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BFG (NVIDIA) GeForce 9800 GT: what's in a name?

by Tarinder Sandhu on 29 July 2008, 14:14

Tags: BFG GeForce 9800GT OC, BFG Technologies

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaoka

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Table of Doom, and specification musings

Trotting out the table of doom.

Graphics cards NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512 NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX 512 NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT 512 NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512 NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT 512 ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MiB ATI Radeon HD 3850 512 ATI Radeon HD 3870 512
PCIe PCIe 2.0
GPU clock 738MHz 675MHz 600MHz 600MHz 650MHz 625MHz 666MHz 775MHz
Shader clock 1,836MHz 1,688MHz 1,500MHz 1,500MHz 1,625MHz 625MHz 666MHz 775MHz
Memory clock (effective) 2,200MHz 2,200MHz 1,800MHz 1,800MHz 1,800MHz 2,000MHz 1,656MHz 2,250MHz
Memory interface, and size, 256-bit, 512MiB, GDDR3 256-bit, 512MiB, GDDR3 256-bit, 512MiB, GDDR3 256-bit, 512MiB, GDDR3 256-bit, 512MiB, GDDR3 256-bit, 512MiB, GDDR3 256-bit, 512MiB, GDDR3 256-bit, 512MiB, GDDR4
Memory bandwidth 70.4GiB/sec 70.4GiB/sec 57.6GiB/sec 57.6GiB/sec 57.6GiB/sec 64GiB/sec 53GiB/sec 72.8GiB/sec
Manufacturing process TSMC, 55nm TSMC, 65nm TSMC, 65nm/55nm TSMC, 65nm TSMC, 65nm TSMC, 55nm TSMC, 55nm TSMC, 55nm
Transistor count 754M 754M 754M 754M 505M 965M 666M 666M
Die size 230mm²? 330mm² 330mm²/230mm²? 330mm² 240mm² 260mm² 192mm² 192mm²
Double-precision support No No No No No Yes Yes Yes
DirectX Shader Model DX10, 4.0 DX10, 4.0 DX10, 4.0 DX10, 4.0 DX10.0, 4.0 DX10.1, 4.1 DX10.1, 4.1 DX10.1, 4.1
Vertex, fragment, geometry shading (shared) 128 FP32 scalar ALUs, MADD dual-issue + MUL (unified) 128 FP32 scalar ALUs, MADD dual-issue + MUL (unified) 112 FP32 scalar ALUs, MADD dual-issue + MUL (unified) 112 FP32 scalar ALUs, MADD dual-issue + MUL (unified) 64 FP32 scalar ALUs, MADD dual-issue + MUL (unified) 800 FP32 scalar ALUs, MADD dual-issue (unified) 320 FP32 scalar ALUs, MADD dual-issue (unified) 320 FP32 scalar ALUs, MADD dual-issue (unified)
Peak GFLOPS 470/705* 432/648* 336/504* 336/504* 208/312* 1,000 426.2 496
Data sampling and filtering 64ppc address and 64ppc bilinear INT8/32ppc FP16 filtering, max 16xAF 64ppc address and 64ppc bilinear INT8/32ppc FP16 filtering, max 16xAF 56ppc address and 56ppc bilinear INT8/28ppc FP16 filtering, max 16xAF 56ppc address and 56ppc bilinear INT8/28ppc FP16 filtering, max 16xAF 32ppc address and 32ppc bilinear INT8/16ppc FP16 filtering, max 16xAF 40ppc address and 40ppc bilinear INT8/ 20ppc FP16 filtering, max 16xAF 16ppc address and 16ppc bilinear INT8/FP16 filtering, max 16xAF 16ppc address and 16ppc bilinear INT8/FP16 filtering, max 16xAF
Peak fillrate Gpixels/s 11.8 10.8 9.6 9.6 10.4 10 10.656 12.4
Peak Gtexel/s (bilinear) 47.2 43.2 33.6 33.6 20.8 25 10.656 12.4
Peak Gtexel/s (FP16, bilinear) 23.6 21.6 16.8 16.8 10.4 12.5 10.656 12.4
ROPs 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
Peak TDP (claimed) 155 155 105? 105 95 110 90 105
Power connectors (default clocked) Two 6-pin Two 6-pin 6-pin 6-pin 6-pin 6-pin 6-pin 6-pin
Multi-GPU SLI - three-board SLI - three-board SLI - two-board SLI - two-board SLI - two-board CrossFire - four-board CrossFire - four-board CrossFire - four-board
Outputs 2 x dual-link DVI w/HDCP, native HDMI 5.1 (via S/PDIF) 2 x dual-link DVI w/HDCP, HDMI 7.1 (native, on GPU) 2 x dual-link DVI w/HDCP, HDMI 5.1 (native, on GPU)
Hardware-assisted video-decoding engine NVIDIA's PureVideo HD - full H.264 decode and partial VC-1 decode AMD UVD 2 - full H.264 and VC-1 decode AMD UVD - full H.264 and VC-1 decode
Hybrid Power Yes Yes Yes No* No No No No
Reference cooler dual-slot dual-slot single-slot single-slot single-slot single-slot single-slot dual-slot
Retail price (default-clocked model) £139 £129 £??? £89 £89 £110 £69 £89


ZOTAC introduced a GeForce 8800 GT with Hybrid Power technology

GeForce 9800 GT 512

Take a look at our eight-GPU table that takes in GPUs ranging from £69 through to £139 and you'll the see the best from NVIDIA and ATI.

Pay specific attention to the GeForce 9800 GT and GeForce 8800 GT columns: the differences between the two SKUs has been emboldened.

NVIDIA feels eminently comfortable in raising the nomenclature without adding a whole heap to an existing architecture.

Specifically, GeForce 9800 GT will be based on the 55nm manufacturing process that was debuted(for NVIDIA) with the GeForce 9800 GTX+ - a product that is only now coming into retail availability. 55nm production makes the 9-series card cheaper to produce, because TSMC can fit more on to a given-sized wafer. Initial cards, however, remain on GeForce 8800 GT-matching 65nm.

The clockspeeds, sadly, remain exactly the same as the volume-selling 8800 GT, although we expect partners to launch the usual cavalcade of pre-overclocked cards. Stock-clocked performance, then, won't be any different.

Hybrid Power, where, on a compatible chipset that features an IGP, the discrete, wattage-hungry card can be turned off when not in heavy 3D use, saving power and routing video through the IGP instead. Problem is, compatible chipsets are NVIDIA-only affairs.

We know that current 8800 GT stock starts at around the £90 mark, so, presumably, the GeForce 9800 GT will have to be a little cheaper, to take the shine away from the new AMD Radeon HD 4850.

Think of GeForce 9800 GT 512 as just a re-badged GeForce 8800 GT, really - you won't be able to discern the difference.