Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review

Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review

With the ATi’s strong comeback with the HD4850 GPU, nVidia also made an attempt with the 9800GTX+.

Today, our contender from nVidia’s camp is the Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB.

The Appearance

I’ve always thought the Gainward HD4850 GS had a great looking custom cooler but the Colorful 9800GTX+’s cooler would beat it hands down!

Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review
Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review
Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review

Then again, it looks almost exactly like a ThermalTake DuOrb cooler, so is it exactly CUSTOM? I’d leave you to be the judge. Basically it’s a heatsink with dual fan and 4 heat-pipes.

Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review
Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review
Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review

Aesthetically speaking it’s a beautiful sight, a huge silver colored heatsink on a black PCB, with blue LED lighting up the transparent fan-blades – looks great if your components are showing blue blings already. πŸ™‚ Just like mine!

Card Details & Bundle

The card comes with switches which are used for adjusting the voltage of the core and memory, in order to have a better overclocking ability. Unfortunately for me, the manual doesn’t say anything about the card to begin with, let alone the voltage matter. It’s not even found in their update product page πŸ™ so you’ll just have to trust them on that.

Display output are on 2x DVI and 1 HDMI port.

HereÒ€ℒs a summarized detail of the card.

ModelColorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB
GPU9800GTX+
GPU Code NameG92
Memory TypeDDR3
Memory Bandwidth256-bit
Memory Capacity512MB
Core Clock760Mhz
Memory Clock1120Mhz (2.24Ghz DDR)

Oddly my review unit shows 760Mhz at 1120Mhz while the product manual says 740Mhz and 1100Mhz.

Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review

Pardon the image, it’s supposed to be “55nm” technology.

The card comes with
– 1 x DVI to D-Sub adaptor
– 1 x Power cable
– Utilities & Driver CD
– Manual

Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review
Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review
Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review

More details at the official product page.

Test Setup

The computer setup used for this review.

ProcessorIntel CoreΓ’β€žΒ’2 Duo E7200 @ 3.62Ghz
RAM2x 2GB OCZ DDR2 PC2-8500 Reaper HPC Edition
MotherboardAlbatron PXP35
CoolerSunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer Heatsink
Monitor20″ Dell Ultra-sharp Wide-screen LCD
Operating SystemWindows Vista Home Basic 32bit
Driver VersionForceWare Release 178 (Version: 178.24)

The Performance

In the test results, I’ve decided to place the HD4850 Golden Sample and 9800GT / 9800GT Golden Sample for comparison.

F.E.A.R.

Graphic Detail : Maximum at 1680×1050, 4xAA

CardAverage
9800GTX+ 512MB83
9800GT 512MB66
9800GT Golden Sample 1024MB71
HD4850 GS88

World In Conflict

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050, 4xAA

CardAverage
9800GTX+ 512MB23
9800GT 512MB20
9800GT Golden Sample 1024MB23
HD4850 GS28

Company Of Heroes : Opposing Fronts

Graphic Detail : Maximum @ 1680×1050, 4xAA

CardAverage
9800GTX+ 512MB39.7
9800GT 512MB31.2
9800GT Golden Sample 1024MB34.1
HD4850 GS47.8

Lost Planet : Extreme Condition

Graphic Detail : Maximum at 1680 x 946, 4xAA.

CardSnow (Average)Cave (Average)
9800GTX+ 512MB38.649.8
9800GT 512MB35.649.4
9800GT Golden Sample 1024MB37.753.0
HD4850 GS45.057.7

Crysis

Graphic Detail : Maximum (Very High) @ 1680×1050, 4xAA

CardAverage
9800GTX+ 512MB9.77
9800GT 512MB7.94
9800GT Golden Sample 1024MB11.02
HD4850 GS14.52

As you can see, the HD4850 Golden Sample is still the in comparison. And I’m surprised that the 9800GT is pretty much close to it in at the tested resolution. The overclocked 9800GT still beat the 9800GTX overclocked version in some cases, which I suspect it’s largely due to the available RAM on the graphic card. If not, then it could be quality issue. πŸ™

Operating Temperature

The card idles around 42°C on idle and around 75°C. Readings were taken when ambient temperature was around 25°C.

Conclusion

The 9800GTX+ itself is nothing revolutionary. It pretty much feels like the other 8800GTS / 9800GT / 9800GTX. πŸ™ I certainly was expecting more from it, I was surprised on how some tests turned out it being only equal or less than the 9800GT Golden Sample 1024MB from Gainward.

Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review
Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review
Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review

The beauty of the Colorful 9800GTX+ is that it runs silent, and within the acceptable heat limit. Not only that, it offers voltage boost for overclocking. And to add to the value, it comes with Hynix 0.8ns memory!

Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review
Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review
Colorful 9800GTX+ Twin Turbo 512MB Graphic Card Review

Given a choice between the HD4850 GS and the Colorful 9800GTX+, I’ll consider this 9800GTX+ for 2 reasons. Firstly, the overclocking features. Secondly, for [email protected] πŸ™‚ nVidia cards are great GPUs for those [email protected] users. If I need to add a 3rd reason, it’s the blue LED. The HD4850 is the undisputed performance winner and gives better price:performance ratio.

UPDATED : I’ve removed the RECOMMENDED logo as I personally have reservations on the card. I’ve read other reviews, a stock 9800GTX+ could actually outperform a stock HD4850. So with that logic, an overclocked HD4850 would probably be around a 9800GTX+, while an overclocked 9800GTX+ of course would then perform better than an overclocked HD4850……. unfortunately this isn’t so.

In fact this is probably the only review you see that has the 9800GTX+ being so far behind the HD4850! I tried my very best, in fact I’ve never repeated benchmarking this many times before – it’s the best I could come up with from the exact same setting used for the 9800GT cards, the Colorful 9800GTX+ had the advantage of newer drivers as well.

I’ll leave you guys to be the judge from the following references ……

ATI Radeon HD 4850 Versus NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GTX+
Radeon HD 4850 512MB and GeForce 9800 GTX+ Performance Quick Take
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1297&pageID=5005

I see it as possible quality control issues. πŸ™ I wouldn’t recommend this particular 9800GTX+ to anyone (yet). I did come by someone else who reported their Colorful HD4850 performed lesser than other HD4850. Coincidental? Maybe…… πŸ™‚

Nevertheless, I hope Colorful could arrange for another unit for re-review. If it was a lemon unit, it’s understandable as every manufacturer does have lemon unit.

goldfries rated this product :

15 Comments

  1. aren’t colorful a cheap brand? i guess you get what you pay for…but still i don’t understand why it could lose to hd4850…

  2. The cooler looks cool, I want it!!! But still, performance:value is more important for hardware. 4850 win anytime. πŸ™„

  3. What is the noise level for this graphic card?

    It comes with 2 fans…

  4. Author

    @Terance – beats me. It’s cheap but I’ve used other cheap brands but they don’t compromise in performance.

    @Apam – HD4850 certainly is great! Just that for [email protected], nVidia cards still do better. and I think Adobe Photoshop CS also can utilize nVidia hardware for acceleration.

    @Seng – good point, I missed that – it’s silent. And the bad part about this that there’s no way to control the fan either.

  5. I planned to buy this but end up buying 9600GT due to budget problem. Is it HD4850 GS is better than 9800GTX?

  6. Whats the price range on these like? If it is cheapre than the 4850, it might have some marketability.

  7. Author

    around RM 600 – RM 650 if I recall correctly.

  8. Author

    I think both are good. Wait I try to get other 9800GTX+.

  9. Awesome Review…

    but why not if u add comparison OC version of 4850 vs 9800gtx+ ?

    try find maximum stable oc for both card then compare it..

    tq..

  10. Author

    eh, both are already overclocked versions. πŸ™‚ I don’t wish to overclock further though, unless somehow I have a lot of time to kill.

  11. I just got this card 1 week ago. I wasn’t satisfied with galaxy 9800gtx+ having very high temp on load. So far I haven’t had time to test this card yet but based on 3dmark 2006 I tested on both cards, the readings are the same.

    Also, one nice HIDDEN feature I found.

    At the edge of the card, there are 2 switches in each corner. The switch have “low/high” label. You can see it in your picture in http://www.goldfries.com/images/hwreviews/colorful9800gtx/hwreviews_colorful9800gtx_12.jpg.

    According to colorful (I emailed them), those switches are for setting memory voltage and GPU voltage meant for overclocking. Those who have this card can try.

  12. Author

    Yeah, those are the switches I mentioned in the article on the 1st paragraph of the “Card Details & Bundle” section. πŸ™‚

    It indeed is HIDDEN – I had to ask Colorful rep about that too. It’s really odd to have a feature yet not highlighting it eh?

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