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  • Jangotat - Friday, April 18, 2008 - link

    The way they're setting this up is great but they need to fix a few things 1 use a 790i Asus motherboard 2 use OCZ 1600 platinum memory 3 let us see some benchmarks with 3-way 8800 ultra cards that would be sweet

    Platinum memory has custom timings for asus, and asus doesn't have issues like EVGA and XFX do. And we really need to see the 3-way ultra setup to see what's really the best for crysis and everything else

    You guys could do this right?
  • LSnK - Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - link

    What, are you guys running out of zeros or using some ancient text mode resolution? Reply
  • Mr Roboto - Thursday, April 03, 2008 - link

    Derek, you say that a 25% decrease in performance resulted from disabling VSYNC in Crysis and WIC. However you then say in the next sentence that performance gains can be had by disabling VSYNC? Maybe I'm misunderstanding?

    "Forcing VSYNC off in the driver can decrease performance by 25% under the DX10 applications we tested. We see a heavier impact in CPU limited situations. Interestingly enough, as we discussed last week, with our high end hardware, Crysis and World in Conflict were heavily CPU and system limited. Take a look for yourself at the type of performance gains we saw from disabling VSYNC".
  • Evilllchipmunk89 - Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - link

    Seriously what about the AMD 790FX board? you will test the Nvidea cards on thier "home platform/790I" platform, But what not the ATI cards home platform. Obviously you can get more performance if you had the 790FX board that was made more specificly for the Radeon3870s
    where you can tweek more aspects of the card. In an earlyer review you showed us that with nothing changed but the board the 780I outperformed the skulltrail on the Nvidia cards but you wint even mess with the ATI boards
  • just4U - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    I dont quite understand why they just didnt go with a 512bit interface like on the X2's. That's what I was expecting anyway.

    One thing that has me surprised. I was checking my local store on the web for "new arrivals" (a feature where new listings appear daily) and saw the GTX and was thinking hey wait .. Annand hasn't even reviewed this yet and it's in stock???! wow. I imediately came here and there the review was :D So nvidia is trying to stay on top of the hard launch which is nice to see but mmmm.. still troubled by that no 512bit interface. To me it still seems like a GTS/512.
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - link

    And yet the GTS wasn't included in the review... Reply
  • deeznuts - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    It's actually "lo and behold" and I'm not even sure it's being used right. You propably are, but essentially you're saying, "look, see, I looked, and saw ..." Reply
  • Olaf van der Spek - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    So what is the cause of the vsync issue? I don't see an explanation of that.
    It'd be interesting to know why performance drops with vsync off.
  • finbarqs - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Haha Happy April Fools day! Reply
  • prophet001 - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    you guys write some nice reviews on this website but the visuals are a little lacking. i guess when i read an RSS feed that talks about 9800 gtx triple SLI then i kinda expect to see at least a picture of a mobo with 3 cards on it and a uranium iv. i know, it's about the results, but more neat pictures would be nice :) Reply
  • nubie - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    It is all well and good to bash nVidia for lack of SLi support on other systems, but why can't the AMD cards run on an nVidia motherboard? Kill 2 birds with one stone there, lose your FB-Dimms and test on a single platform.

    Apples to apples, you can't say nVidia is at fault when the blame isn't entirely theirs (besides, isn't the capability to run Crossfire and SLi on one system a little out of the needs of most users?).

    Is it that AMD allows crossfire on all Except nVidia motherboards? (Do VIA, or SiS make a multi-PCIe board?) If so, then we are talking Crossfire availability on Intel and AMD chipsets, and not nvidia, whereas nVidia allows only their own. That sounds like 30/70% blame AMD vs nVidia.
  • PeteRoy - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    It is too hard to understand these graphs, use the ones you had in the past, I can't understand how to compare the different systems in these graphs.

    Use the graphs from the past with the best on top and the worst on bottom.
  • araczynski - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    i'm using a 7900gtx right now, and the 9800gtx isn't impressing me enough to warrant $300, i might just pick up an 8800gts512 in a month when they're all well below $200. overclocking one would be more than "close enough" for me. Reply
  • araczynski - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    ... in any case, i'd much prefer to see benchmarks comparing a broader range of cards than seeing this sli/tri/quad crap. your articles are assuming that everyone upgrades their cards everytime nvidia/ati shit something out on a monthly basis. Reply
  • Denithor - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    ...because they set out to accurately compare nVidia's latest high end card to other high end options available.

