Print 19 comment(s) - last by Das Capitolin.. on Mar 26 at 9:34 PM

DailyTech's roundup of hardware reviews from around the web for Tuesday

NVIDIA Quad SLI Reviews

Lenovo X300 @ LaptopLogic

PNY 9800 GX2 @ I4U
ASUS EAH3850 Trinity @ NordicHardware
VVIKOO GeForce 9600GT Turbo 512MB @ TweakTown

AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition @ EliteBastards

Gigabyte EP35-DS4 Review @ OCC

Western Digital Caviar SE16 640GB  @ TechReport
OCZ Rally 2 USB Drive @ TechwareLabs

Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Interface Material @ TweakTown

Thecus N299 NAS Server Review @ Virtual-Hideout

Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1250 Watt @ OCIA

Zalman FG1000 Gun Mouse FPS Controller @ Tweaknews
Trey Chair @ Wide Screen Gaming Forum

Canon IXUS 960 IS @ TrustedReviews

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So very disappointing...
By Fnoob on 3/25/2008 7:48:10 PM , Rating: 2
I may be way off here, having not read the latest Quad SLI review... but the last one I saw produced about ~30 frames/sec on Crysis at 1080 with major settings disabled/dimished. This is quite sad, for a year old game and a $1200 investment. Pass.

RE: So very disappointing...
By lompocus on 3/25/2008 8:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, the single GX2 produced 30 frames, very high settings, no AA (there's an aa bug in teh drivers), 1920x1200. That's extroardinary. Have you seen crysis on highest?

TWO GX2's producd 55 fps on the same settings, compared with 3 Ultra's running 40 fps.

It's still 1200 bucks, though. And crysis is only 6 months old. If you can run crysis high settings at 20 fps, you can run EVERY OTHER GAME 16x aa 16x af 2560x1600 at 60 fps.

RE: So very disappointing...
By 3kliksphilip on 3/25/2008 8:45:48 PM , Rating: 2
I don't consider the 9800 to be a true 'new card'. It's following in ATI's footsteps, producing a new series which are essentially the old series with some tweaks (Though the HD3xxx series was worth it).

I'm interested to see what the 9800 is like (non GX2). Is it going to be a new card which out performs the GX2, or will it just lie in the narrow margin between the 8800 GT and 9800 GX2? AMD's cards appear quite scalable. Perhaps they'll win back the performance crown if they release the HD4xxx series.

In my opinion the true successors to the Geforce 8800 series haven't come out yet. Come on, Nvidia! Stop attempting to reclaim the costs of spending 5 years researching the Geforce 8 series and release a pointlessly fast card! Sure, very few will buy it but it's been over a year since the last big step in GPU power and I want a new definitive benchmark topper which isn't just two cards strapped together.

RE: So very disappointing...
By overzealot on 3/26/2008 2:51:14 AM , Rating: 2
It's a new card. It's just not a completely new chip, but then you should not expect them to completely re-arch everything everytime just because they can.
If it can be made significantly faster, cheaper, or more efficient without huge investment they would be crazy not to.
PS: It's actually Nvidia following AMD following Nvidia following ATI following 3DFX (probably a few more in between). It's enjoying a lot more success in the current gen than ever before, so get used to it - it's going to stick around.

RE: So very disappointing...
By roadrun777 on 3/26/2008 3:33:41 AM , Rating: 2
I think the disappointing part is that after all that research they came out with a card that could *finally* run all the previous games released at acceptable frame rates. It made you scratch your head and say "why didn't they release a card that could run these games at acceptable frame rates back when they were first released?". It's like the technology is so far behind it will never catch up, and when it does, it's just a mediocre interim release. It's sad when you have to wait 5 years to play a game as it was meant to be played.
If it can be made significantly faster, cheaper, or more efficient without huge investment they would be crazy not to.

That is the whole problem here isn't it? They don't make it significantly faster, they make it 2% faster than the list card with a 200$ price increase. They choose the cheapest memory they can, and they cripple all their cards with the hope that it will force people to buy a better model. They are making you pay for every last inch they can squeeze out of this lemon, and it makes me want to assault the people at the Nvidia booths.
Of course I know it's not their fault, but still, someone had to make this decision, and I would like a nice chat with that person.

RE: So very disappointing...
By afkrotch on 3/26/2008 5:41:59 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, feel like this is a retarded post.

What? Should GPU manufacturers work with gaming companies to make gpu launches coincide with AAA title releases? Or should game production companies hold off on game releases? Maybe they should have created, Crysis and held off on releasing it until 2009, that way there was a vidcard to actually display the game at full settings. That's just the dumbest idea I've ever heard of. That's just asking for extremely slower releases of vidcard or games. With 2-3 year production times of a game, I can live with what we have now.

As for the card not being much faster. Did you bother even reading reviews? Comprehending the data placed in front of you. The card is hellaciously fast. Shoot, a single GX2 beats out four 3870 X2s. Over and over again ppl mention a need to have a balanced system. A 9800X2 on a old P4 system isn't going to give you great framerates in Crysis. There simply isn't any stock processors available to mesh well with the 9800X2 or any other high end multiple gpu solution. Ppl will have to go with overclocking.

Also who's make the decision to cripple the cards? Cheaper memory? Umm...last I checked, Nvidia just shows off a reference card. Other companies can make the decision to use cheap memory or high end memory.

After investing millions of dollars to create a gpu, cpu, car, television, cellphone, etc, it's only natural to make revisions on the current tech to recoup costs associated with it's development. Either way, the GX2 is pushing anywhere from 20% to over 70% performance increase over the 8800 Ultra.

