We've been meaning to deliver benchmarks of the NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX under Linux for some time, but with the recent rollout of the GeForce GTX 200 series, the competition presented by the ATI Radeon HD 4850, and the introduction of the GeForce 9800GTX+, the GeForce 9800GTX is dropping in price and captivating the interest of a different segment of users. Finally we are delivering these benchmarks of the GeForce 9800GTX with Ubuntu Linux and using the most recent NVIDIA driver release, which has a number of improvements since the G92 chipset was introduced back in April. The graphics card we're using is the EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR.
Some of the features for the NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX include PureVideo HD Technology, NVIDIA PureVideo HD Technology, Hardware Decode Acceleration, Dual-Stream Hardware Acceleration, Dynamic Contrast Enhancement & Color Stretch, 3-way NVIDIA SLI Technology, NVIDIA Hybrid Power Technology, and PCI Express 2.0 Support. Unfortunately, many of these NVIDIA technologies aren't supported under Linux or are to a limited extent. For instance, NVIDIA PureVideo HD isn't supported on Linux at all. XvMC (X-Video Motion Compensation) was supported on early generations of GeForce graphics cards, but that support was dropped with GeForce 8 series. X-Video right now is the leading choice for NVIDIA Linux users. One of the newer GPU technologies that NVIDIA doesn't intend to support on Linux is Hybrid Power, which is unfortunate seeing as this feature is designed to conserve power, lower the noise level, and conserve heat output when running non graphically-intensive software.
The NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX has 128 stream processors, 512MB of 256-bit GDDR3 memory, DirectX 10.0 (if using a Microsoft OS, of course), OpenGL 2.1 compliant, 70.4 GB/s memory bandwidth, and a 43.2 billion/s texture fill rate. The GeForce 9800GTX reference design operates with a 675MHz core clock, 1100MHz memory clock, and 1688MHz shader clock. The GeForce 9800GTX+ that was announced last week is essentially the same product but its core clock runs at 738MHz and its shader clock is elevated to 1836MHz. Some AIB partners, of course, also ship their GeForce 9800GTX products with a factory overclock. For those not familiar with the other parts in the GeForce 9 series, there is also the GeForce 9500GT, 9600 GSO, 9600GT, and 9800GX2.
EVGA currently sells the 9800GTX in four different models: 9800GTX SSC, 9800GTX KO, 9800GTX SC, and the 9800GTX vanilla. The EVGA 9800GTX SSC is their top offering with its core coming clocked at an impressive 770MHz, while the KO and SC variants are clocked at 738MHz and 700MHz, respectively. However, the product packaging between all four models is quite similar. The 9800GTX graphics card is packaged amid quite a lot of Styrofoam. The Styrofoam block encasing the graphics card could be dropped and chances are it wouldn't damage the card.
Packaged in a white box are all of the graphics card accessories. These accessories include two PCI Express power extension cables, one type-3 HDTV cable, two PCI Express power adapters, two DVI to VGA adapters, one S-Video cable, and installation guide. The PCI Express power extension cable is used with cases where the 6-pin PCI-E cables may be too short to reach this massive graphics card and for adapting 8-pin PCI-E power cables to a 6-pin interface. The included power adapters allow two 4-pin molex connectors to power a 6-pin PCI-E interface. To the dismay of some users, EVGA doesn't include a DVI to HDMI adapter.