Nvidia's GeForce 9800 GTX hits stores

No, it's not an April Fools joke. Nvidia really has added a new high-end member to its GeForce 9 series of graphics cards—the GeForce 9800 GTX. The new card is already prominently featured on the graphics company's website, and several models have become available at Newegg. Those include:

All five models are priced at $329.99, and they all have the same specifications: 128 stream processors, a 675MHz core clock speed, a 1688MHz shader clock, 512MB of 1100MHz GDDR3 memory (that's 2200MHz effective), and a 256-bit memory interface. Considering the 9800 GTX is based on Nvidia's G92 graphics processor, those specs essentially make it a higher-clocked version of the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB. For reference, the 8800 GTS 512MB has a default core speed of 650MHz and a default memory speed of 970MHz, although many retail models run higher clocks.

Nvidia's new GeForce 9800 GTX. Source: Nvidia.

Where the 9800 GTX really departs from its older brother is in supporting SLI configurations with more than two cards, thanks to a two-pronged "golden finger" connector at the top of the circuit board. The 8800 GTS 512MB, like all other G92-based offerings out today, only supports two-way SLI. Also, Nvidia has outfitted the 9800 GTX with a larger cooler, and the new card requires two six-pin PCI Express power connectors instead of one. Stay tuned for a full review of the GeForce 9800 GTX.

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