If you've been reading our reviews religiously then you should know that we do our tests on two different system configurations, one on Windows Vista and another on Windows XP.
However, we encountered a slight problem this time round, with the ASUS EN9800GT Matrix, which refused to run on our usual Vista system. To get around this, we built another Vista system using the exact same components, but on a different motherboard (using the same chipset of course). Here are the revised test setups in detail:
We'll be pitting the four GeForce 9800 GT cards against one another and will be paying special attention to see just how much extra performance you can get from the cards that have been overclocked, and for comparison's sake, we have thrown in an older 8800 GT as well, to see if there are any discernible differences in performance. Also, note that the ASUS EN9800GT Matrix is an engineering sample and is rather rough around the edges, hence we do not expect it to perform as well as it possibly can. We also tried our hand at an MSI overclocked edition, but it seemed like an engineering sample and wasn't able to churn out results on par with the rest of the cards; thus we've omitted it for this article.
|Gigabyte 9800 GT 512MB GDDR3||600MHz||1800MHz||1500MHz|
|Zotac GeForce 9800 GT AMP! Edition||700MHz||2000MHz||1700MHz|
|Palit GeForce 9800 GT Sonic||650MHz||1900MHz||1625MHz|
|ASUS GeForce 9800 GT Matrix (engineering sample)||612MHz||1800MHz||1500MHz|
We'll also be throwing in some cards from the red camp, namely the older Radeon HD 3870 and the new Radeon HD 4850. Here's the complete list of cards and their respective clock speeds, as well as the tested drivers used for both test setups:
The following benchmarks were tested using their built-in time demo or benchmarking tools: