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

The BFG Asylum GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128
Up Close and Personal

The GeForce FX 5700 Ultra is based on the NV36 core, which is the first of NVIDIA's GPUs to be manufactured by IBM.  This is a recent partnership between the two companies and so far it looks like a good collaboration.  IBM is manufacturing the GPUs at .13 microns, reducing the overall size of the chip as well as reducing power consumption and heat.  The core is clocked at a peppy 475MHz and is complimented by 128MB of DDR2 memory clocked at 450MHz (900MHz effective).  Boasting 14.4GBps of bandwidth, we should see some significant performance gains over previous mid range FX cards.

BFG Asylum GeForce FX 5700 Ultra

One might think that a newer company might opt to simply re-brand a standard NVIDIA reference card and sell it as is, but this was not the case with BFG. BFG is pushing an image of attitude with their current media and packaging, and it would be quite a let down if they didn't keep that attitude with the card. The BFG Asylum GeForce FX 5700 Ultra is built on a bright blue PCB instead of the de facto green NVIDIA reference version. Knowing that the end-user will most likely be overclocking the heck out of the card, BFG also added some extras to help keep temperatures in check. Along with an improved cooler over the stock model, BFG also tacked on some heat spreaders to the RAM on both sides of the card. When we removed the cooler from the GPU we found a nice application of thermal paste to help the cooler conduct the heat away from the GPU.

In-Game Screenshots With the BFG Asylum GeForce FX 5700 Ultra 128
Need for Speed: Underground

Naturally, no video card review would be complete without some gratuitous gaming screenshots, showing off the cards video rendering prowess.  In this case, we opted to use the recently released Need For Speed: Underground from Ubisoft.  This is the latest game to grab the attention of several HH writers, proving to be a helluvalot of fun.  Aside from being fun and challenging, the graphics quality of the game is superb.  With all of the in-game graphical options set to their maximum, the environment is extremely realistic.  To give you an idea of what the BFG Asylum GeForce FX 5700 Ultra could do, we maximized the video options in the game, set the video drivers to best quality with 4X AA enabled, and snapped a few pics.

In the image at the upper left, we locked up the brakes and put the pedal to the floor to see the realism of the smoke as the tires burned rubber.  While the quality is somewhat degraded because of JPEG image compression, the realism is clearly very good and excellent in actual game play.  The upper right image spotlights the sparks that can fly when the car bottoms out in a dip.  The lower left image does a great job at capturing the vehicle reflection in the road, with the tail lights and tail pipe easily distinguished in the reflection.  The last image captures a sweet power slide that shows the entire car in the reflections as well as the front right tire laying down some rubber.

In actual game play, we've tried this game with both the BFG Asylum GeForceFX 5700 Ultra and an ATi All-In-Wonder 9600 Pro and it was impossible to tell the two apart.  We did find that there was minor chugging in extremely complex screens with all graphical options maximized in-game and in the drivers, but we knew we were pushing it.

The Test System, AquaMark3 & Halo

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