updated 12:00 pm EDT, Thu June 19, 2008
GeForce 9800 GTX Plus
NVIDIA today addressed the sudden performance gaps created by the GeForce GTX 200 with a new mid-range video chipset. The GeForce 9800 GTX+ has the same two-slot design as the earlier 9800 GTX but uses NVIDIA's smaller and more efficient 55 nanometer technology to ramp up clock speeds: a reference card's core speed increases from 675MHz to 738MHz while shaders jump from 1688MHz to 1836MHz. Both are intended to give the card better performance against AMD's upcoming ATI Radeon HD 4850 launching later this month.
Memory speeds drop slightly to help reach a similar price, dropping from a 1.1GHz actual speed on the current 9800 GTX to exactly 1GHz with the GTX+ version. Support will remain in place for two- and three-way setups using SLI, NVIDIA says, as will two dual-link DVI ports and an S-video connection. The new board should be available through several card manufacturers soon and has an estimated price of $229 that puts it in direct contention with the AMD chipset. Shipments of the GTX+ should start in mid-July through third parties and should also involve reference cards for some larger PC builders.