Nvidia’s GeForce 9800 GT is really just a rebadged GeForce 8800 GT, which makes it the only card in our roundup based on a previous-generation GPU architecture: Nvidia’s 65nm G92. Despite its age, however, the G92 helped EVGA’s GeForce 9800 GT best PowerColor’s Radeon HD 4830—at least in terms of gaming performance.
EVGA runs the 9800 GT’s core at 600MHz, but takes full advantage of its 112 shader processors’ capacity for operating at much higher frequencies: 1,500MHz in this implementation. The card has a 256-bit memory interface to a full gigabyte of GDDR3 memory running at 900MHz.
The 9800 GT’s gaming benchmark performance edge, however, was limited to single-digit percentages. As with PowerColor’s Radeon HD 4830, EVGA’s card fell short of delivering what we consider to be the minimum acceptable frame rate (60fps) with Far Cry 2 and Crysis on a 22-inch display.
So we can’t recommend this card from a gamer’s perspective. Is it any better for home-theater applications? Barely. It’s relatively quiet, but not every HTPC enclosure will accommodate its nine-inch length. And while it does have a S/PDIF input, so you can add digital audio to the signals being output to its DVI ports (provided there’s a S/PDIF header on your motherboard), EVGA doesn’t include the DVI-to-HDMI adapter needed to transmit both audio and video over a single cable.