ASUS RADEON 9800 XT: 2D Quality and Noise
Such a parameter as 2D image quality is losing its importance, since there are ever more LCD monitors with the digital (DVI) interface. Anyway, the ASUS RADEON 9800 XT/TVD yielded a crystal-sharp picture in all resolutions up to 1800x1440@75Hz.
As for the noise produced by the cooling system of the card, you can hear it, but in ideal testing conditions. In real situations, its 5,200rpm fans are completely lost against the roar of other system components. Moreover, you can adjust the fans speed in the Smart Cooling system or enable the mode where they change their speeds depending on the temperature. ASUS Smart Cooling is probably the best cooling and monitoring system of today. Perhaps the systems from Tyan offer similar functionality, but they are a bit noisier.
ASUS RADEON 9800 XT: Overclocking
Overclockability is a major attraction for the enthusiastic user. So, we decided to check the ASUS RADEON 9800 XT/TVD at high frequencies, having first installed an additional 120mm fan as a preventive measure. The memory worked stably at 385MHz (770MHz DDR), without even making it to its own specs (400MHz or 800MHz DDR). The simple truth was confirmed once again: for memory to work at high frequencies the access time should be low, but also proper layout is required. I think it was the too simple wiring that slightly spoilt our overclocking experience. The VPU overclocking was even worse. At 430MHz VPU frequency, the water surface in 3DMark03: Mother Nature showed the funny tessellation much similar to what the unlucky owners of the RADEON 9500 saw after trying to remake it into the eight-pipelined RADEON 9700. This tessellation only vanished after the core frequency was reduced to 415MHz, only 3MHz above the nominal. Thus, I should confess this graphics card is not suitable for overclocking.
ASUS RADEON 9800 XT: Conclusion
The ASUS RADEON 9800 XT/TVD is a high-quality product with an exclusive exterior and excellent cooling and hardware monitoring systems. To cap this all, it offers you the VIVO functions. If you want to be at the leading edge of the technology, that’s your card. There is only one factor that could make you reconsider: according to X-bit labs DealTime, you have to count out from $492 to $515 (at the time when we worked on this review) for this product. Anyway, the excellent quality and nice accessories set are awarded with our quality mark, X-bit labs Editor’s Choice. It should be noted, though, that several other graphics cards from ASUS could aspire for this award, too. For example, the V9950 we tested earlier this year, although it is a little slower (ASUS V9950 Graphics Card Review).