While many readers will question nVIDIA’s sanity for releasing a new card on April Fools Day, there is a reason that they are not worried about any repercussions.  You see, they know something you probably don’t.  By releasing the card for testing to so many sites, they guarantee that no prank can be pulled.

Hardware reviewers simply can not get along with each other well enough to be able to work together on a prank this big.  Hardware review sites hide a vicious world, full of DDOS attacks, mail sabotage and sometimes physical violence.  For instance; when you see photos from trade shows, the reviewers are very careful when taking their pictures.  If they weren’t, you would see the dozens of security guards standing at every booth.  If you have spotted guards in a photo from a show, you might have assumed that they were there to protect the booth babes from overzealous geeks.  The truth is far worse.  They are there to prevent brawls from breaking out as competing reviewers try to get the best shots of the hardware displayed, and in extreme cases they have to prevent reviewers from destroying the displays.  It’s referred to as an exclusive if a reviewer can manage to smash up a piece of hardware before anyone else can take a picture of it.  When things get utterly out of hand you have incidents like this one.  All the friendly banter you see is scripted, and filmed after the incident, the site was required to film it if they ever wanted back into CES. 

Other attacks are not physical, but electronic in nature.  Every link to another site has to be checked constantly, or it may be switched to go to certain pictures no one wants to see.  The botnets that have come to the media’s attention recently were originally spawned in a war between two (not to be named) tech sites.  Thankfully, there is currently a cease fire on that particular attack, most reviewers realized they make a lot more money renting out that bandwidth to spammers than from contextual ads on front pages and forums.  I cannot even go into the disgusting ‘favours‘ done to Zonk, CmdrTaco and others in order to guarantee a story hits the front page of Slashdot.

I digress though, forget what I said, and go read Ryan’s totally legitimate GeForce 9800 GTX review.

“The GeForce 9800 GTX is in fact merely a higher clocked version of the 8800 GTS 512MB card released last year. The G92 GPU still sports the same number of stream processors, the same memory bus and is still a native PCI Express 2.0 card built on the 65nm process.

The GeForce 9800 GTX does stand out for another reason: its price. Estimations from NVIDIA (oh how reliable they are) put the 9800 GTX at $299-349 – a price that puts it well within the reach of most gamers. NVIDIA has stated that the 9800 GTX is NOT an attempt to push the overall performance of GPUs to another level but rather to bring performance similar to that of the G80 8800 cards to a much more reasonable price segment.

For our testing of the 9800 GTX our good friends at BFG Technologies and XFX sent us some retail samples and it is with their combined efforts that we get to test some 3-Way action.”

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