around and you can get a 4850 for exactly the same price as the 9800 GT.

In short, it simply makes no sense to buy the 9800 GT, and we’re left wondering why it was released in the first place. And as long as Nvidia keeps relaunching cards based on the increasingly-dated G92 core, we’re afraid that the situation is unlikely to change.

Core Specifications

Graphics card interface PCI Express
Cooling type Active
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT
Core GPU frequency 600MHz
RAM capacity 512MB
Memory type GDDR3

Standards and compatibility

DirectX version support 10.0
Shader model support 4.0

Connectors

DVI-I outputs 2
DVI-D outputs 0
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
S-Video outputs 0
HDMI outputs 0
Graphics card power connectors 6-pin

Benchmarks

3D performance (crysis), medium settings 38fps
3D performance (crysis) high settings 23fps

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