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PCB Design and Specifications

We won’t describe that Palit GeForce 9800 GTX+ which copies the reference card and cooler. You can just refer to our earlier reviews, for example to the review of the Gainward Bliss 9800 GTX 512MB. We’d better take a closer look at the other version which features a unique PCB design developed by Palit engineers.

First of all, this version lacks the main drawback of the reference GeForce 9800 GTX/GTX+. We mean its excessive length. The PCB from Palit is as long as the PCB of the Radeon HD 4850 or GeForce 9800 GT, i.e. 23 centimeters, making it easier to install the card into small system cases.

The power section still features an advanced four-phase GPU voltage regulator based on an NCP5388 controller from ON Semiconductor. Each phase has three power transistors, but there is a seat for a fourth transistor that may reinforce the power circuit if necessary. The PCB still has two power connectors, both of the PCIe 1.0 variety with a load capacity of 75W. These connectors face the user, like on the reference 9800 GTX/GTX+, but the PCB is now smaller and there is no real need for this orientation of the connectors. It would be handier to plug the cables in if the connectors were placed at the PCB’s butt-end. A dual-channel voltage regulator based on a Richtek RT9259A controller is responsible for the memory chips.

Palit has changed the positioning of the memory chips from semicircular around the GPU to the ordinary L-shaped layout to simplify the wiring (to make the PCB cheaper) and to save some space (to make the PCB shorter). The card is equipped with Samsung K4J52324QE-BJ08 memory.

These GDDR3 chips have a capacity of 512Mb (16Mb x 32), a voltage of 1.9V and a rated frequency of 1200 (2400) MHz, but their real frequency is 1100 (2200) MHz to comply with the official GeForce 9800 GTX+ specs. The Palit GeForce 9800 GTX+ that uses the reference design has the same memory frequency, too.

Palit’s cards both use the 55nm version of the G92 core also known as G92b.

The photo shows that the die has become much smaller. The chip is now revision B1 rather than the 65nm version’s A2 revision. This sample of the chip was manufactured on the 26th week of 2008, i.e. between the 22nd and 28th of June. The GPU of the other Palit card has the same marking but differs in its production date.

The main domain frequency is slightly overclocked (from 738MHz to 745MHz) on the reference-design card. The shader domain frequency is the same at 1836MHz, so this preoverclocking cannot make a big difference. The two cards have the same GPU configuration with 128 unified execution modules, 32 (64) texture processors and 16 render back-ends.

Each card is equipped with two dual-link DVI ports and a 7-pin mini-DIN connector. Additionally, each has a small 2-pin plug for connecting to the sound card’s onboard output to translate S/PDIF sound into HDMI. There are also two MIO connectors for building SLI configuration out of three such cards.

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