Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB Video Card Review
By Gabriel Torres on August 8, 2008


Introduction

GeForce 9800 GT is currently the simplest model inside NVIDIA’s GeForce 9800 family. But in reality it is a GeForce 8800 GT with a new sticker. In this review we will compare the performance of this 1 GB model from Palit with current high-end video cards and also with the original GeForce 8800 GT with 512 MB and GeForce 8800 GTS with 320 MB.

GeForce 9800 GT and GeForce 8800 GT are identical: both use the same graphics chip (G92-270-A2, we will talk a little bit more about it later) – which has 112 shader processors – and run under the same clock rates: 600 MHz for the graphics chip, 1.5 GHz for the shader processors and 1.8 GHz (900 MHz x2) for the memory, which is accessed through a 256-bit interface. The only difference between them is the addition of HybridPower feature on 9800 GT (which allows the video card to be turned off when you are not playing games to save energy, if you have a compatible motherboard). Another minor feature is that GeForce 9800 GT has an SPDIF in connector for routing digital audio to the HDMI output (a DVI-to-HDMI adapter must be used, and this video card comes with one), although if you pay close attention to the printed circuit board from GeForce 8800 GT you can clearly see the place for the addition of this connector, even though it doesn’t come soldered on the card.

If you want to learn more about the architecture used on GeForce 9800 GT please read our GeForce 8 Series Architecture article. Everything that is said in this article about GeForce 8800 GT can be read as “9800 GT,” since both cards are identical.

We will talk more about the differences between GeForce 9800 GT and other current high-end video cards, but before let’s take an in-depth look at GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB from Palit, which is called “GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB” by the manufacturer.

You can have an overall look at the reviewed card on the pictures below. We didn’t like the golden plastic cover. In our opinion it made the product to look cheap; a traditional shiny black would make the product to look more serious. But that is just our opinion. At least the color matches the memory heatsink present on the back of the card and with the copper heat-pipes that are partially exposed on the top of the card.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB
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Figure 1: Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB
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Figure 2: Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB
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Figure 3: Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB
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Figure 4: Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB.

Pay attention for the SPDIF in connector on the left-hand side from Figure 4. As mentioned, this plug allows you to redirect digital audio to the HDMI plug, which is available through the use of a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. This video card comes with both the SPDIF cable and the DVI-to-HDMI adapter.

This video card requires the installation of one 6-pin auxiliary power connector. The product comes with the necessary adapter for you to convert a standard peripheral power plug into a 6-pin power plug if your power supply doesn’t provide one of them or if you are installing two cards in SLI and your power supply has only one auxiliary power cable for video cards.

Introduction (Cont’d)

We removed the video card cooler to take a look. As you can see in Figure 5, the cooler base is made of copper, using two thick copper heat-pipes to connect the base to the aluminum fins.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB
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Figure 5: Video card cooler without its plastic cover.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB
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Figure 6: Cooler.

On Figures 7 and 8 you can see the video card without its cooler. It uses fourteen 512-Mbit Qimonda HYB18H512321BF-10 GDDR3 chips, making its 896 MB memory (512 Mbits x 14 = 896 MB). These chips can officially work up to 1 GHz or 2 GHz DDR. On this video card the memories were running at 900 MHz or 1.8 GHz DDR, so there is 11% headroom for you to overclock the memories keeping them inside their specs. Of course you can always try to push them above their official specs.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB
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Figure 7: Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB with its cooler removed.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB
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Figure 8: Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB with its cooler removed.

In Figure 9 you have a close-up on the graphics chip used, G92-270-A2. This is the exact same graphics chip used on GeForce 8800 GT, as you can see here.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB
click to enlarge
Figure 9: GeForce 9800 GT/GeForce 8800 GT chip.

This video card comes with the full version of Tomb Raider Anniversary. With the accessories that come with this card you can convert the video output to VGA and HDMI, plus the DVI and S-Video connectors already present on the product.

Now let’s compare the specifications from GeForce 9800 GT to the other video cards we included in this review.

More Details

To make the comparison between Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB and the other video cards we included in this review easier, we compiled the table below comparing the main specs from these cards. If you want to compare the specs of the reviewed video card to any other video card not included in the table below, just take a look at our NVIDIA Chips Comparison Table and on our AMD ATI Chips Comparison Table.

