For our last set
of benchmark scores, we used Croteam's Serious Sam: The
Second Encounter. We configured the game to use OpenGL
(this is one of the few games that can use either DirectX or
OpenGL) and ran a series of tests using the built-in "Little
Trouble" demo. To ensure the playing field was
level, we used Beyond3D's "Extreme Quality" script which
maxes out the texture and filtering quality with all of the
cards being tested.
Head-to-Head / Performance
With Serious Sam: TSE
Lots of Guns, Action and Explosions!
It seems like
the higher 50MHz core clock speed and the extra memory give
the V9950 Ultra the performance boost it needed to overtake
the Radeon 9800 Pro. The 5900 non-Ultra did well at
1024x768, but it couldn't catch the 9800 Pro at 1600x1200.
The V9950 Ultra, however, posted the highest scores
regardless of resolution or AA level.
For those of you
keeping count, we ran 34 different tests with these card.
In 19 of the tests, the GeForce FX 5900 Ultra based V9950
Ultra outperformed the competition. In 15 of the
tests, the Radeon 9800 Pro was the victor. Winning in
56% of the tests doesn't seem so bad, until you realize the
9800 Pro we tested with, is available for about $200 less
than the V9950. Ouch...
Overclocking With The Asus V9950 Ultra
Squeezing Every Last Frame From This Puppy!
We were very
interested to see just how high the Asus V9950 Ultra would
overclock after taking a look at its impressive, custom
copper cooling solution. We installed CooBits and
raised the core and memory clock speeds on the 9950 Ultra
until we started to see visual anomalies on-screen during
our benchmarks. When all was said and done, we were
able to take the core up from its default 450MHz clock speed
to 509MHz. The memory also overclocked well. We
took the memory up to 966MHz DDR, a full 116MHz increase.
These bumps in core and memory clock speeds resulted in an
11% increase in performance in the Gun Metal benchmark.
Not too shabby!
The Asus V9950
Ultra has a lot going for it. This card ships with a very
complete bundle of accessories and software, which includes
three full version games. The V9950 Ultra is also equipped
with a very effective and attractive copper cooler, that
unlike most other 5900 Ultras, doesn't eat up a PCI slot.
The card performed very well, besting the competition on the
majority of tests and it's priced competitively with other
GeForce FX 5900 Ultras at $470 US. Asus' problem is
not what other 5900's offer, however. The real
competition comes from ATi's Radeon 9800 Pro, which makes it
very difficult to wholeheartedly recommended any 5900 Ultra
for the price premium it commands. The 9800 Pro is
nearly every bit as fast, has arguably better image quality
and with the same memory configurations, it is similarly
priced. In addition, going with a 128MB Radeon 9800
Pro gives you 95% or more of a 256MB card's performance, for
over $150 less.
In the end,
you'll have to take a look at the benchmarks and the screen
shots, and decide which card is right for you. For
those of you with the budget to afford it, the choice will
be a difficult one. Based on its excellent cooling
solution, good bundle and top-notch performance,
we're giving the Asus V9950 Ultra a HotHardware Heat Meter
rating of 8, since among GeForce FX 5900
Ultras, this card is easily the best we've seen yet.
There are a ton of folks just like you in HotHardware's PC