Two Is Always Better Than One: EVGA Demonstrates Nvidia GeForce 9800 GX2
While Nvidia has never announced its new-generation dual-chip graphics card called GeForce 9800 GX2, many graphics cards suppliers demonstrated one at the show. The only problem was that nobody could talk about performance of the solution.
The design of Nvidia GeForce 9800 GX2 is completely different compared to both GeForce 7900/7950 GX2 as well as Radeon HD 3870 X2. Instead of placing two graphics processing units (GPUs) on the same print-circuit board (PCB) or just “merging” two pretty similar cards into one system, Nvidia created a solution that features two pretty different PCBs with chips facing each other. This allowed Nvidia to put only one fan on the graphics card, which may mean that the board will be relatively quiet. However, with two chips sharing one heatsink, the board should be rather hot and may require computer case with compulsory several fans inside.
EVGA was among a number of companies that demonstrated Nvidia GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards, however, it was the only maker who demonstrated the novelty without plastic enclosures, which allowed us to check out PCB of the new dual-chip solution. In addition, EVGA demonstrated specially-developed liquid-cooling solution for the new GX2 from Innovatek. EVGA plans to release the liquid-cooled GeForce 9800 GX2 at the same time with normal version, however, it will not increase clock-speeds of the product due to restrictions from Nvidia.
We do not know exact specifications of the product, but here is what we do know: Nvidia GeForce 9800 GX2 has its GPUs clocked in the range of 600-625MHz/1500MHz and 1GB of GDDR3 memory functioning at about 2GHz. Each GPU is projected to contain 128 active unified shader processors, hence, the whole solution may boast with 256 stream processors.
While performance of the model 9800 GX2 should be quite impressive, the whole solution may have a really short lifespan after it launches on the 18th of March, 2008. It is rumoured that Nvidia is on track to release a truly next-generation product that has considerably higher performance in mid-2008, just about a quarter after the 9800 GX2. There is no information about the next-generation by Nvidia, however, considering that the GeForce 8800 GTX was a considerably better performer than the GeForce 7950 GX2, it is almost inevitable that the new board will dethrone the GeForce 9800 GX2 immediately after the launch.