Today’s one is not strictly a ‘gadget review’ but chronicles of a particular technology in Bangladesh.
The NVIDIA GeForce 9800 is a graphics engine that I use myself and I have been satisfied by how it has served me till date. However, these days graphics cards or graphics processors (GPUs) have converted into luxury items since nobody is buying them any more as there is a mediocre ‘on-board’ graphics card that comes with the motherboard today. But if you want some sheer power and good graphics, you need a dedicated graphics card.
The days of the AGP Cards
I have been experimenting with graphics cards for a long time now. I was among the very few who was lucky enough to witness the ‘gurus’ of graphics – 3DFX operate and produce the Voodoo® line and was fortunate enough to own a Voodoo 3 back when everyone was using something called a Riva TNT (during 2000-2002). Even though it sounds smug, it is not! Because the question I used to be asked was, ‘how large is your graphics memory?’ My answer used to be 16MB and they ridiculed me for they owned 32MB of Riva TNTs. But just as megapixels are not the measure of how good a camera is, the memory is not the measure of graphic adapters. My 16MB Voodoo 3 played games three times smoother than the 32MB Riva TNT (and mine cost three times more too). From then on, I learned that ‘it’s all on the chip’ when it comes to graphics.
Along comes PCI Express
Unfortunately the days of the graphics cards did not last in Bangladesh. Motherboards shipped with integrated graphics and sound cards came to the market and most people who use the computer to work with MS Office only, started opting for those. Soon, people forgot about graphics cards. Moreover, technological changes were coming along as well. AGP (Advanced graphics port) was no more available. That place was taken up by something faster and even better – PCI Express technology; however, very few people learned to appreciate the speed and potential of the fast paced ‘bus’ of the architecture.But there will always be those who adheres technology and keep the tradition alive. Even though us regular Bangladeshis have put graphics cards on the sidelines, the gamers (along with architects) rely heavily on graphics cards powered by the PCI Express technology. Even though they are a little expensive and probably will add another 10K to your PC budget, a computer without a graphics card (GPU), in my opinion – is crippled. I have been using the nVidia GEFORCE 9800GT graphics processor (GPU) for a year and even with the fluidity of technological advances, this card has managed to shine brightly.
The nVidia GEFORCE 9800GT
First up, in Bangladesh this is a top of the line graphics card and when I carry my CPU to any computer store and open my case, they generally are awe-stricken. However, it is a ‘standard’ or ‘above average’ card in international standards. In a country where everyone relies on ‘on-board’ graphics, the mediocre is the king! But do not think of this as an average card. This is made to impress.
It itself has a base of 600 MHz Graphic Clock, processors clock of 1500 MHz and Memory clock of 900Mhz. The Graphics Clock (MHz count) determines how fast the images or graphics move per second, the Processors Clock determine how long it takes to process a set of data per second and Memory Clock refers to how fast are data being distributed to the Graphic Processing Unit(GPU) in order to be processed.
Over-clocking the GPU
With all sophisticated technologies available, the 9800GT offers the extreme tech savvy folk to over-clock their GPUs. That means it can be faster than the max speed of the card. By doing this, it can leads to shorten the life span or longevity of this card, in other words, it will burn out. After over-clocking, my 9800GT reached graphics clock of 700Mhz, processors clock of 1550Mhz and memory clock of 1075Mhz.The difference between the original and the over-clocked specifications are not high but the difference could be felt. One of the most graphically demanding games – Crysis Warhead reached 40 fps with my 9800GT which is enough for a game enthusiast to buy this card.
Tech Talk and Performance
Even though I have given away much of the specifications in the over-clocking section, there are more to be said. The 9800GT comes with 512 MB of dedicated graphics memory. However, there are cards half of its price that will give you 1GB of graphics memory but do not be fooled by the megabyte count of graphics cards. Moreover, the Nvidia GeForce 9800GT support SLI (nVidia’s trademark innovation) which means you can put two of the cards side by side together to get double the power (even though I have not had the fortune of trying it out). The maximum ‘supported resolution is 2048×1536 pixels. Best of all it supports the modern HDMI capabilities – giving way to connect your PC to large screen TVs since people are moving towards bigger screens every day.
Bangladeshi Users Exclusive
Even though this has been the chronicle of ‘all’ graphics cards and the trends of GPUs in Bangladesh, some key facts should be noted. If you are planning on buying a graphics card and you are willing to spend a reasonable amount then the 9800GT is a steal. It will give you great performance with a decent price tag. However, what I want to emphasise here is the fact that even though this will cost you around Tk. 10,000, that it does not end there. Upon buying any high end graphics card you will have to buy a ‘thermal’ (extra cooling) system and a new power supply for your computer. The generic power supply that comes with the casing will not serve the modern day graphics cards. This will cost you another Tk. 5000 – 6000. You can find it in ‘some’ shops at the IDB Bhaban. Larger stores like Ryans Computer and Pro2 Interactive generally keep these products that smaller stores don’t sell since the demand is not very high on these products.
If I am asked personally, I would close my eyes and say, buy it. But since one needs to be rational, you should ask yourself if you will be utilising this beautiful gadget. If you think you are a graphics enthusiast and would want to have a stronger computer, then you should buy it. However, do not waste the money if you spend your day on MS Word and Powerpoint. Then again, as a graphics card that came out almost 15 months ago, I am surprised to see how well it has stood the trial till date. It amazes people with its sheer brilliance even after more than a year which is extraordinary in the world of technology.
developed by avocats