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:
- BFG Tech's BFGE98512GTXE GeForce 9800 GTX
- eVGA's 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX
- Leadtek's PX9800GTX GeForce 9800 GTX
- Zogis' ZO98GTX-E GeForce 9800 GTX
- Zotac's ZT-98XES2P-FSP GeForce 9800 GTX
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.
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.