PNY GeForce 9800 GTX full review

The PNY GeForce 9800 GTX is, in essence, a G92 graphics card with superior specifications.

Choice, we're told, is a good thing. But whoever said that clearly can't have tried navigating a path through the minefield that is today's graphics card market.

While recent years have seen many branches of PC hardware whittling down the number of choices to just a few genuine possibilities, the graphics card market continues to throw up new products on a monthly (sometimes even weekly) basis.

And if this has only served to make the need for a logical graphics card naming system that bit more urgent, then the request has fallen upon deaf ears.

Products such as the GeForce 8800 GT continue to be fitted into nVIDIA's 8-series despite being based upon the G92 core.

This was even more strange in the case of the 512MB 8800 GTS – a board based upon a completely different chip from the 320MB and 640MB versions of the GTS.

Now we have some of the first examples of the supposedly next-generation 9-series. Except that, despite the name, the 9800 GTX is actually based upon the same architecture that sits at the heart of the 8800 GT and 8800 GTS 512 cards.

So what we're left with is in essence a G92 with superior specifications.

On paper though, the PNY GeForce 9800 GTX's specifications aren't actually that great.

The PNY GeForce 9800 GTX is built using a 65nm manufacturing process, and comes with 512MB of DDR3 memory.

The PNY GeForce 9800 GTX's core and memory clocks of 675MHz and 1100MHz (2200MHZ DDR effective) combine with the 256-bit memory interface to create a total memory bandwidth of 70.4 Gigabytes per second (GBps).

This leaves the PNY GeForce 9800 GTX rather trailing behind the 3870 X2's figure of 115.2GBps. Indeed, even the 8800 GTS 512 runs the GTX fairly close on raw figures.

NEXT PAGE: three-way SLI, PureVideo HD, test results and our expert verdict > >

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