ASUS EN9800GT 512mb PCI-E
It is plainly obvious that the 9800GT is little more than the 8800GT we had known and loved. However, times change, technology advances and while ATI have made some significant progress, NVidia have continued to churn out cards based on last generation technology. The 9800GT is one such example.
That isn't to say the 9800GT is a bad card as it's quite clearly a capable piece of hardware. It is stylish, silent and powerful enough to play all but Crysis at high settings with AA and AF applied which, weighing in at under £100, is an great achievement.
Previously, the 8800GT had little competition from ATI and the NVidia card ruled supreme as the mid-range card of choice. This year there is a new kid in town and ATI have pulled out all the stops to release a formidable mid-range card that simply blows the 9800GT (or 8800GT depending on your preference) out of the water with regards to raw performance. While NVidia have been resting on their laurels, ATI have developed a card that not only outperforms the NVidia offering but also has a better Price/Performance ratio in the majority of games -bucking the trend that the more you pay the less ratio you get. So with that said, why would anyone buy the 9800GT?
The 9800GT is TRI SLI capable and also has slightly updated OpenGL support (2.1). As its name suggests the EN9800GT is HybridPower™ and Hybrid SLI® compatible should you be lucky enough to own a motherboard supporting these features (780a chipset). These are perhaps the only worthwhile improvements to the 8800GT. However, why anyone would want to TRI SLI 3 9800GT's when for the same price they could have a single 280GTX that costs less, and on most occassions, would outperform the three cards is beyond me.
Before reviewing this card, my one hope for the 9800GT was for it to be cheap. It needed to be cheap if it was going to generate sales and be competitive so while £95 is hardly expensive, there are better options that give much more bang per buck. Therefore, I think we have shown that while the ASUS EN9800GT is a very attractive, cool and silent running card, it ultimately fails to deliver the goods when compared with the current competition.
- Blue PCB
- Solid capacitors for long life
- SLI capable
- No included game
- So 'last year'
Thanks to ASUS for providing the EN 9800GT 'Hybridpower' and HD4850 for this review.
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