Since GeForce 9800 GT is a renamed GeForce 8800 GT, we included a GeForce 8800 GT with 512 MB and a GeForce 8800 GTS with 320 MB (which isn’t available in the US market anymore) in our comparison.

GPU

Core Clock

Shader Clock

Processors

Memory Clock

Memory Interface

Memory Transfer Rate

Memory

Price

GeForce GTX 280

602 MHz

1,296 MHz

240

1,107 MHz

512-bit

141.7 GB/s

1 GB GDDR3

USD 420 - 475

GeForce GTX 260

576 MHz

1,242 MHz

192

1,000 MHz

448-bit

112 GB/s

896 MB GDDR3

USD 270 - 300

GeForce 9800 GX2

600 MHz

1,500 MHz

128

1,000 MHz

256-bit

64 GB/s

1 GB GDDR3

USD 280 - 535

GeForce 9800 GTX

675 MHz

1,688 MHz

128

1,100 MHz

256-bit

70.4 GB/s

512 MB GDDR3

USD 187 - 315

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

600 MHz

1.5 GHz

112

900 MHz

256-bit

57.6 GB/s

1 GB GDDR3

N/A

GeForce 8800 GT

600 MHz

1.5 GHz

112

900 MHz

256-bit

57.6 GB/s

512 MB GDDR3

USD 120 - 190

GeForce 8800 GTS

500 MHz

1.2 GHz

96

800 MHz

320-bit

64 GB/s

320 MB GDDR3

Radeon HD 4870

750 MHz

750 MHz

800

900 MHz

256-bit

115.2 GB/s

512 MB GDDR5

USD 285 - 300

Radeon HD 4850

625 MHz

625 MHz

800

993 MHz

256-bit

63.5 GB/s

512 MB GDDR3

USD 170 - 195

Sapphire Atomic HD 3870 X2

857 MHz

857 MHz

320

927 MHz

256-bit

59.3 GB/s

1 GB GDDR3

Radeon HD 3870

776 MHz

776 MHz

320

1,125 MHz

256-bit

72 GB/s

512 MB GDDR4

USD 125 - 165

It is important to note that this table reflects the current prices for the listed video cards, which are lower than the prices we published in other reviews, since prices tend to drop every day. We couldn’t find the reviewed card being sold yet and it should come costing more than the regular GeForce 9800 GT (which costs around USD 170), since it has 1 GB instead of 512 MB. This would put the reviewed card on the same price range of Radeon HD 4850.

The only high-end video card not included in our comparison is GeForce 9800 GTX+, which is basically an overclocked GeForce 9800 GTX. Click here to read the full story.

Some important observations regarding this table:

Before going to our tests let’s recap the main features from Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB.

Main Specifications

Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+1GB main features are:

How We Tested

During our benchmarking sessions, we used the configuration listed below. Between our benchmarking sessions the only variable was the video card being tested.

Hardware Configuration

Software Configuration

Driver Versions

Software Used

Resolutions and Image Quality Settings

Since we were comparing very high-end video cards, we ran all our tests under three 16:10 widescreen high resolutions: 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600. We always tried to run the programs and games in two scenarios for each resolution, one with low image quality settings and then maxing out the image quality settings. The exact configuration we used will be described together with the results of each individual test.

Error Margin

We adopted a 3% error margin; thus, differences below 3% cannot be considered relevant. In other words, products with a performance difference below 3% should be considered as having similar performance.

