|Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B GeForce 9800 GX2 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 26 March 2008|
Page 18 of 18
Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B Conclusion
Gigabyte has convinced me that all products should be as colorful as theirs. The retail box offers an inviting design and attractive layout, along with some product data on the back. Like the other Gigabyte products we have reviewed, there is an underlying sense that they are in tune with the visual attraction a consumer has with products. It's responsible of them to add important consumer details on the packaging to help make informed purchases.
When Benchmark Reviews tested the GA-X48T-DQ6 motherboard I was surprised by the myriad of colors popping out at me. With the GV-NX98X1GHI-B though, I think that the NVIDIA reference design had more influence over Gigabyte's product appearance. While I never really considered the entire pre-G92 GeForce 8800 series to be very attractive as a whole, primarily because of the awkward half-covered products, the 9800 GX2 has only slightly improved upon the general appearance with clean corners and flat surfaces. Unlike the past generation of products, this GeForce video card does not offer LED lights as accents because they are included as a functional indication of hardware status.
In the not so distant past I have had to replace my GeForce 8800 GTX because of an errant SATA cable swiped off one of the capacitors. At that moment, I felt that NVIDIA definitely should have done something more to protect the electronics on their product. Unlike the higher-end 8800 series GeForce products, the 9800 GX2 does not expose any electronic components; it goes one further and encases them in a metal chassis. Gigabyte has engineered the GV-NX98X1GHI-B GeForce 9800 GX2 to sustain above-average abuse, and since there are no exposed components there is very little chance that you'll have to RMA this product because it falls apart on you. The fully enclosed 9800 GX2 will work very well in cramped environments where the video card will be in contact with cables and components, so long as it can fit.
In regards to performance and functionality, high praise is due to the GeForce 9800 GX2 video card. It has been over one year since NVIDIA last crowned a new performance king, and now the GX2 can replace the 8800 Ultra on the throne. With a combined total of 1 GB video frame buffer and two high-power G92 GPU's operating at 600 MHz, it doesn't come as a huge surprise that the GeForce 9800 easily outperforms every other individual video card by over 33%. If that wasn't enough, this video card comes ready to support full HDMI audio and video output for your high definition copyright protected material.
Even though the GeForce 9800 GX2 product launch is only a few days old, there is plenty of inventory available to retailers. At the time of this writing, the Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B has just reached the market and is available at NewEgg for $549.99. With some additional searching this product was also at ClubIT for $549.99. Prices on the GeForce 9800 GX2 are expected to slowly drop as the product becomes more commong on the market.
PRICE UPDATE 20 November 2008: Many retailers have stopped selling the GeForce 9800 GX2 video card, however you can still find bargain prices as low as $299 for this product using our price comparison tool.
In summary, the Gigabyte GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics card offers full HDMI audio and video output, nearly 40% performance improvement in Call of Duty 4 and almost 63% in Crysis over an already-overclocked 8800 GTX, good cooling, and "quad" SLI potential. While value is a relative subject, the performance and functionality appear to have some credence in relation to the product cost. If you're a gamer on a budget, look forward to the upcoming 9800 GTX. But If you're building an an extreme gaming system, the Gigabyte GV-NX98X1GHI-B 9800 GX2 is going to be the the graphics platform for you.
+ Excellent performance for extreme gamers
- Heatsink does not completely exhaust outside the case
Final Score: 8.75 out of 10.
Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.
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