For testing power consumption, we took our test system and plugged it into a Seasonic Power Angel. For idle numbers, we allowed the system to idle on the desktop for 15 minutes and took the reading. For load numbers, we measured the peak wattage used by the system while running the game World in Conflict at 1600×1200 with medium graphics quality.
Power Consumption Results: Looking at total system power consumption levels, the GeForce 9800 GTX fits in alongside the GeForce 8800 GTS 512, consuming roughly the same amount of power. This is not at all surprising given that both cards are around the G92 core and use similar clock specifications. The GeForce 9800 GTX used far less power than the GeForce 8800 GTX, partly because it uses less memory and has a more efficient core than the G80.
This is by far one of the toughest cards that we have had to draw a conclusion on since we started reviewing video cards when the site started back in 2002. The GeForce 9800 GTX is not faster across the board than the GeForce 8800 GTX that came out back in 2006 as the benchmarks showed. To many readers this may be a disappointment and we’d be lying if we said it doesn’t bother us too. When it comes to just raw gaming performance the GeForce 9800 GTX is more of an evolutionary advancement than revolutionary. If you are looking to play at high resolutions with high anti-aliasing it seems that the GeForce 8800 GTX is still the best choice in the majority of the game titles we looked at here today. This shouldn’t come as a shock to many as the GeForce 8800 GTX does have more memory on a wider bus.
Gamers and enthusiasts that recently picked up the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB video card don’t have anything to be upset about with the launch of the GeForce 9800 GTX. The GeForce 9800 GTX is slighty faster, but with nearly the same specifications many GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB owners will be able to overclock up to these levels without much trouble at all. The GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB is going to have to drop in price as at $299-$349 the GeForce 9800 GTX will cut into the same general pricing market, so that card should offer a very sexy price versus performance ratio in the coming weeks.
When it comes to price we have something better to talk about as the GeForce 9800 GTX has an MSRP between $299-$349, which is far less than the GeForce 8800 GTX when it came out a couple years ago at nearly $600. In all honesty the GeForce 9800 GTX costs far less to produce, so it should cost less! The GeForce 9800 GX2 that we reviews a few weeks ago is still the enthusiast card to have and the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 just got some tough competition.
The Palit and XFX GeForce 9800 GTX video cards both are great video cards with really no difference between them other than the bundle and price tag. The XFX GeForce 9800 GTX had by far the best bundle of the two, but it will cost you a bit more when you go to check out. If you are wondering where SLI and Triple SLI performance numbers are at you’ll have to wait. NVIDIA forgot to send us a third graphics card, but they overnight mailed us one yesterday. Now we just have to re-test it and re-do all the charts!
Legit Bottom Line: The GeForce 9800 GTX doesn’t offer a big jump in gaming performance over the GeForce 8800 GTX, but the price is right.