|Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+ 1GB Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Ronald Tibbetts and Olin Coles|
|Monday, 13 October 2008|
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Palit NE/9800TXT302 Conclusion
Since Palit hasn't been available to the North American market for very long, the new look may seem out of place at first. Each manufacturer spends a significant amount of time branding their name to an identity. For example: Gigabyte has a Final Fantasy-looking female heroine on their products, XFX has an armor clad Werewolf, and ZOTAC has a Dural look-alike from VirtuaFighter. So it might seem particularly interesting that Palit picked a robot-frog named Frobot as their mascot. But since fancy characters are not enough to win me over, Palit has also kept the consumer informed by adding important product details and specifications on the packaging. The retail box offers an inviting design and attractive layout, along with some important product data on the back. The colors and information all seem exciting, but I'm not quite sold on Frobot.
When NVIDIA first launched the GeForce 9800 GT product line, I wasn't exactly impressed with thin single-card reference design. There just wasn't much more to the card than a thin PCB covered by a shroud of plastic. So I'm thankful that Palit went to the design table and recreated their own version of the 9800 GT from the PCB up. I've already admitted my love for the burnt orange color they used, so it's no surprise that I'm a big fan of the appearance, but the added RAM heatsink really sets the appearance of this product apart from the rest.
The craftsmanship and construction of this card are what set it apart from others. To begin with, Palit has taken its role as a NVIDIA AIC (Add-In Card) partner seriously, and engineered a whole new upper-half of the GeForce 9800. Add to this the fact that they managed to load 1024 MB worth of GDDR3 onto the PCB, and you can see how dedicated they are to their craft. I think the most impressive thing I've noticed about Palit products is the extremely well-tuned performance testing which screens out possible failures and thus reduces the overall RMA rate. With less than 1% return rate, it's good to know I won't have a bad experience with Palit products.
In regards to product performance, I have evaluated the GeForce 9800 GT Super+ graphics card as a whole. In video game performance, it did well enough to remain competitive against some of the larger video cards, but it didn't impress me against the overclocked 9600 GT or even the mildly-overclocked GeForce 9800 GTX. It's worth noting however that while 'testing' this product with the game Titan Quest, other graphics cards (such as the GeForce 8800 GT) have all exhibited a rubber-banding effect as the large-scale scrolling world is drawn. This wasn't the case with a 1 GB frame buffer available to the Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+. Additionally, other large scale worlds such as those found in Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures also seemed to play very well with the large amount of GDDR3 available to it.
All of these ratings are well and fine, but ultimately the price tag decides the bottom line. At the time of this writing, the Palit GeForce 9800 GT 1GB Super+ video card NE/9800TXT302 was available from NewEgg for $169.99 (with additional $10 mail-in rebate). This makes it very tough on my value rating, since there is also a 512MB GDDR3 version of the Palit 9800 GT for only NewEgg for $129.99 ($109.99 after $20 rebate). So if you're looking for good performance from the most current video games at a respectable price then the Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+ is by no means a bad decision, but the added 1 GB video frame buffer isn't going to make a difference in most games and there are other products worth considering. If gaming isn't your sole focus, then the standard 512 MB version is well worth the price.
In conclusion, the Palit GeForce 9800 GT Super+ makes a very good choice for gamers who want to step-up into PCI-Express 2.0 and take advantage of good middle-end graphics without the cost. The Palit NE/9800TXT302 provides excellent cooling improvements over other single-slot solutions, and will work very well in HTPC environments where airflow and noise are kept to a minimum. Our benchmark results showed that the 9800 GT was not that far behind the 9800 GTX performance, but the gaming experience in large-scale world-based games actually made good use of the large video frame buffer only avilable in the Super+. 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 very tight budget, than the 9800 GT is an excellent product worth consideration, but make sure you'll need all of that extra video memory before you make your purchase.
+ Very good AA/AF performance in DirectX 9 games
- Not the best price point performer
Final Score: 8.85 out of 10.
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