When the AMD ATi Radeon HD 3870 X2 launched last month, we all knew it was only a matter of time before nVidia's response arrived. Today we need wait no longer as the GeForce 9800 GX2 is officially available to prospective purchasers to grab hold of.
It's been a year and a half since the last two-in-one card from nVidia was launched, the GeForce 7950 GX2, so one would hope the latest similar offering would iron out all the issues and pack a hefty punch to boot. On the second count at least the 9800 GX2 shouldn't disappoint, as it is in effect a pair of GeForce 8800 GTS 512s in SLI - although there are a few enhancements that should push performance up over that solution.
The G92 core comes clocked at 600MHz and 2GHz, core and memory respectively. The same 256-bit interface sported by the 8800 GTS connects each core to 512MB of its own RAM, while the card boasts 256 stream processors, divided evenly between each sub-card. You'll also benefit from nVidia's PureVideo HD decoder for HD content playback, with a pair of HDCP-compliant DVI outputs and a single HDMI connector.
As can only be expected, a PCIe 2.0 bridge chip is present, eliminating the need for an SLI-capable motherboard (such as those using Intel chipsets) when utilising the dual-GPU mode of the card, although an SLI connector is present allowing for Quad-SLI setups, for the super rich. We'll have to hold judgement until we get one into the labs, but all signs indicate that nVidia should have a pretty decent rival to AMD's dual-GPU-one-card solution.