Asus V9950 Ultra GeForce FX 5900 Ultra

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Asus V9950 Ultra GeForce FX 5900 Ultra - Page 5

The Asus V9950 Ultra - GeForce FX 5900 Ultra
The First Single-Slot Ultra to Hit Our Lab...

By - Marco Chiappetta
September 9, 2003

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.

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Tags:  Asus, GeForce, Ultra, force, fx, ULT

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