Chaintech Apogee AA5700U

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Chaintech Apogee AA5700U
Redefining the meaning of mainstream

By Robert Maloney
March 15th, 2004

Performances Comparisons With Final Fantasy XI v2.0
Chocobos finally make it to the big screen

Final Fantasy is a title that is more well known by console gamers, but it appears that Squaresoft has made a successful jump to the PC, with a MMORPG version of the classic. The demo version is equipped with a built-in benchmark, which displays a score every time it makes a full cycle.  Although the demo is meant the check an entire system's readiness to play the game, the number of frames rendered in the demo scales well with different video cards installed.  Lower scores indicated some frames were dropped to complete the demo in the allotted time.  The scores below were taken with the demo set to "High Resolution" (1024x768), with anti-aliasing disabled. 

The results were much closer in the Final Fantasy benchmark, where only 258 points separated the top performer, the 5900XT from the lowest performer, that being the 9600XT.  The AA5700U fell evenly between the two: 122 points behind the 5900XT and 136 points ahead of the 9600XT.  Price-wise, however the e-VGA 5900XT we used for testing was usually found for less than Chaintech's Apogee AA5700U, which would make it not only better, but cheaper.  One almost wonders if it might have served Chaintech better to have come out with a remodeled 5900XT rather than a 5700 Ultra.

Benchmarks / Comparison With Gun Metal
Well, he's got guns, and he's metal...let's call it Gun Metal!

We continued our testing with the pseudo-DX9 based Gun Metal benchmark developed by Yeti Studios. This benchmark, like all of the others used in this review, is based on an actual game engine. Gun Metal uses Vertex Shader 2.0 and Pixel Shader 1.1 ops in the creation of the game world. This test is heavily GPU limited, and because Yeti's intent was to stress all modern 3D accelerators, anti-aliasing (2X) and Anisotropic filtering are enabled by default, and can't be disabled. We ran this test at 1024x768 and then again at 1280x1024.

Anybody who has regularly checked in with our reviews should not be overly surprised by the results we found with Gun Metal.  The AA5700U's numbers were respectable, usually falling in about 10-15 percent behind the 5900XT.  The 9600XT was nowhere to be found, easily spanked by both of the GeForce FX based cards.  The AA5700U may have scored one against ATi here, but it's real competitor may be one already found in NVIDIA's own ranks. 

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