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RADEON 9800 XT

The RADEON 9800 XT is a top-end graphics processor of the last generation, made with 0.15-micron tech process out of 110 million transistors. We’ve got a RADEON 9800 XT card from Sapphire:

Curiously enough, RADEON 9800 XT graphics cards have their memory chips cooled – unlike RADEON X800 devices. The base of the face-side cooler covers the core as well as the memory chips, while the chips at the back side of the PCB are under a copper plate:

The nominal frequencies of the card are 412/730MHz; I made it to 470/840MHz at overclocking. The measurements of the power consumption gave the following results:

It is clear that the developers of the X800 discussed power-related problems. The X800 Pro consumes a little less than the RADEON 9800 XT, and the X800 XT Platinum Edition, which is incomparably faster – only 3 Watts more than the 9800 XT and only in the Burn mode!

The transition to the thinner 0.13-micron tech process, the reduced core voltage (X800’s 1.4v against 9800 XT’s 1.7v), the use of a less power-hungry memory and various improved power-saving technologies – these factors all contribute to the excellent result. The difference between the X800 and the RADEON 9800 XT is especially clear in the Idle mode: X800-based graphics cards consume twice less of electricity.

The power consumption of the card grew by 16.3% in the Idle mode and by 12.3% in the Burn mode (the GPU and memory clock rates grew by 14% and 15%, respectively).


Click to enlarge

Interestingly, the RADEON 9800 XT loads the AGP slot more than the new generation of ATI graphics cards: in the Burn mode, the total consumption on the 3.3v, 5v and 12v lines in the AGP slot reaches about 20W, while the X800 consumes 10W at most through the AGP.

 
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