How much power does 55nm save?

As far as we know, the GTX+ is a simple die shrink of G92 so the only differences between it and the regular 9800 GTX are clock speeds and power consumption.

Luckily EVGA sent us one of their GeForce 9800 GTX KO cards, which happens to be clocked at virtually the same speed as the upcoming GTX+:

  9800 GTX+ EVGA 9800 GTX KO 9800 GTX
Core Clock 738MHz 738MHz 675MHz
Shader Clock 1836MHz 1836MHz 1690MHz
Memory Clock 1100MHz 1125MHz 1100MHz
Price Point $229 $209 - $239 $199


With the 9800 GTX KO you can get the performance of the GTX+ today, without waiting for July 16th for availability. What you do lose out on however is power. At idle the new 55nm chip draws about 3% less power than the overclocked 9800 GTX and actually draws 8.7% more power than the stock-clock 65nm 9800 GTX.


Under load, the GTX+ once again draws around 3% less power than EVGA's KO edition, it would seem that the move to 55nm actually doesn't buy NVIDIA much in the way of power savings.

The Test

We're keeping the commentary to a minimum here as this is a quick preview, we'll have a full performance analysis of the entire AMD and NVIDIA product lineups early tomorrow morning as the NDA lifts on AMD's Radeon HD 4870.

Test Setup
CPU Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 @ 3.20GHz
Motherboard EVGA nForce 790i SLI
Intel DX48BT2
Video Cards ATI Radeon HD 4850
ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2
ATI Radeon HD 3870
EVGA GeForce 9800 GTX KO
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX
NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260
Video Drivers Catalyst Press Driver (8.7 beta)
Catalyst 8.5
ForceWare 177.34 (for GT200)
ForceWare 177.39 (for 9800 GTX+)
ForceWare 175.16 (everything else)
Hard Drive Seagate 7200.9 120GB 8MB 7200RPM
RAM 4 x 1GB Corsair DDR3-1333 7-7-7-20
Operating System Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1
PSU PC Power & Cooling Turbo Cool 1200W
Index Crysis & Call of Duty 4


View All Comments

  • SiliconDoc - Tuesday, July 22, 2008 - link

    Well thank you for giving me a clue, I wondered why the prices are so arbitrary and ridiculous. Everything is a gambled commodity with shorts and longs nowadays.
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    Using the same process doesn't mean you'll get the same results. It's entirely possible to less a more power efficient chip using 55nm than a competing chip built using 65nm; it's all in the design. AMD has had more time fine-tuning their designs for 55nm, and we could see some updates to NVIDIA's 55nm part that will further reduce power requirements... or not. The fabrication facility is really only a small part of the equation; a great process with a lousy design still won't make for a killer product. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link


    "to less a more" = "to build a more"
  • Martimus - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    It's funny. Two weeks ago I would have loved to be able to get a 9800GTX for $200 (my budget for a video card in the upcoming build), but now I have absolutely no interest in it at that price due to the great performance of the HD 4850. Even if the two were even I would choose the ATI card because of regular driver updates, but it just amazes me that my fortune has changed so quickly that a card I used to really want no longer interests me because a better cheaper card came out so quickly. Reply
  • puffpio - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    Will this + card oc higher than it's 65nm equivalent? Reply
  • IvanAndreevich - Tuesday, June 24, 2008 - link

    It likely will. Reply

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