Final Words

NVIDIA has a pretty solid product lineup now, the problem it is that at the lower end of the lineup the Radeon HD 4850 manages to do a great job of disrupting things:

The Radeon HD 4850 continues to be a better buy than NVIDIA's GeForce 9800 GTX, even if both are priced at $199. The overclocked, 55nm 9800 GTX+ manages to barely outperform the 4850 in a few titles, but loses by a larger margin in others, so for the most part it isn't competitive enough to justify the extra $30. The 4850 also uses significantly less power than the 9800 GTX+, and AMD was quick to point out that by the time the 9800 GTX+ ships that it will also have factory overclocked 4850s. That should make things even more interesting, because honestly, a factory overclocked Radeon HD 4850 is far more attractive to us than an overclocked GTX+.

In a little over 12 hours we'll be able to complete the story with a full look at AMD's RV770 GPU and the Radeon HD 4870, so for a full, detailed performance analysis come back then. Until then, in short, the 9800 GTX+ doesn't really change anything for NVIDIA.

NVIDIA needs to further drop the price of the GeForce 9800 GTX or GTX+ in order to make them truly competitive with the Radeon HD 4850. There's nothing more to it. Price drops on the 8800 line are also necessary, which makes sense given the positioning of the 9800 GTX/GTX+. There's a reasonable chance we'll see some of the 8800 products disappear from NVIDIA's lineup in the near future, so if you've been contemplating adding a second 8800 GT 512 for SLI use, now might not be a bad time to do so; we're seeing cards priced as low as $160 with a $30 mail-in rebate now.

The Witcher, Bioshock & Oblivion


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  • Ytterbium - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    Hi, What are the setting you use in Crysis? Reply
  • Pale Rider - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    Like one full page of new ATi product information smack in the middle of this preview. Reply
  • ashegam - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    Anand or Derek,
    When can we expect 55nm 200 models since they are apprehensive about doing both a die shrink and new architecture together? 6 month, 1 year?
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    NVIDIA probably started working on the 55nm shrink of GT200 as soon as the chip was done, so you can expect a die-shrunk version of it as soon as 6 months but I'd expect one in early 2009.

  • Mr Roboto - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    Yeah how weird is that? Two companies that are such bitter rivals both use the same manufacturer. I didn't know they both used TSMC until a few weeks ago.

    Also I know it's just a name but I think Nvidia is retarded for their naming scheme the last few rounds. First the whole 8800GTS 640\320 512\256 then the 8800GSO\9600GSO which is basically a 9600GT and now the 9800GTX+. Really unimaginative and it just shows how much they're trying to capitalize on the 8800 name. They need to fire the guy who jumbled this thing so badly. You would think Jen-Hsun Huang would be on top of things like this. Unless this was his idea?

    Anyways my 8800GTX is still kickin strong, but I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of ATI's lineup.
  • Clauzii - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    In my world, 9800 will always be as in "ATI Radeon 9800Pro" :)) Reply
  • feelingshorter - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    Your right and a lot of people would agree. Nvidia's naming is so confusing that most people who aren't so tech savy wouldn't know if a GSO or the GS or the GTS or GT is faster. Not to mention they released the cards with different types of memory (512 vs 640) under the same name with the higher memory being slower, older version of the same card. How many people probably mistakenly bought the 640 version of the 8800GT without knowning the 512 was actually faster? Not everyone reads tech news daily.

    Only the less tech savy customers are the ones hurt, which is most of the customers. Although no one on anandtech would get confused, I know plenty of friends who are and ask me all the time which cards to buy. But even I have to read tech news daily just to keep up with it. This is, YANL, as one review website coined the term (yet another nvidia launch).
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    For that matter, the 9600GSO offerings seem to generally have less memory on a smaller memory interface, but more SPs. So maybe NVIDIA is confused over which should be faster as well.

    And why has Anandtech never reviewed a GSO?
  • formulav8 - Friday, June 27, 2008 - link

    The 9600 GSO is basically the 8800GS video card renamed. Same 192 Bit memory interface and 384MB of memory. I believe 96 Shaders as well.

    The 9600 GT version has 64 Shaders but the clockspeeds are higher than the GS clocks and carries a 256 Bit memory bus.

    Whats sad is the GSO version could beat the GT version in certain things and the GT wins in other things. They are not clearly defined as they should be since they are carrying the same Model #. nVideo has the worse naming so far.

    So if you've seen the 8800GS review then you've seen the 9600 GSO reviewed...

  • Lonyo - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    Are the Oblivion numbers in the chart really accurate?
    You're trying to tell me the 9800GTX+ with 9.3% better core and 7.x% better shaders and the same speed RAM gets 15% better FPS in Oblivion?

    Seems a little odd, unless there are some other changes under the hood, because I don't see how a <10% change in clocks can get you 15% change in performance without something a bit weird going on.

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