Just last month we made this statement when reviewing the Radeon HD 3870 X2...
“Better late than never, AMD/ATI have done it. There is no question that the Radeon HD 3870 X2 is the fastest single card solution on the market today.”
Well, already we are going to have to retract that statement, as Nvidia has undoubtedly reclaimed the performance crown with the GeForce 9800 GX2.
While AMD has nothing in its arsenal that can take on the GX2, the war is far from over. Yes, the GeForce 9800 GX2 is the single fastest graphics card on the planet, but all this speed comes at a cost, a really high cost!
The Radeon HD 3870 X2 was released and made available at $450, and today prices range between $420 and $450. On the other hand, the GeForce 9800 GX2 has been released at $600, and the cheapest we have found so far will set you back $570. So, while the GeForce 9800 GX2 is unquestionably faster than the Radeon HD 3870 X2, is it worth the 35% price premium?
Those looking for a product offering that goes beyond the mainstream range topping at $300 will think it twice before going all the way up to $600, even when the card is this fast. Meanwhile, those gamers out there that can spend more for the ultimate performance will love what the new GeForce 9800 GX2 has to offer.
In terms of features, the GeForce 9800 GX2 does have one glaring weakness and that is its lack of DirectX 10.1 support, something that is present on most of the recently released Radeon products, although that remains relatively unused for now. On a more positive note, the GeForce 9800 GX2 has been a dream test subject, with no problems whatsoever during testing, showing maturity in terms of drivers, even when we ran all these tests using Vista 64-bit which only a few months back was simply overkill for Nvidia hardware.
Just like the Radeon HD 3870 X2, the new GeForce 9800 GX2 was easy to install and use, with no manual configuration required, you can simply forget it's a dual GPU card. The GeForce 9800 GX2 is a well designed product and a solid performer that has as its only real weakness the extremely high price tag.
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