3DMark06 Professional

3DMark06 measures Shader 3.0 (i.e., DirectX 9.0c) performance. We run this software under three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, first with no image quality enhancements enabled – results we call “low” on the charts and tables below –, then setting 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering. See the results below.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 1680x1050 - LowScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X21626041.75%
GeForce 9800 GX21562336.20%
GeForce GTX 2801490429.93%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48701421523.92%
GeForce GTX 2601370119.44%
GeForce 9800 GTX1275911.23%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850118423.23%
GeForce 8800 GT115150.38%
GeForce 9800 GT11471 
Radeon HD 3870106947.27%
GeForce 8800 GTS898227.71%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 1920x1200 - LowScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GX21554751.63%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X21548951.07%
GeForce GTX 2801421538.64%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48701301726.96%
GeForce GTX 2601266823.55%
GeForce 9800 GTX1163113.44%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850106914.27%
GeForce 8800 GT103520.97%
GeForce 9800 GT10253 
Radeon HD 387094548.45%
GeForce 8800 GTS794229.10%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 2560x1600 - LowScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GX21301569.49%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X21231560.37%
GeForce GTX 2801176653.22%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48701015932.30%
GeForce GTX 260989428.84%
GeForce 9800 GTX874313.86%
Sapphire Radeon HD 485080775.18%
GeForce 8800 GT77210.55%
GeForce 9800 GT7679 
Radeon HD 3870682312.55%
GeForce 8800 GTS578432.76%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 1680x1050 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X216260105.85%
GeForce 9800 GX21390075.97%
GeForce GTX 2801215753.91%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48701106340.06%
GeForce GTX 2601061734.41%
GeForce 9800 GTX898113.70%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850888112.43%
GeForce 8800 GT79871.11%
GeForce 9800 GT7899 
Radeon HD 3870691514.23%
GeForce 8800 GTS637123.98%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 1920x1200 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X215489126.91%
GeForce 9800 GX21221378.92%
GeForce GTX 2801099161.02%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48701001446.70%
GeForce GTX 260945038.44%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850797216.79%
GeForce 9800 GTX781114.43%
GeForce 8800 GT69571.92%
GeForce 9800 GT6826 
Radeon HD 3870611411.65%
GeForce 8800 GTS532328.24%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 - 2560x1600 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X212315144.10%
GeForce 9800 GX2982994.83%
GeForce GTX 280870472.53%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870755049.65%
GeForce GTX 260728544.40%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850589616.87%
GeForce 9800 GTX577414.45%
GeForce 8800 GT51291.67%
GeForce 9800 GT5045 
Radeon HD 3870431916.81%

3DMark Vantage Professional

3DMark Vantage is the latest addition to the 3DMark series, measuring Shader 4.0 (i.e., DirectX 10) performance and supporting PhysX, a programming interface developed by Ageia (now part of NVIDIA) to transfer physics calculations from the system CPU to the video card GPU in order to increase performance. Mechanical physics is the basis for calculations about the interaction of objects. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? Notice that we didn’t upgrade the PhysX to the latest version, which would make the physics calculations for CPU Test 2 to be made by the GPU instead of the CPU on NVIDIA video cards (since we aren't considering CPU or 3DMark scores this change wouldn't produce any increase in our results anyway).

We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600. First we used the “Performance” profile, and then we used the “Extreme” profile (basically enabling anti-aliasing at 4x, anisotropic filtering at 16x, and putting all detail settings at their maximum or “extreme” value. The combination of 2560x1600 resolution with extreme settings didn’t produce reliable results according to the program, so we aren’t going to add them here. The results being compared are the “GPU Scores” achieved by each video card.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 1680x1050 - PerformanceScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 2807695108.48%
GeForce 9800 GX2699089.38%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870619367.79%
GeForce GTX 260589859.79%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2565153.10%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850479729.96%
GeForce 8800 GT38313.79%
GeForce 9800 GTX38053.09%
GeForce 9800 GT3691 
Radeon HD 3870297723.98%
GeForce 8800 GTS295025.12%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 1920x1200 - PerformanceScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 2806106106.91%
GeForce 9800 GX2537982.28%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870488065.37%
GeForce GTX 260458255.27%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2433646.93%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850372526.23%
GeForce 8800 GT29780.91%
GeForce 9800 GT2951 
GeForce 9800 GTX28912.08%
GeForce 8800 GTS228029.43%
Radeon HD 3870226930.06%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 2560x1600 - PerformanceScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 2803549116.67%
GeForce 9800 GX2291077.66%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870272866.54%
GeForce GTX 260264061.17%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2238245.42%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850205025.15%
GeForce 9800 GT1638 
GeForce 8800 GT16340.24%
GeForce 9800 GTX15575.20%
Radeon HD 3870124431.67%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 1680x1050 - ExtremeScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 2806005119.08%
GeForce 9800 GX2485877.23%
GeForce GTX 260453165.30%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870436059.07%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2356730.13%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850344525.68%
GeForce 9800 GT2741 
GeForce 8800 GT27330.29%
GeForce 9800 GTX27031.41%
Radeon HD 3870185547.76%
GeForce 8800 GTS997174.92%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

