BFG GeForce FX 5700 Ultra - HotHardware

BFG GeForce FX 5700 Ultra

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The BFG Asylum GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
128MBs, AGP 8X, and the Muscle to Get the Job Done!

By, Jeff Bouton
December 11, 2003

As 2003 comes to a close, we have to wonder if NVIDIA is looking to 2004 with eager anticipation.  The last year has been tough for them, to say the least, with a number of nagging issues plaguing the embattled graphics giant.  The once king of the graphics market is still struggling to set the record straight on the whole "optimization" topic, as ATi has strengthened their position in the market with a number of very successful product releases, solidly challenging the GeForce FX line.  To top it off, there has been a number of OEMs jumping ship on NVIDIA, unable to weather the current storm of negative press.  Nonetheless, all of these trials and tribulations didn't keep many OEMs, from allying with NVIDIA, since they obviously are still very much a dominant force in 3D Graphics.

BFG is a relatively new graphics card company that has opted to offer NVIDIA based video cards.  "Built by gamers" and with former team members from Visiontek, the company is taking a different approach to the market, offering lifetime warranties and free 24x7 technical support for all of their products.  Instead of focusing on overly flashy packaging, with countless copies of yesterday's gaming titles, the company aims to win new customers over by letting them know that they stand behind their products 100%.  This may prove to be a worthy tactic that gives users confidence they are buying the right product.  Today, we are going to take a look at the first BFG product to grace the HotHardware labs, the BFG Asylum GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128.  Let's take a look and see what BFG brings to the game.

CLICK IMAGE FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW

Specifications & Features of the BFG Asylum GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128
NVIDIA's newest partner
Specifications
? GPU NVIDIA® GeForce? FX 5700 Ultra
? Bus Type AGP
? Memory 128MB
? Core Clock 475MHz
? Memory Clock 900MHz (effective)
? RAMDAC Dual 400MHz
? API Support Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0, OpenGL
for Microsoft® Windows®
? Connectors VGA, DVI, S-Video out
? 356 million vertices/sec.
? 14.4GB/sec. memory bandwidth

Minimum System Requirements
? Intel Pentium®III, AMD® Duron? or Athlon? class processor or higher
? 128MB of RAM
? A minimum 250W system power supply
? An available hard disk drive power dongle (smaller floppy disk drive connector is not sufficient)
? CD or DVD-ROM Drive
? 10MB available hard disk space (50MB for full installation)
? Microsoft® Windows® 95 OSR2, 98 or higher, ME, 2000, XP, NT4.0 with service pack 5 or 6
Features at a Glance
? AGP 8X (compatible with 4X and 2X AGP 2.0
compliant slots)
? Up to 4 pixels per clock rendering engine
? Up to 16 textures per pass
? NVIDIA® CineFX? 2.0 engine, NVIDIA® nView? multi- display technology and NVIDIA® Forceware? unified software environment (USE)
? NVIDIA® UltraShadow? technology enhances performance of bleeding-edge games that use
complex shadows Included in Box
? Asylum? GeForce? FX 5700 Ultra graphics card
? Quick install manual
? DVI to VGA connector

Driver CD, which includes;
? NVIDIA® ForceWare? graphics driver
? NVIDIA® GeForce? FX and GeForce?4 demos
? Full installation manual .pdf
? NVIDIA® NVDVD? 2.0 multimedia software
? Windowblinds? BFG / Asylum Windows XP skins

The BFG 5700 Ultra's package includes a Quick Installation Guide that covers the details of setting up the card, while the Setup CD provides all the necessary drivers and software to get the job done.  The package also included a Y Molex connector.  For those looking to run more than one VGA monitor with the Asylum 5700 Ultra, a DVI to VGA adapter is provided as well to convert the cards DVI output to a standard VGA connection.

The menu of the install CD is clean and clear, offering one-click links to the entire contents of the disk.  The package is streamlined, and not loaded with the "fluff" commonly found with other products, although for a company that is built by gamers, a newer gaming title would have been a nice bonus.  The disk did include drivers, a copy of Adobe Acrobat, NVIDIA's NVDVD, DX9 and some 3D demos.  Along with that, we found a copy of Windowblinds with several custom BFG and NVIDIA skins that lets you change the look of your desktop. 

While this could be classified as "fluff", we found the skins sharp, adding a style of their own to the Windows desktop.  Included was a subdued BFG skin and the more radical BFG Asylum skin that adds more color and attitude to the layout.  Lastly, was an NVIDIA skin that was appealing in its own right.  If skinning Windows is your thing, this little gem might get you tweaked.

The Card & In-Game Screenshots

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