So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Galaxy GeForce 9800 GTX+
Not bad, but not great either.
- Native HDMI output, good value
- Mediocre DirectX 9 performance
Although the Galaxy GeForce 9800 GTX+ has a native HDMI output and is relatively good value, its DirectX 9 performance is not spectacular.
Price$ 339.00 (AUD)
The Galaxy GeForce 9800 GTX+ is a mid-range graphics card with an HDMI-output. It delivers a solid performance but fails to trump its ATI equivalent in terms of value or power.
One of the biggest differences between this GPU and the GeForce 9800 GTX (GV-NX98X512H-B) is the 55nm core (as opposed to the 65nm core found in the 9800 GTX), which slightly reduces power consumption and heat levels. The smaller core is equipped with 128 stream processors running at 1.83GHz and a 738MHz core clock speed.
As well has the HDMI-output the 9800 GTX+ has a single DVI port and an S-Video output. Buyers should note that the Galaxy can only handle HD video and not sound so users will have to manually connect a separate audio cable from a motherboard's onboard audio connection to the audio jumper on the graphics card.
A 256-bit bus and 512MB of GDDR3 memory running at a clock speed of 1100MHz (2.2GHz effective) result in a memory bandwidth of 70.4GBps.
However, the 9800 GTX+ faces stiff opposition not only from other NVIDIA-based cards but also its ATI equivalent — the slightly cheaper and less power-hungry ATI TOXIC HD 4850 (512MB GDDR3 PCI-E).
The 9800 GTX+'s faster core clock speed (738MHz compared to the ATI's 675MHz) should give the Galaxy an advantage in performance.
However, the Toxic draws less power and requires only one six-pin PCI-E power connector, instead of the two needed for the 9800 GTX+. The ATI is also smaller, $40 cheaper and occasionally superior in its performance.
In our benchmarks we noted good DirectX 10 performance, but the DX9 tests returned relatively lacklustre results. F.E.A.R. delivered an average rate of 87 frames per second, while Half Life 2 scored an average of 106.43fps. These scores are tame when compared to the Sapphire Toxic HD 4850's frame rates of 102fps and 176fps, respectively.
Fortunately the 9800GTX+ acquitted itself better when running newer DX10 benchmarks. Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions ran at 41fps while the Crysis demo managed a respectable 26.56fps.
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