3DMark Vantage Professional 1.0.1 - 1920x1200 - ExtremeScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 2804732121.54%
GeForce GTX 260357667.42%
GeForce 9800 GX2350864.23%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870349063.39%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850275328.89%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2266924.95%
GeForce 9800 GT2136 
GeForce 8800 GT20942.01%
GeForce 9800 GTX20384.81%
Radeon HD 3870143948.44%

Call of Duty 4

Call of Duty 4 is a DirectX 9 game implementing high-dynamic range (HDR) and its own physics engine, which is used to calculate how objects interact. For example, if you shoot, what exactly will happen to the object when the bullet hits it? Will it break? Will it move? Will the bullet bounce back? It gives a more realistic experience to the user.

We ran this program at three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, maxing out all image quality controls (i.e., everything was put on the maximum values on the Graphics and Texture menus). We used the game internal benchmarking feature, running a demo provided by NVIDIA called “wetwork.” We are putting this demo for downloading here if you want to run your own benchmarks. The game was updated to version 1.6. The results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each card.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Call of Duty 4 - 1680x1050 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GX2106.273.25%
GeForce GTX 280105.371.78%
Sapphire Radeon HD 487093.452.37%
GeForce GTX 26091.048.45%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X275.723.49%
Sapphire Radeon HD 485072.418.11%
GeForce 9800 GTX69.112.72%
GeForce 9800 GT61.3 
GeForce 8800 GT61.10.33%
GeForce 8800 GTS51.119.96%
Radeon HD 387043.042.56%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Call of Duty 4 - 1920x1200 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GX294.586.02%
GeForce GTX 28091.780.51%
GeForce GTX 26077.151.77%
Sapphire Radeon HD 487076.450.39%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X261.320.67%
Sapphire Radeon HD 485059.116.34%
GeForce 9800 GTX57.713.58%
GeForce 8800 GT51.71.77%
GeForce 9800 GT50.8 
GeForce 8800 GTS40.425.74%
Radeon HD 387035.443.50%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Call of Duty 4 - 2560x1600 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GX264.894.59%
GeForce GTX 28064.894.59%
GeForce GTX 26053.560.66%
Sapphire Radeon HD 487048.144.44%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X240.621.92%
GeForce 9800 GTX38.315.02%
Sapphire Radeon HD 485036.710.21%
GeForce 8800 GT33.91.80%
GeForce 9800 GT33.3 
Radeon HD 387022.448.66%

Crysis

Crysis is a very heavy DirectX 10 game. We updated this game to version 1.2.1 and used the HOC Crysis Benchmarking Utility to help us collecting data. Since we don’t think the default demo based on the island map stresses the video card the way we want, we used the HOC core demo available with the abovementioned utility. We ran this demo under three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, first with image quality set to “low” and then with image quality set to “high.” Since all video cards achieved a number of frames per second below 10 at 2560x1600 with image details set to “high,” we are not including this test as the results aren’t reliable. We ran each test twice and discarded the first result, as usually the first run achieves a lower score compared to the subsequent runs since the game loses time loading files. The results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each card.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Crysis 1.2.1 - 1680x1050 - LowScoreDifference
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X212566.67%
GeForce GTX 28012566.67%
Sapphire Radeon HD 487010134.67%
GeForce GTX 2609932.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX8412.00%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48508412.00%
GeForce 9800 GX2750.00%
GeForce 9800 GT75 
GeForce 8800 GT732.74%
Radeon HD 3870715.63%
GeForce 8800 GTS5147.06%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Crysis 1.2.1 - 1920x1200 - LowScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 28011588.52%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X210877.05%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48708437.70%
GeForce GTX 2608336.07%
GeForce 9800 GTX6913.11%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850679.84%
GeForce 9800 GX2633.28%
GeForce 9800 GT61 
GeForce 8800 GT610.00%
Radeon HD 3870585.17%
GeForce 8800 GTS4341.86%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Crysis 1.2.1 - 2560x1600 - LowScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 28095143.59%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X27182.05%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48705335.90%
GeForce GTX 2605233.33%
GeForce 9800 GTX4412.82%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48504310.26%
GeForce 9800 GX2427.69%
GeForce 9800 GT39 
GeForce 8800 GT390.00%
Radeon HD 38703511.43%
GeForce 8800 GTS2744.44%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Crysis 1.2.1 - 1680x1050 - HighScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 2804268.00%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48703748.00%
GeForce GTX 2603228.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX2916.00%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48502916.00%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2264.00%
GeForce 9800 GX2250.00%
GeForce 9800 GT25 
GeForce 8800 GT244.17%
Radeon HD 38701931.58%
GeForce 8800 GTS1656.25%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Crysis 1.2.1 - 1920x1200 - HighScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 2803470.00%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48703050.00%
GeForce GTX 2602630.00%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48502315.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX2210.00%
GeForce 9800 GX2215.00%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2200.00%
GeForce 9800 GT20 
GeForce 8800 GT195.26%
Radeon HD 38701625.00%
GeForce 8800 GTS1266.67%

