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3-Way GeForce FX 5700 Ultra Mini-Roundup
By Vijay Anand
Category : Graphics
Published by Jimmy Tang on Wednesday, 7th April, 2004


Introduction

It's been a while since we covered some graphics cards, so here we are with three NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra mainstream-performance class products from Albatron, Gainward and MSI. These are not the newly announced GeForce FX 5700 Ultra graphics cards with Graphics DDR3 (GDDR3) memory, but the existing retail versions sporting GDDR2 memory parts. Just for your knowledge, NVIDIA informed us that the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra GPU had support for GDDR1, GDDR2 and GDDR3 memory right from the beginning, so there were no new core revisions catering to the new memory type (or at least that's what they say). No doubt the upcoming GDDR3 versions would be a few percent speedier, the existing GeForce FX 5700 Ultra graphics cards are still plenty fast. As shown in our NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra Performance Review , it is the overall fastest product of the mid-range performance-class graphics cards.

This trio of GeForce FX 5700 Ultra graphics cards from MSI, Gainward and Albatron were put to their paces in this mini roundup.

Here's a technical specifications list that is common to all the three graphics cards:-

Common Technical Specifications for NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra GFX Cards
Graphics Engine
  • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra GPU
  • High Precision 3D Rendering Engine
    • 4 pixels per clock rendering engine
    • Full 128-bit Precision Graphics Pipeline
    • Native support for 128-bit / 64-bit floating point and 32-bit integer rendering modes
    • Up to 8 textures per pass
  • CineFX 2.0 Engine
    • Advanced Pixel Shaders allow floating-point pixel shader operations to run 2x faster than CineFX 1.0 Engine.
    • Support for DX 9.0 Pixel Shader 2.0+
    • Support for DX 9.0 Vertex Shader 2.0+
    • Very long pixel programs up to 1024 instructions
    • Very long vertex programs with up to 256 static instructions and up to 65536 instructions executed before termination
    • Subroutines in shader programs
    • Dynamic flow control
    • Procedural shading
    • Z-correct bump-mapping
    • Hardware-accelerated shadow effects with shadow buffers
    • UltraShadow Technology to accelerate shadow  computations
    • Two-sided stencil
    • Keyframe animation
    • Programmable matrix palette skinning
    • Custom lens effects: fish eye, wide angle,fresnel effects, water refraction
  • Intellisample HCT Technology
    • Loss-less Color Compression and Z Compression (up to 4:1 ratio in real time)
    • Fast Z-clear
    • Adaptive texture filtering
    • Dynamic Gamma Correction
    • Fast antialiasing and compression performance
    • High Compression Technology (HCT) increases visual quality at high resolutions with fast performance
  • DirectX and S3TC texture compression
  • Video Mixing Renderer (VMR)
  • DVD and HDTV-ready MPEG-2 decoding up to 1920x1080i resolutions
  • Dual DVO ports for interfacing to external TMDS transmitters and external HDTV encoders
  • Support for dual-link DVI with resolutions support of 1600x1200.
  • High-performance 2D rendering engine
  • Digital Vibrance Control 3.0 (DVC)
  • nView Multi-display Technology
  • Default clock speed in 2D environment: 300/900 MHz (core/DDR memory)
  • Default clock speed in 3D environment: 475/900 MHZ (core/DDR memory)
  • 128-bit  memory interface
  • 14.4GB/sec Memory Bandwidth
  • AGP 8X including fast writes and sideband addressing
  • Advanced thermal monitoring and thermal management
  • Microsoft DirectX 9.0 optimizations and support
  • OpenGL 1.4 optimizations and support
Graphics Memory
  • 128MB DDR II SDRAM of 450MHz clock rate (effective speed of 900MHz DDR)
RAMDAC
  • Dual 400MHz RAMDACs that support resolutions of 2048x1536@85Hz
Video Decoder / Encoder
  • GPU integrated NTSC/PAL TV Encoder support resolutions up to 1024x768 with built-in Macrovision copy protection
Connectors
  • Please refer to the comparison table in later pages
Drivers
  • Driver support for Microsoft Windows 95/98/98SE/Me/NT 4.0/2000/XP, Linux IA32 / IA64 / AMD64 and FreeBSD
  • NVIDIA Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)
  • Fully compliant OpenGL 1.5 API and lower suport
  • Complete DirectX support including 9.0 and lower
Software / Games
  • Please refer to the comparison table in later pages
Other Information
  • AGP 2.0/3.0 slot required
  • 1 PCI-assigned IRQ Required
  • 1 four-pin power connector

When we checked each of the card's clock speeds, we were surprised to find them all identical and quite unlike the RADEON 9600XT camp of graphics cards where there were a number of variations. More or less, that would equate to similar performance among all three graphics cards, so how else is each of them unique? Read on as we check out each of the graphics card's features, package offerings and end the mini roundup with performance comparisons.

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