|Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B GeForce 9800 GX2 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 25 March 2008|
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GeForce 9800 GX2 Final Thoughts
With the introduction of NVIDIA's new GeForce 9800 GX2 top-end graphics card, the deck has been shuffled once again and gamers have a new tool available to help improve their performance. This will undoubtedly cause quite a stir since the older 8800 GTX and Ultra offer far less performance but still keep the high price tag. While this product series is squarely aimed at the upper high-end performance segment, there is more than enough value to see some enthusiasts purchase two units for a quad SLI array. Some (but not many) gamers once stepped up to the overpriced GeForce 8800 Ultra only to find themselves disappointed by performance on par with an overclocked GTX. That's not happening this time around, and the new 9800 GX2 is delivering on the promises it makes.
For most video cards, functionality is measured in only one application: video games. However, in rare cases (this being one of them) the video card can suit more than just one purpose. The GeForce 9800 GX2 includes native HDMI video output and offers digital audio output through the attached S/PDIF audio cable, making this the closest thing to fully-functional native HDMI that NVIDIA offers.
Since the days of Battlefield 2 there haven't been very many games to seriously stress mid and high-performance video cards. The Battlefield 2142 was more of a lukewarm please-all with nearly no landscape to speak of, and until EA and Crytek GmbH came along with Crysis there hadn't been any major milestones to speak of for almost three years. Company of Heroes was (and to some players it still is) one of the most popular games of 2006, but its scalable Havok game engine allowed just about anyone with a personal computer to play the game. World in Conflict could very well be characterized as the CoH for 2007, especially since CoH: Opposing Fronts offered almost nothing new to gamers in regards to performance. WiC is equally scalable, but the large world-scape can have a greater impact on frame rate. In 2008 it appears that the Quake 3-based gaming engine in Call of Duty 4 is making headlines with superior game play and graphical delivery. When it comes down to PC video games, there are only a handful of titles that stand out more than those which I have tested here in this review. The important message is that the GeForce 9800 GX2 eats them up and spits out nothing less than the highest frame rates possible.