    I'm sure in a few days there will be a followup article showing a broader spectrum of cards at more usable resolutions so we (the common masses) can see whether or not this $300 card really brings any benefit with its high price tag.
  • Ndel - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    your benchmarks dont even make any sense =/

    why use a system 99.9 percent of the people dont have.

    this is not even relative to what other enthusiasts currently have, how are we suppose to believe these benchmarks at all.

    grain of salt...
  • SpaceRanger - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    I believe he used the fastest processor out there to eliminate IT at the bottleneck for the benchmark. Reply
  • Rocket321 - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Derek -
    I enjoyed this article for a few reasons that made it different.

    First, the honesty and discussion of problems expirenced. This helps to convay the many issues still expirenced with multi GPU solutions.

    Second the youtube video. This is a neat use of available technology. Could this be useful in other ways? Maybe in the next low/mid GPU roundup it could be used to show a short clip of each card playing a game at the same point.
    This could visually show where one card gets choppy and a better card doesn't.

    Finally - Using a poll in the forums - really great idea to do this for relavent info and then add to an article.

    Thanks for the good article!
  • chizow - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Thanks for making AT reviews worth reading again Derek. You addressed many of the problems I've had with the ho-hum reviews of late, like emphasizing major problems encountered during testing and dropping some incredibly insightful discoveries backed by convincing evidence (Vsync issue). Break throughs such as this are part of what make PC hardware fun and exciting.

    A few things you touched on but didn't really clarify was performance on Skulltrail vs. NV chipsets and memory bandwidth/amount on the 9800 vs. Ultra. I'd like to see a comparison of Skulltrail vs. 780/790i and then just future disclaimers like (Skulltrail is ~20% slower than the fastest NV solutions).

    With the 9800 vs Ultra I'm a bit disappointed you didn't really dig into overclocking at all or further investigation on how much some of the issues you talked about impacted or benefitted performance, like memory bandwidth. I think its safe to say the 9800GTX as a refined G92 8800GTS has significant overclocking headroom while the Ultra does not (its basically an overclocked GTX). It would have been nice to see how much memory overclocks would've benefitted overall performance alone, then max overclocks on both the core/shader and memory.

    But again, great review, I'll be reading over it again to pick up on some of the finer details.
  • lopri - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    How many revisions the 790i have been through already? Major ones at that. Usually minor revisions are like A0->A1->A2, I thought. As a matter of fact I don't even remember if there was any nVidia chip that is 'C' revision, except maybe MCP55 (570 SLI). Reply
  • crimsonson - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Although the graphs works well it is gets very difficult to read when there are a lot of test subjects. Can you guys find another way? Trying to trace a dozen lines and trying to make a distinction between them is rather hard and defeats the whole purpose of a visual AID. I end up reading the spreadsheet instead.

  • Spacecomber - Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - link

    These graphs are beginning to resemble the one's from AnandTech's heatsink reviews, which is not a good thing. Jamming as much information as you can into a single graph serves no purpose. They're unreadable. The reader is forced to use the table, instead, which means the graph has failed as an illustration. Reply
  • geogaddi - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    seconded. and reading spreadsheets for me is like shooting pool with a piece of rope...

  • jtleon - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    I must second that sentiment. Isn't the objective of web content to clearly communicate a message and minimize confusion? There are many data communication tools available, one example is DaDISP ( which is extremely powerful and rather cost effective. I don't work for dadisp, only use it on a regular basis. The free evaluation version should satisfy your needs easily.

  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    I'm really dissapointed to see the 8800GT not present in this review. As a person just getting ready to build a system I am on the fence with purchasing this new 9800GTX, or saving >$100 and going with the 8800GT until we actually get a next-gen part.

    Since the platforms/issues are around I cannot really compare these results to previous reviews. If you could please comment, or throw the 8800GT on for a couple quick gaming benchmarks I (we) would be greatly appreciative!
  • Spuke - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    I was hoping I could finally see a comparison between the 8800GT 512MB and the 9600GT. All Anandtech has is a review of the 8800GT 256BM versus the 9600GT. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    8800GT and 9600GT are directly compared here:">

    "As we have seen in the gaming tests, 64 execution units are enough for most of modern games. We’ve only seen a serious performance hit in comparison with the Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT 512MB in such games as Bioshock, Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3 and Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. In a few tests the GeForce 9600 GT was even faster than the more expensive and advanced GeForce 8800 GT 512MB due to the higher frequency of the core. "

    So basically its a good stop-gap solution for right now, but I would probably go with the 8800GT while waiting for the next gen cards (even at typical 19" LCD resolutions). If ATI/AMD was competetive currently I think the 9600GT would be the perfect card, but we have no idea how long Nvidia will milk their crown, and in turn how long before that next gen card actually takes to come out.
  • bill3 - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    So you're saying Nvidia doesn't like more profits? And they like to help AMD?

