Oooh behind the scenes politics is a minefield – Nvidia told us, “If we could find a 9800 GX2 on display, it’s fair game for photos” – and so the hunt was on. While everyone may have them behind closed doors, no one can talk about them until the 18th March.
Nvidia must have thought the show floor was clean, but that’s never the case on at a tradeshow: two minutes later when we stopped by Albatron’s booth what did we find? None other than the Nvidia GeForce 9800 GX2, clearly on display. Bingo!
The board has 1GB of GDDR3 – it has two PCBs – one top and bottom, as well as one honking great fan at the end that sucks air from both sides. The SLI bridge used in quad-SLI is stealthed to complete the chunky brick look (it’s far nicer than the 7950 GX2, but it’s a seriously meaty beast) and the card comes with three outputs – two dual-link DVIs and a HDMI connector, where the heat exhaust is to one side of these on the rear I/O plate.
As you’d expect it’s the full 12” long, although we couldn’t tell you the weight as it was look but don’t touch. We have been told (by no one in particular) that it is built on the current G92 core used in the current GeForce 8800 GT and GeForce GTS 512 , as opposed to something newer.
The GeForce 9800 GX2 has an 8-pin and a 6-pin at the top and another 2-pin connector next to them that we assume is the S/PDIF passthrough connector – still no native audio included.
Later that evening, after several drinks at the MSI booth we were told that it also had its GeForce 9800 GX2 on display – it had magically appeared sometime in the afternoon (with permission, we were assured).
Visiting the Zotac stand we were also shown the product that is due to launch on the 18th March
, and while we respect Zotac's NDA for said product, the good news is that it has also today announced an increase in warranty for all its Nvidia graphics cards. From now on you get a non-transferrable 5 year warranty
with all Zotac graphics cards.
To qualify, you need to register the product with Zotac and while the first two years are return to where you bought it from, the later three are a direct RMA with Zotac. While this doesn’t match BFG’s transferrable warranty, we were told it can’t be legally applied in Europe and some other regions anyway – Zotac wanted a policy that was consistent across the globe to make it easier for everyone to understand.
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