Sparkle Calibre P980X+ geForce 9800GTX+ 512MB Video Card Review

Installation

Test Rig:
Intel i7 920 LGA 1366 processor
ASRock X58 SuperComputer motherboard
Kingston HyperX DDR3-2000 3GB triple channel kit
OCZ EliteXStream 800 watt power supply
Noctua NH-U12P CPU cooler
NZXT Tempest extended midtower
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

Installation is simple, place the card in the upper PCI-E slot, plug in the power cables, boot the rig and load the drivers. If it is a replacement for another card, I recommend uninstalling the old card in the Device Manager before removing the old card.

Sparkle Calibre P980X+ geForce 9800GTX+ 512MB Video Card Sparkle Calibre P980X+ geForce 9800GTX+ 512MB Video Card

Included on the driver disk is a cool little utility by Sparkle called SPA Tune. With all factory overclocked video cards, to get a lower clock during low-use or idle periods, which for me is most of the time, you actually have to underclock the GPU. With SPA Tune, you can push a button and underclock the GPU to “Standard Mode” which is 740mHz, or to “Green Mode”, which is 400mHz. This can go a long way towards saving energy in your rig.

The SPA Tune window also serves as a dashboard for observing clocks, temperature, and fan speed.

Sparkle Calibre P980X+ geForce 9800GTX+ 512MB Video Card

Overclocking
I did spend some time overclocking the P980X+ beyond the 761mHz factory overclock. Though I did get the GPU to 803mHz with stability and no artifacts, I received no performance gain to speak of. This isn’t the first video card I’ve had that was clocked to the maximum effective speed, which I greatly appreciate because I usually don’t keep my video cards overclocked, and it is nice to know that I am already getting the maximum performance.

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