Evga GeForce 9800 GT (512MB DDR3 PCI-E)

A small GPU that isn't too bad, but it doesn't measure up to the competition.

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Evga GeForce 9800 GT (512MB DDR3 PCI-E)
  • Evga GeForce 9800 GT (512MB DDR3 PCI-E)
  • Evga GeForce 9800 GT (512MB DDR3 PCI-E)
  • Evga GeForce 9800 GT (512MB DDR3 PCI-E)
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • Cheap price, small size

Cons

  • Doesn't perform as well as similarly priced competitors, performance is lacking in DX10-based games

Bottom Line

Although this card is not bad in its own right, it lacks the punch-per-dollar provided by ATI cards in the same price-bracket. But if you're unwilling to leave the NVIDIA camp and are looking for a moderately well-performing budget option, the EVGA GeForce 9800 GT (512MB DDR3 PCI-E) is worth a look.

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It feels like it was only yesterday that we were burying the GeForce 8000 series to usher in the 9000s, but technology is a fickle thing and soon the 9000s will be forgotten under a heap of GT200s.

The good news for gamers in the context of economic collapse is that even though we’ll soon be lining up in food queues and dancing the Charleston on sidewalks for spare change, we’ll still be able to frag noobs in COD5 and throw opponents to other continents in Crysis.

The EVGA GeForce 9800 GT (512MB DDR3 PCI-E) remains faithful to NVIDIA’s reference board design. Featuring a 650MHz core clock speed, the 512MB of DDR3 memory has a clock speed of 950MHz (1.9GHz effective) and uses 112 stream processors that run at a clock speed of 1620MHz. All this equates to a maximum memory bandwidth of 60.8 gigabytes per second.

Chances are your graphics card will be about as visible as a non-caffeinated drink in a LAN cafe, so the design of the card won’t be vitally important. But if you’re keen on GPU cosmetics, you’ll find the EVGA a rather average card that isn’t garish or too dull.

Its scores in our tests were impressive, but not spectacular. It did well in 3DMark 06, achieving a result of 12,414. As a comparison, the aged GeForce 9800 GTX (GV-NX98X512H-B) that was once king managed to get 12,074 in its heyday, while the newer and pricier GTX260 (GV-N26-896H-B) returned a 12,726 with an RRP that’s over $200 higher.

When it comes to DirectX 10 games, Crysis is the benchmark of choice. Unfortunately the 9800 GT didn’t manage to impress with its score of 19.16 frames per second. While admittedly this is a game that eats graphics cards for fun, the ATI-based TOXIC HD 4850 (512MB GDDR3 PCI-E) can achieve 23.9fps and costs just $20 more. Call of Juarez performed surprisingly badly, scraping by at 29.6fps; the Sapphire Toxic achieved 47.9fps. It narrowly beat the ATI in the Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions tests with a result of 32.7fps.

The Direct X 9 benchmarking started off well, with the EVGA managing to run F.E.A.R. on the highest settings at an average of 148fps. Its Half Life 2 performance of 133.74fps was less impressive, especially when compared once more to the Sapphire Toxic’s result of 176fps.

The bottom line is that while the EVGA GeForce 9800 GT isn’t a bad graphics card in its own right, users willing to fork out an extra $20 and use an ATI-based card will probably find themselves heading for the Sapphire Toxic. If you’re an NVIDIA fan and prefer to stick with it, however, this is a budget card that is worth a look.

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