Asus EN9800GT Matrix Edition

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Asus EN9800GT Matrix Edition

November 25, 2008 by Lawrence Lee

PCI-E Video Card
Street Price

Shopping for a graphics card can be a daunting task. Deciding on a GPU may be the easiest part, as there are no lack of review sites benchmarking GPUs against one another. The hard part is wading through the dozens of manufacturers to select the flavor that best suits your needs. And even then, there are still decisions to made. For example, a quick look on Asus' web site shows fifteen different cards utilizing the same GeForce 9800 series GPU. Even if you narrow it down the the GT flavor of this GPU, there are still seven models that use three different heatsink styles.

Four of these models utilize a simple radial heatsink, and two feature a box-style cooler similar to the reference heatsink on the GTX 260 that we reviewed in September. The last one — the one that's on our test bench today — is the Matrix edition, which has a design that's somewhere in-between.

The box.

To differentiate themselves further, Asus advertises their "Super Hybrid Engine" on the box, which promises power savings in 2D and better performance in 3D mode. It seems that Asus' EPU (Energy Processing Unit) feature has found its way from motherboards onto graphics cards. Coupled with nVidia's HybridPower feature (available only on select nVidia motherboards), the Asus EN9800GT Matrix seems to be targeted at a greener audience. We will take their "Super Hybrid Engine" with a grain of salt until we can obtain some real results. After all, we were none too impressed with EPU.

Technical specifications according to GPU-Z.

For those who don't know, the 9800GT is a clumsily disguised 8800GT. They sport the exact same technical features and clock speeds: G92 core, 112 stream processors, 600MHz / 900MHz / 1500MHz core / memory / shader frequencies respectively. Though the change in name was also supposed to be accompanied eventually with a 55nm die shrink, 65nm 9800GTs are still shipping to this day — our review sample included. Asus' EN9800GT Matrix has specifications very close to reference standard, the only difference being a 12 MHz (2%) bump in GPU core clock speed. Cooler and software aside, it is basically a plain-jane 8800/9800GT, which is considered by many to be a budget/mid-level gaming card.

Asus EN9800GT Matrix: Specifications
(from the product web page)
Graphics Engine
NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT
Bus Standard
PCI Express 2.0
Video Memory
DDR3 512MB
Engine Clock
612 MHz
Shader Clock
1.512 GHz
Memory Clock
1.8 GHz ( 900 MHz DDR3 )
Memory Interface
CRT Max Resolution
2048 x 1536
DVI Max Resolution
2560 x 1600
D-Sub Output Yes x 1 (via DVI to D-Sub adaptor x 1)
DVI Output
Yes x 1 (DVI-I)
HDMI Output
Yes x 1
HDTV Output (YPbPr)
HDCP Support Yes
TV Output Yes (YPbPr to S-Video and Composite)
Adapter/Cable Bundled 1 x DVI to D-Sub adaptor
1 x HDTV-out cable
1 x Power cable
1 x S/PDIF cable
Software Bundled
ASUS Utilities & Driver
The card size is 4.376 inches x 9 inches

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