RE: So very disappointing...
By Fnoob on 3/25/2008 9:33:49 PM , Rating: 2
Sure I have seen it on Very High - just not at resolutions that make my 1080p LCD happy.

I found the latest article at Engaget relevant and amusing :

"...parallelism so easy to use that parallel programming becomes synonymous with programming" -- an increasingly important priority as current multi-core processors aren't necessarily being fully utilized, and 100-core processors aren't far off. That leads us to wonder: what to do with all that newly-unlocked processing power? Virtual-reality Facebook? Real-time visual augmentation? Finally being able to run Crysis?"

RE: So very disappointing...
By micksh on 3/25/2008 10:22:09 PM , Rating: 2

If you can run crysis high settings at 20 fps, you can run EVERY OTHER GAME 16x aa 16x af 2560x1600 at 60 fps

Not World in Conflict DX10 - Quad SLI gives 5 FPS at this resolution (Quad Crossfire - 7 FPS) according to this review.

And conclusion says it all
the current state of multi-GPU technologies is still far from ideal.

RE: So very disappointing...
By MrPoletski on 3/26/2008 6:00:46 AM , Rating: 2
Well it looks like a waste of time right now, all the games that receive a decent boost already run fast enough on dual.

I don't understand why the quads are not running faster though. It's a very new concept for me to hear games being CPU limited at 1920x1200, especially crysis. Yeah I've ran it at that rez with full detail and each individual frame looks really nice. But what is holding it back? It's not CPU speed alone, memory bandwidth? inefficient coding WHAT?

Just for kicks can the reviewers run 3dmark 2001 and see if they get such a high number it screws with the variable used to store it in the application:) I wanna see a score of -32767 lol.

Hand-me-down drivers
By CyborgTMT on 3/25/2008 8:17:18 PM , Rating: 3
Could someone at DT catch a hold of an Nvidia rep and see if improvements made in quad drives will be pass down to those of us who made a $1200 mistake the last time they pulled this stunt?

RE: Hand-me-down drivers
By Fnoob on 3/25/2008 9:25:34 PM , Rating: 2
If they can't release workable drivers with their new $1200 solutions, how many man hours will be dedicated to the old steez?

You really do have to be a masochist to build a ~$5000 gaming rig - KNOWING you'll be in for cutting edge driver pain at every turn ;(

RE: Hand-me-down drivers
By wordsworm on 3/25/2008 9:59:23 PM , Rating: 3
I think folks who can easily buy a Ferrari or Rolls Royce, who also happen to like playing computer games, probably don't squint at all shelling out 5k every time there's something better :P

RE: Hand-me-down drivers
By CyborgTMT on 3/25/2008 11:36:50 PM , Rating: 2
I personally save a bit all year to do one major system upgrade. Last time I got suckered into the 'quad' SLI I also threw down on the then top of the line AMD X2. This year it's probably going to be a 3-way SLI build with an Intel quad. Oh and I make crap for money so it's not just the rich that build expensive systems. Some of us are just hardware nuts that like pushing our rigs to the max.

RE: Hand-me-down drivers
By wordsworm on 3/26/2008 8:33:59 PM , Rating: 2
Ya know... my biggest regret was going Nvidia in my system for the simple fact that SLI=1 monitor. Crossfire=4 monitors. What happened to the good old days when changing a videocard didn't necessitate changing motherboards which meant buying a new OS license?

By Parhel on 3/26/2008 12:10:16 AM , Rating: 2
I thought it was the NDA for the 9800GTX that was expiring today, not the Quad-SLI . . . Anyone know when we can expect to see those reviews?

I'm aware of the specs, and I'm not expecting a whole lot. But, I'm looking to purchase a new video card in the next few months, and if it's priced in line with the 8800GTS, I just might bite.

RE: 9800GTX
By roadrun777 on 3/26/2008 3:15:02 AM , Rating: 2
I am in the same boat, but I am completely disgusted at the graphics chip manufactures. GX2 @ $600+ for acceptable framerates? You know darn well they will come out with a game this year that pushes the current cards to their knees. Oh wait, I think there is already games out that do this.
It doesn't look well for game designers.
It doesn't look well for me as a consumer either.
3000$ game systems that will be outdated before the end of the year 2008?
Graphics cards that barely run current line ups?
This whole thing makes me feel sick.
Greed has once again killed an entire industry.
Maybe next year? or maybe the year after that, or maybe in 20 years?
Might as well buy a console and play games that are designed for low IQ twitch fest super thumb jockeys.
I think the only real promise is AMD at this point. Does anyone have any idea what Nvidia's next gen (I mean after the 9xxx series) will be?

RE: 9800GTX
By homerdog on 3/26/2008 9:41:16 AM , Rating: 2
Does anyone have any idea what Nvidia's next gen (I mean after the 9xxx series) will be?

By rafadallago on 3/26/2008 9:58:13 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with the GX2 is that it is quite an unbalanced product. It has the firepower of 256 stream processors but the memory interface and the memory amount are quite crippled at 256bits and 512MB each. The memory isn't able to keep up with the processing cores. I suggest that people read the reviews that HardOcp has published recently about the GX2.

DailyTech is slipping...
By Das Capitolin on 3/26/2008 9:34:26 PM , Rating: 2
It my be time to rename the "Daily Hardware News" to "Occasional Hardware News". It's been kind of sketchy for a few months now.

We sent our review of the Gigabyte GeForce 9800 GX2 the night before the launch, yet it didn't grace the page. Take a look here:

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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