Well, I received my 9800 Pro yesterday and I've got to say I am quite impressed. First, the installation was an absolute breeze!
The jump from my 4600ti to this feels just like my jump from a GF2 GTS to the 4600ti in March of last year. I ran a few benchies to compare it's performance directly to old card and it basically has triple the power in virtually everything when AF & AA are on. Seeing as it was a weekday and my fiance was already breaking my balls about spending the cash I decided not to push my luck and I didn't play much.............that is until 12:30 when she was sound asleep! I spent the following four hours playing just about everything I have installed and never a hitch. I do have to say that the difference in IQ between this and my old card is hardly noticable in every situation except of course w/ AA where the difference is quite big. Although 16X AF does take it up a notch, ever so slightly.
I did not overclock the card at all yet because it won't be staying air cooled and there's no reason to generate the extra heat yet. On Saturday I will be slapping on my peltierized waterblock on this baby and then we'll see what it can really do.
I was completely die hard Nvidia for the past four or five years and no computer I built for me or anyone else had anything but that. I waited for the NV30, then the NV35, but with all the games Nvidia has been playing lately combined w/ having to spend over $500 to get 9800 Pro performance..........it really is a no-brainer! I paid exactly $367 for this brand new retail card and that just happens to be exactly 2/3s of what 5900U would cost you if you actually found one for $500. 2/3s the cost for similar, if not better performance.
I'll be back on Saturday or Sunday to let you guys know how close to 500 mhz I get!