Today NVIDIA launches the GeForce 9800 GX2. As the name suggests this card is a dual GPU design, just like the AMD Radeon HD 3870 X2. Compared to the latter there is a big design difference, NVIDIA uses two seperate PCBs with one GPU each. This allows much easier signal routing and helps signal stability allowing higher clocks. As cooling solution a new ingenious approach is used. The GPUs are facing each other, with one cooler in between. This helps keep the fan noise down, also the whole card is lighter and is cheaper to manufacture.
When looking at the specs it becomes clear that the NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 is really not much more than two 8800 GTS cards glued together and running in SLI. What should be noted here is that the GeForce 9800 GX2 will work in any system with PCI-Express, an NVIDIA chipset is not required for operation.
Zotac's card follows the reference design to the letter, with the only exception being a Zotac sticker on the card's cooler. Zotac is working hard with NVIDIA to release a higher-performance Amp! Edition, but at the moment NVIDIA does not allow any changes to the card and its settings.
HD 3870 X2
|Shader units||320||320||64||96||112||128||2x 320||128||2x 128||128|
|ROPs||16||16||16||20||16||16||2x 16||24||2x 16||24|
|GPU||RV670||RV670||G94||G80||G92||G92||2x RV670||G80||2x G92||G80|
|Transistors||666M||666M||505M||681M||754M||754M||2x 666M||681M||2x 754M||681M|
|Memory Size||256 MB||512 MB||512 MB||320 MB|
|512 MB||512 MB||2x 512 MB||768 MB||2x 512 MB||768 MB|
|Memory Bus Width||256 bit||256 bit||256 bit||320 bit||256 bit||256 bit||2x 256 bit||384 bit||2x 256 bit||384 bit|
|Core Clock||670 MHz||777 MHz||650 MHz||500 MHz||600 MHz||650 MHz||825 MHz||575 MHz||600 MHz||612 MHz|
|Memory Clock||828 MHz||1126 MHz||900 MHz||800 MHz||900 MHz||970 MHz||900 MHz||900 MHz||1000 MHz||1080 MHz|