Zotac 9800 GTX+ ZONE Edition - In the Cool Zone

In the Cool Zone

In the Cool Zone

Zotac is a relatively new brand in the graphics card market, though it has an experienced manufacturer behind it. And so far, it has impressed us with its offerings. Apart from the standard reference based cards, it also has two other product lines that features its own customized cards. They are the AMP! and ZONE editions. The difference between the two is rather straightforward. Cards from the AMP! edition comes factory-overclocked, whereas those from the ZONE edition feature silent cooling solutions.

That said, the Zotac GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB ZONE Edition is the current flagship of the ZONE edition of cards. Its unique selling point is that it is water-cooled. However, since this is the very first GeForce 9800 GTX+ card that we are reviewing and NVIDIA has so many rather confusing GPU names, let us first talk you through a little about this relatively 'new' GPU.

You know this is one massive card when you see the box that houses it. At nearly half a meter tall, it is probably one of the biggest package for a graphics card we've ever seen.

The GeForce 9800 GTX+ was launched not too long ago in July and is once again a refresh, this time of the 9800 GTX. It differs from the latter in that it is manufactured using a 55nm process, a first for NVIDIA. It also has higher clock speeds, 738MHz for the core, 2200MHz memory and 1836MHz for the shaders, as opposed to the 9800 GTX's core, memory and shader clock speeds of 675MHz, 2200MHz and 1688MHz respectively. Basically, it was conceived by NVIDIA as a quick-fix so as to provide the Radeon HD 4850 from ATI some competition in the lucrative mid to high-end market.

GPU-Z gets it wrong here. It is a 55nm core not a 65nm.

Although the screenshot from GPU-Z indicates that our card was manufactured using a 65nm process, instead of a 55nm one, we decided to open the card up to make sure. Checking the code found on the core (G92-420-B1), we confirmed that it was indeed a 55nm core and not 65nm as reported on GPU-Z. Now let's take a look at how it stacks up against comparative cards.

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