Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT review

13 Feb 2009

Still holding its own at this price, but note the HD 4830.

Price when reviewed: 
89(£89 inc VAT)
4

Nvidia doesn't have the upper hand in too many areas of this month's Labs, but the mid-range 9800 GT is one of the few to put up a real fight.

It's basically a cut-down 9800 GTX, with 112 stream processors, a core clock running at 600MHz, and 512MB of GDDR3. It requires a single six-pin power connector to run and supports SLI, although only with two cards - you'll need to aim higher for triple-SLI.

With a typical price of around £77 it falls close to ATI's HD 4830, and the two offer similar performance. Crysis set the tone, with the 9800 GT scoring 60fps at medium settings and 30fps at high - the HD 4830 scored 65fps and 29fps respectively. The trend continued with a score of 66fps at high to the HD 4830's 67fps; both cards averaged a still-impressive 54fps at very high.

In Far Cry 2, the cards were a mere frame per second apart in both the medium and high tests, and only in the demanding Call of Juarez test did the ATI card pull ahead, averaging 36fps to the 9800 GT's 27fps in our medium test.

It means there's very little to sway your decision either way. Looking at the wider picture, on either side there's a bit of a jump - the HD 4670 is around £20 cheaper, but can't compete for raw power, whereas the HD 4850 is dearer at £100.

We actually think there's enough of a performance rise to justify the extra expense of the latter card, but if your price band is strictly limited to around £80 then the choice boils down to the best package of outputs and extras you can find at which price.

Details

Price ex VAT £77
Price inc VAT £89
Performance 4
Features & Design N/A
Value for Money 4
Overall rating 4

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
Multi-GPU compatibility Two-way SLI

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) high settings 30fps