9800 GX2 Specifications
With its “9800” moniker, you’d naturally expect the GPU behind the GeForce 9800 GX2 to be based on a next-generation architecture, or at least an enhanced derivative of an existing GPU. Unfortunately this isn’t the case, as the GeForce 9800 GX2 is based on the same G92 GPU that was originally launched in the GeForce 8800 GT last October. The dual G92 GPUs inside the GeForce 9800 GX2 share some specifications with the GeForce 8800 GT 512MB, and some with the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB. The following chart summaries the key features found in the 9800 GX2, and how they compare to the rest of NVIDIA’s GeForce lineup:
|GeForce Series Comparison|
|GeForce 9800 GX2||GeForce 8800 Ultra||GeForce 8800 GTX||GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB||GeForce 8800 GT 512MB|
|# of Stream Processors||256||128||128||128||112|
|Core Clock Speed||600MHz||612MHz||575MHz||650MHz||600MHz|
|Shader Clock Speed||1500MHz||1500MHz||1350MHz||1625MHz||1500MHz|
|Memory Clock Speed||1000MHz||1080MHz||900MHz||900MHz||970MHz|
|Texture Fill Rate||76.8 Gigatexels/sec||39.2 Gigatexels/sec||36.8 Gigatexels/sec||41.6 Gigatexels/sec||33.6 Gigatexels/sec|
As you can see, the graphics core and shader speeds of the GeForce 9800 GX2 are the same as the GeForce 8800 GT 512MB: 600MHz core and 1500MHz on the stream processors. Where the 9800 GX2 surpasses the GeForce 8800 GT is in the number of stream processors: 128 per GPU (for a grand total of 256 combined stream processors on the 9800 GX2 card) in the 9800 GX2 versus 112 for the 8800 GT. With 1GB of memory running at 1GHz (512MB per GPU and 2.0GHz effective clock speed), the 9800 GX2 also boasts faster memory than either the GeForce 8800 GT or the 8800 GTS 512MB.
Based on these raw specifications, the GeForce 9800 GX2 should run faster than any single GeForce card NVIDIA has produced to date, but with its slower clocks the 9800 GX2 shouldn’t be able to keep up with a GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB SLI setup. This is where NVIDIA’s Quad SLI technology comes in.
The GeForce 9800 GX2 is NVIDIA’s second-generation Quad SLI part. In theory when two GeForce 9800 GX2 cards are combined together for Quad SLI, you should see nearly double the performance of a single GeForce 9800 GX2 card in some applications. Unfortunately Quad SLI benchmarks are still under embargo so we can’t present those numbers for you just yet, but we will soon. And for those of you worried about power consumption, a single GeForce 9800 GX2 draws a maximum of 197 watts according to NVIDIA. (NVIDIA recommends a 580W PSU at the minimum for a single GeForce 9800 GX2 card.)
Speaking of power, one new feature that the GeForce 9800 GX2 supports is NVIDIA’s HybridPower technology. With HybridPower, the GPU can be completely turned off when not in use. Then, when a game is loaded, the graphics card powers up for maximum performance.
Instead of relying on the external graphics card for 2D tasks like browsing the web or watching an HD movie, HybridPower utilizes the integrated graphics built-in to the motherboard’s chipset. The first motherboards to support this technology will be NVIDIA’s nForce 7 series chipsets for the AMD platform, including the nForce 780a SLI, nForce 750a SLI, nForce 730a, and the GeForce 8200.
NVIDIA will release the first HybridPower-compliant chipsets for Intel CPUs later in Q2.