nVidia GeForce 9800 GTX+

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Summary :


We now turn our attention to a Geforce 9800GTX+ from Twintech.

The box is nothing revolutionary; par for the course for most Twintech products. The only thing that attracts our attention is the 2-year warranty. Since GPU folding involves far more intensive card utilisation than video games, this guarantee can be quite useful in case of premature card failure.

Click image to enlarge.

After opening the box, we find several peripherals:

  • the graphics card
  • a multi-language manual
  • a CD containing graphics drivers
  • a DVI –> VGA adaptor
  • an S-Video -> composite adaptor
  • an S-Video –> RGB adaptor
  • a 2-part Molex -> 6-pin PCIe adaptor

Firstly, the user manual is very light on detail, with only 4 pages per language, and contains such sage advice as only installing the card into a PCIe interface. If you'd rather flip through installation diagrams for whatever reason, you'll be disappointed, as there are none present.

The CD is also sparse on content; no software is provided, and all you will find is a set of drivers for the card. Three versions are provided: 175.19, 175.31 and 177.42. In order to use the card for running CUDA code, I suggest you opt to download the updated drivers available in the CUDA Zone.

In terms of connection adaptors, you're spoiled for choice, though we note the conspicuous lack of a DVI -> HDMI adaptor (or indeed any dedicated HDMI on the card).

Before looking at the card itself, we will first study the GPU: an nVidia G92b manufactured on a 55nm process.

The GPU is the latest evolution in a lineage that was begun by the G92 65nm GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB at a core frequency of 650MHz and 1625 MHz for the shaders. The same G92 was then used on the GeForce 9800 GTX, only with a slight overclock (675 MHz / 1688 MHz). Incidentally, the GPU is gaining in frequency, and has reached 738 MHz / 1836 MHz. The same GPU has been used with the same frequencies in the current GeForce GTS 250. All of these cards utilise on board GDDR3 memory on a 256-bit bus.

Click image to enlarge.

As a side note, the G92b has 128 units (also known as CUDA and Shader Processor Cores), programmable using the NVIDIA CUDA API. It supports Compute Capability 1.1 (for reference, the GT200 supports Compute Capability 1.3). In terms of academic performance, these 128 units are clocked to 1836MHz, and deliver 468 GFLOPS single precision, and do not support double precision.

The card is based on the G92b architecture, with the standard frequencies recommended by nVidia, paired with 512MB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 1100MHz (2200MHz effective). Again, the manufacturer complies with nVidia's recommendations. The PCB and two-slot cooling system are also used in compliance with nVidia's reference design. You'll need two 6-pin PCIe connectors to power the card. You have two DVI and one S-Video output on the back of the card. The dual slot fan removes heat through the rear of the box. This will limit the temperature of the housing and improve the cooling of the card itself.