Unreal Tournament 3

Unreal Tournament 3 is the latest installment from this famous first person shooter franchise, supporting DirectX 10 graphics when installed on Windows Vista with a DX10 compatible card. We upgraded Unreal Tournament 3 to version 1.2 and benchmarked it with the help of HOC UT3 benchmarking utility using the “Containment” demo, maxing out image quality settings (image quality at “high” and anisotropic filtering at x16). It is important to note that we haven’t applied the PhysX mod to this game, which would transfer PhysX processing from the CPU to the GPU on NVIDIA cards. The results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each card.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Unreal Tournament 3 - 1680x1050 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GTX11217.89%
GeForce 9800 GX210813.68%
GeForce GTX 26010611.58%
GeForce GTX 2801049.47%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48701049.47%
GeForce 8800 GT972.11%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850961.05%
GeForce 9800 GT95 
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X28413.10%
Radeon HD 38708314.46%
GeForce 8800 GTS8018.75%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Unreal Tournament 3 - 1920x1200 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GTX10835.00%
GeForce 9800 GX210632.50%
GeForce GTX 26010328.75%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48709822.50%
GeForce GTX 2809113.75%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48508911.25%
GeForce 8800 GT811.25%
GeForce 9800 GT80 
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2782.56%
Radeon HD 3870756.67%
GeForce 8800 GTS6621.21%

 

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Unreal Tournament 3 - 2560x1600 - MaximumScoreDifference
GeForce 9800 GTX9276.92%
GeForce 9800 GX29276.92%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48707850.00%
GeForce GTX 2607646.15%
GeForce GTX 2806219.23%
Sapphire Radeon HD 48506015.38%
GeForce 8800 GT531.92%
GeForce 9800 GT52 
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2511.96%
Radeon HD 38704710.64%
GeForce 8800 GTS4126.83%

Half-Life 2: Episode Two

Half-Life 2 is a popular franchise and we benchmark the video cards using Episode Two with the aid of HOC Half-Life 2 Episode Two benchmarking utility using the “HOC Demo 1” provided by this program. We ran the game in three 16:10 widescreen resolutions, 1680x1050, 1920x1200, and 2560x1600, under two scenarios. First with quality set to maximum, bilinear filtering and anti-aliasing set to x0. This configuration we are calling “low” on the charts and tables below. Then we maxed out image quality settings, enabling x16 anisotropic filtering and 16xQCS anti-aliasing. This configuration we are calling “high” on our charts and tables. We updated the game up to the June 9th 2008 patch. The results below are the average number of frames per second (FPS) achieved by each card.

