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NVIDIA GeForceFX 5700 Ultra Review

Manufacturer: NVIDIA
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Test Configuration (Finally an update! :)

This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.




Test Configuration (Finally an update! :)

For those of you who have
been following the video card reviews we've been writing here at AMDMB, you'll
be happy to know that there are a number of changes starting in this review.
First, is our new test system! It's been updated to reflect what is increasingly
a standard amoung AMD users (motherboard with 200MHz FSB, Barton core CPU,
DDR400 RAM, Windows XP). The second change is the format of our tests. We
now make the distinction between synthetic tests and tests that we actually
play and record data from. Results from the Unreal Tournament 2003 benchmark
is now classified as "synthetic" since it is not based 100% on
a user's experience. The final change is the quantity of tests we run. You
thought we did a lot of testing before, just wait until you see what we have
now! :)

As an aside, we hope these
changes are positive ones and we would like to hear from you if you have
particular questions or comments about them.

Still no updated
ATI...

Unfortunately, we still do
not have an updated ATI card (i.e. something produced in the last 6 months).
We've been listening to all your emails and forum comments and we are trying
our best to secure a relationship with ATI. We know you want a comprehensive
review that reflects the current market, but the best we can do
at the moment is my personal Radeon 9500 that is soft-moddable. I sincerely
hope that we have some updated ATI cards to use in reviews soon!

So about this softmod Radeon 9500

For those who don't know, I'll give a quick history lesson on the "Softmod
Radeon 9500". When ATI released their Radeon 9500 cores to its partners over
a year ago, enthusiasts quickly found that certain Radeon 9500s were
just Radeon 9700 cards with parts of it disabled. Using some modified
drivers, some lucky Radeon 9500 owners were able to remove this restriction
and turn their Radeon 9500 into a Radeon 9700 effectively doubling the
performance at no cost.

The Radeon 9500 I have here is one of those special cards. Using the
modified driver, I can reproduce scores you would see on a Radeon 9700. This
is why I've used it in place of a real Radeon 9700 in my reviews. Without a
working relationship with ATI, what I own personally is all I can manage.

I know this isn't the ideal way to do benchmarking, but it's the best we can
offer until we can get some ATI cards from the company itself or one of
their partners.

Editor's Note: The 9700 (faux) here is meant for adding an additional data point only, as the card itself is both more expensive than the 5700U and hard to get a hold off -- thus not truly in the same classification as the 5700U and 9600XT (that we will review later).

Benchmark
System

Motherboard ABIT NF7-S rev 2.0
Processor Athlon XP 3200+
RAM 2x256 Corsair Platinum
DDR400 (2-2-2-6)
Hard
drive
Western Digital
120GB WD1200BB
Operating
System
Windows XP + SP1
Video
Cards

NVIDIA GeForce
FX5600 Ultra

NVIDIA GeForce FX5700 Ultra

ATI Radeon 9500

ATI Radeon 9500 Soft-mod

NVIDIA
Driver
ForceWare 52.16
ATI
Driver
Catalyst 3.8

 

Synthetic
Tests ("Benchmarks")

Synthetic
Tests is what we've all come to know as a "benchmark". They are
fabricated graphical events that are used to simulate a consumer's
experience with graphical hardware. However, synthetic benchmarks are a poor
representation of what is being experienced in reality. However, synthetic
benchmarks are useful for making good concrete comparisons of cards on similarly
configured systems.

Tests like Aquamark
3
, Unreal Tournament 2003, and X2: The Threat demo,
though based on real games and real game engines, are synthetic since the
event are fabricated and never controlled by the user.

Aquamark
3


(Massive Development)

3DMark
03 v330


(Futuremark)
ViewPerf
7.1


(Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation)

   

Unreal
Tournament 2003


(Digital Extremes, Atari)

X2:
The Threat


(Enlight Software, Egosoft) 

 

Game
Performance Tests

The results
in this section of the review are taken from actual game play. FRAPS was
used to measure the frame rate as I took each card for a spin in each game.
We've been doing this for a long time here and I'm happy to see more hardware
sites spending the time to do the same.

However,
because the numbers are recorded in actual in-game sessions, the numbers
recorded may not be what you've come to expect from a standard benchmark
(i.e. synthetic test). There will be instances where a more demanding visual
setting will actually perform a bit better than a lower setting.

So what
is important are the overall scores compared to other cards -
it's not significant that Card X beats Card Y for only 1 experiment out
of 8.

Age
of Mythology: The Titans


(Ensemble Studios, Microsoft)
Freelancer

(Digital Anvil, Microsoft)
Halo:
Combat Evolved


(Bungie/GearBox, Microsoft)
Homeworld
2


(Relic Entertainment, Vivendi Universal)

Jedi
Knight: Jedi Academy


(Raven, LucasArts)

The
Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind


(Bethesda Softworks, Ubi Soft)

 

Subjective
Tests

Subjective
tests is where I use my own eyes to compare image quality for different
settings on a given piece of hardware. They are subjective because the
comments and conclusions I make are based on my own personal experience
and may not reflect what you perceive. This is why we provide links to
the images used so you can judge for yourself.

Anti-aliasing
quality:

Morrowind

Texturing
quality:

Morrowind (again :)
2D
image quality
   


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