MSI GeForce 9800GT 512MB
Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 18 November 2008. Page 3 of 7. 7 Comments

System Setup:

Our test system for the MSI GeForce 9800GT 512MB was composed of an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 clocked at 4.00GHz, an ASUS P5E64 WS Professional, 2GB of OCZ DDR3-1333MHz memory, Western Digital 160GB SATA 2.0 hard drive, and an OCZ EliteXStream 800W PSU. The Linux distribution in use was Ubuntu 8.10 with the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, X Server 1.5.2, and we had used the newest NVIDIA 180.06 display driver and Catalyst 8.11 driver.

The MSI GeForce 9800GT had no problems working with Linux up until we decided to use CoolBits to overclock this graphics card. When attempting to use the auto-detect mode to automatically find the optimal overclock, it would take several minutes but before finding the higher frequencies the system would become unresponsive. This was tried several times and never once did the auto-detect mode function for this graphics card. When attempting to set a GPU frequency above 690MHz or the memory above 1000MHz, the system would also become unresponsive.

We have not experienced a CoolBits issue like this before on Linux and are continuing to explore the situation to find out whether the MSI graphics card is to blame or a regression within the newest NVIDIA Linux driver. The reference specifications for NVIDIA's GeForce 9800GT call for a 600MHz core clock and 1800MHz GDDR3 clock, but MSI has pushed these values on this graphics card to 660MHz and 1900MHz. This is a nice factory overclock, but there still is at least another 100MHz that can be squeezed out of the Samsung GDDR3 ICs and likely a few more megahertz out of the GPU core had CoolBits not inhibited us.

For benchmarking the MSI GeForce 9800GT we had used version 1.4.2 of the Phoronix Test Suite and compared its performance to an ECS GeForce 8800GT 256MB, eVGA GeForce 9800GTX 512MB, and Sapphire Radeon HD 4830 512MB. The Phoronix Test Suite benchmarks consisted of Nexuiz, OpenArena, Doom 3, Quake 4, Unigine Sanctuary, Unigine Tropics, and GtkPerf.

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