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 1680x1050 - LowScoreDifference
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870170.08.97%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850164.95.71%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2160.42.82%
GeForce GTX 260157.00.64%
GeForce GTX 280156.30.19%
GeForce 9800 GT156.0 
GeForce 8800 GT156.00.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX153.81.43%
Radeon HD 3870145.77.07%
GeForce 9800 GX2136.814.04%
GeForce 8800 GTS132.018.18%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 1920x1200 - LowScoreDifference
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870165.015.38%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2156.79.58%
GeForce GTX 280156.39.30%
GeForce GTX 260153.06.99%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850149.84.76%
GeForce 9800 GTX146.92.73%
GeForce 8800 GT144.00.70%
GeForce 9800 GT143.0 
GeForce 9800 GX2135.25.77%
Radeon HD 3870120.119.07%
GeForce 8800 GTS108.032.41%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 2560x1600 - LowScoreDifference
GeForce GTX 280145.151.15%
GeForce 9800 GX2130.636.04%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2129.735.10%
GeForce GTX 260124.029.17%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870117.021.88%
GeForce 9800 GTX107.912.40%
GeForce 8800 GT96.00.00%
GeForce 9800 GT96.0 
Sapphire Radeon HD 485093.92.24%
Radeon HD 387072.831.87%
GeForce 8800 GTS67.043.28%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 1680x1050 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870144.080.00%
GeForce 9800 GTX137.972.38%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2126.157.63%
GeForce 9800 GX2125.456.75%
GeForce GTX 260121.051.25%
Sapphire Radeon HD 4850116.245.25%
GeForce GTX 28089.311.63%
GeForce 8800 GT81.01.25%
GeForce 9800 GT80.0 
Radeon HD 387068.317.13%
GeForce 8800 GTS68.017.65%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 1920x1200 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870124.096.83%
GeForce 9800 GTX116.384.60%
GeForce 9800 GX2111.176.35%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X2106.569.05%
GeForce GTX 260101.060.32%
Sapphire Radeon HD 485097.254.29%
GeForce GTX 28070.311.59%
GeForce 8800 GT64.01.59%
GeForce 9800 GT63.0 
Radeon HD 387056.810.92%
GeForce 8800 GTS54.016.67%

Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1 GB

Half-Life 2: Episode Two - 2560x1600 - HighScoreDifference
Sapphire Radeon HD 487075.0108.33%
GeForce 9800 GTX71.398.06%
GeForce GTX 26061.069.44%
Sapphire Radeon HD 485058.462.22%
Sapphire Atomic Radeon HD 3870 X250.640.56%
GeForce 9800 GX237.54.17%
GeForce 9800 GT36.0 
GeForce GTX 28035.51.41%
Radeon HD 387034.93.15%
GeForce 8800 GT34.05.88%

Conclusions

We came to several interesting conclusions about the new GeForce 9800 GT.

First, GeForce 9800 GT is literally identical to GeForce 8800 GT, achieving the exact same performance. Its price is the same as GeForce 8800 GT, around USD 170. If you won’t use the Hybrid Power feature (which allows the video card to be turned off when you are not playing games, thus saving you some money on your electricity bill; you need to have a compatible motherboard, though) you can simply buy a GeForce 8800 GT and save some bucks. Even though both cards have officially the same price tag, on NewEgg.com you can find GeForce 8800 GT models being sold as low as USD 120. Of course as soon as more companies offer GeForce 9800 GT cards the price should drop.

This model from Palit with 1 GB achieved the same performance level of the regular GeForce 8800 GT card on practically all tests. The only time we saw a difference was at 2560x1600 with image quality settings maxed out on Crysis and Half-Life 2: Episode Two, and even then the difference wasn’t so big (5-6%). Since this model with 1 GB will hit the market costing more than the regular GeForce 9800 GT, we recommend you buying the regular model instead to save some bucks. Of course we haven’t run all possible games on the market and you may see some difference on other games.

At the USD 170 price range, GeForce 9800 GT is positioned between Radeon HD 3870 and Radeon HD 4850. It was between 3% and 49% faster than HD 3870, depending on the program and video configuration used.

However, if you research carefully you can find Radeon HD 4850 models also being sold at USD 170, making them a no-brainer for someone willing to buy a good video card and has this amount to spend. In fact, even if you find Radeon HD 4850 being sold for a little more than that we highly suggest you to make the effort to buy it instead of GeForce 9800 GT, as it provides a performance up to 62% higher, depending on the game and configuration used. Of course 62% is an extreme case, but you will easily see around 20% performance gain over 9800 GT.

As we mentioned, the reviewed 1 GB model from Palit will reach the market costing a little bit more than the regular GeForce 9800 GT, putting it in the same price range as Radeon HD 4850. Between the two, we recommend Radeon HD 4850.

GeForce 9800 GT would be a good pick only if its price dropped to around USD 150 or even below that, in our opinion.

Originally at http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Palit-GeForce-9800-GT-1-GB-Video-Card-Review/599


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