    Because that's what not bringing out a next gen card does.

    Is Intel going to delay Penyrns successor now to milk their lead also?

    Nvidia doesn't have any other card ready, period. Because they are too slow, period.
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - link

    Lol Bill, you need to learn something about business. If you have the lead virtually across the board, any system builder but far more importantly OEM's will purchase your card if the price is right (ie AMD/ATI not undercutting for the sake of survival as they are with their Phenom cpu's). It doesn't matter if the top of the line is 2X as fast as the competition or 5X as fast, it will be purchased because it, for the time being, is the best. The same follows for the lower-grade cards. There is no reason to bring out the next-gen card killer until the competition brings something to the table that is actually competetive (or gasp...better). And funny you mention Intel because I believe they are doing EXACTLY that with their new quad's that aren't the very top of the line. These long delays and extremely limited availability seems to smack of milking for all its worth.

    That's good business I can't fault them for doing it. Sucks for us, but smart for them.
  • Jovec - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Yes, AT should pick 2-3 of the most common cards (how many of us are still running 8800GTS cards?) and include numbers as a baseline. Or have a low-mid and mid/high system that all cards get tested on for easy comparison in ongoing graphs. The question most of have is "I have card X, if I buy card Y how much of an improvement will it be and is it worth the cost?" Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    NM, the images now show up that include the 8800GT. Thanks! So it seems the 9800GTX in most situations is <20% faster than the 8800GT at 1280X1024 correct? Since I game on a 19" LCD I might be better off with an 8800GT for a year or so and then upgrading to the next round of cards.....decisions....decisions....

    For anyone that cares here's a direct comparison using the numbers from the table:

    9800GTX compared to 8800GT at 1280X1024 resolution

    Crysis.....19.5% faster

    CoD4.......17.5-18.5% faster (depending on no/4X AA)

    Oblivion...17.5-27% faster (depending on no/4X AA)

    QuakeW.....10.5% faster

    Stalker....13% faster

  • just4U - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    So it's roughly 2% faster then the GTS/512? :( Reply
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Again I'm disappointed that this review completely fails to include the 8800GTS. I asked in the previous 9800GX2 review as did several others and there was no response to the questions. It definitely appears that they are purposely failing to include the most obvious competitor to the 9800GTX (and any future lower-end cards, GTS, GT, etc.).

    Looks like I'll be going to another site for a better comparison.
  • 7Enigma - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Hocp has a good comparison review (albeit with their odd way of benchmarking) of the 8800GTX/S against the 9800GTX. Pretty much shows what we thought, some slight improvements, but nothing to write home about. This quote from the conclusion sums up the release of the 9800GTX:

    "If you are a gamer and were hoping to upgrade, today is not the day if you already own pretty much any 8800 series card. Here’s hoping real next-gen technology will be seen in a “9900” series soon."

    This pretty much solidifies my purchase of an 8800GT. I just can't see the advantage of shelling out closer to $300 for a slightly better card than a $200 8800GT, with the hopes that within a year SOMEONE comes to the rescue of actually releasing a next gen card that is better than the current/previous generation.
  • AggressorPrime - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    I'm pretty sure dual, tri, and quad Crossfire is not supposed to give the exact same results in Crysis. There must be something wrong with the chart. Reply
  • AggressorPrime - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    It looks like these tests are done with the 790i, yet there is no info on what RAM is used or motherboard for that matter in the chart.

    It is interesting that a 790i setup would beat Skulltrail in Crysis, but I guess fast RAM is more important.
  • Noya - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    ...the best bang for the buck is a pair of 8800gt in SLI @ about $350. Reply
  • KingViper - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Can we get a spell check in the house? Reply
  • jtleon - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link


  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Fixed. Reply
  • AggressorPrime - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Yes, it seems like some spaces are omitted. Reply
  • Rolphus - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    None of the graphs work for me, on any page. IE6 and Opera 9.5 Beta.

    Just thought you should know :)
  • Rolphus - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Holy huge images, batman ;)

    I'm sure you're working on that though!
  • AggressorPrime - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Looks like everything is now fixed. Thank you Anandtech for another excellent review. Reply
  • AggressorPrime - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    I spoke too soon, first image on page 5 is still broken. Reply
  • pervisanathema - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    Where are the graphs on the final page? Reply
  • RamarC - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    quote: where are the graphs?

    answer: probably where a $160 hd 3870 is--coming real soon now. (or at least should be!)
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, April 01, 2008 - link

    We had an image upload problem, it's being worked on at the moment. Reply
  • Thatguy97 - Monday, May 11, 2015 - link

    Man 2008 was a mess stuck with my 8880 gtx sli for 2 years Reply

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