Power Consumption and Conclusions
The power consumption on the ASUS 9800 GT Matrix card is right on par with that of the Galaxy model – 163 watts at idle and about 245 watts under a full load. The AMD cards are bit more efficient when paired with the Intel chipset motherboard while at idle but are still right at that 240+ watts under load.
We have come to know and love the G92 GPU from NVIDIA – after all we have had dozens of graphics cards built around this technology pass across our test bench over the last 12 months or so. The 9800 GT 512MB solution is a great gaming performer that we have seen drop in price over that same period (thought known as the 8800 GT as well) and would wager that you could throw even the latest PC games at with more than acceptable results. Our tests show just that in fact.
For our short round of benchmarks, including Bioshock, Call of Duty 4 and Crysis, the ASUS 9800 GT Matrix, with its overclock core, shader and memory speeds, was able to produce playable frame rates at 1600×1200 and 2048×1536 in most cases. Not only that, but the brand-new Radeon HD 4830 512MB is only just competing with the 9800 GT, not beating it out right. And since these two products are similar in price that gives NVIDIA and its partners, like ASUS, a fighting chance to make some money this holiday.
Features and Extras
Most GeForce 9800 GT cards, or any GeForce brand actually, tend to be pretty plain when it comes to out-of-the-box features. The ASUS GeForce 9800 GT Matrix moves past the standard pair of DVI ports to offer some nice on-board features including an HDMI port and an integrated optical digital audio output. There is still a TV output connection that supports both standard definition S-Video and component HDTV output via the included dongle.
Overall, the Matrix has a complete package for gamers as well as enthusiasts that want to mix some gaming and home theater action.
Pricing and Availability
As of this writing, you can find the ASUS EN9800 GT Matrix 512MB card for about $129 at a handful of online retailers. About a year ago, this same technology, but running a few clocks lower, would have cost you more than $260 so to say that gaming prices on the PC have dropped significantly would be an understatement. The 9800 GTs primary competitor, the AMD Radeon HD 4830 512MB, is going for about $119 in some places making the debate for the best mid-range graphics a continuing process.
The ASUS ENG9800 GT Matrix 512MB graphics card is one of our favorite new low-to-mid-range graphics cards that you can pick up today for well under $150. If you are looking for an upgrade to an aging GPU of your own and don’t have much money to spend, this overclocked G92-based product will fit the bill perfectly.
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