GeForce FX 5200 Ultra Performance Analysis

GeForce FX 5200 Ultra Performance Analysis - Page 1

GeForce FX 5200 Ultra Performance Analysis
Detailed Benchmarks With NVIDIA's Value Gaming Card

By - Marco Chiappetta and Dave Altavilla
March 12, 2003

Last week's Game Developers Conference was pumped up with lots of hype and excitement, regarding not only the software behind next generation game engines, but also the hardware that will power them.  Both ATi and NVIDIA announced DirectX 9 capable Graphics Cards, that will deliver fantastic levels of realism in upcoming titles like Doom 3.  As we know, in the land of PC Gaming, Graphics Cards are sort of like that tricked out engine you had in that '88 Mustang GT, back in the day.

While ATi decided to launch a new high end card, NVIDIA took the mainstream route and unveiled their new GPUs for the masses.  NVIDIA's GeForce FX 5600 and 5200 series cards, that we showed you here, have price points that range from $199 to $99.  We've covered the features and architecture of all the new GeForce FX products last week.  Today, we bring you a benchmark and performance analysis of the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra, which weighs in at the ever popular price point of $149.

Here's a quick refresh of the specs and then we'll just dig right into the numbers!


Specifications & Features of the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 GPUs
That's it! No more specs for you!! (insert Soup Nazi accent) On to the benchmarks!

Cinematic Shading for the mainstream
  • Full GeForce FX feature support ? including DX9 vertex & pixel shader 2.0+
  • High precision rendering ? up to128-bit floating point color


  • 2X GeForce4 MX performance
  • DX9 optimizations and support
  • AGP 8X enables up to 2.1GB/sec bandwidth

Best-in-class features and reliability

  • Industry-renowned unified driver architecture (UDA)
  • Integrated TV-encoder, TMDS transmitters
  • Dual integrated 350 MHz RAMDACs
  • Integrated full hardware MPEG-2 decoder
  • HDTV Support

Engineered for compatibility with the latest gaming and multimedia software

  • First and only DX9 part in its price category



HotHardware's Test Setup
A Mainstream Pentium 4 System


Common Hardware:

Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz (2800MHz) 533MHz FSB
Soyo P4X400 DRAGON Ultra Platinum

VIA P4X400 Chipset w/ AGP8X

512MB Corsair PC3500 Platinum DDR RAM C2

On-Board NIC

On-Board Sound

Maxtor 30GB ATA/133 7200RPM HD

Lite-On 16X DVD-ROM

Standard Floppy Drive

Windows XP Professional with SP1

VIA "Hyperion" 4-in-1 Drivers v4.45


ATi Radeon 9000 Pro

ATi Catalyst Drivers - Version 3.1


NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra

Detonator Drivers - Version  42.68

Benchmarks / Comparison With 3DMark2001 SE (Build 330)
Synthetic DirectX 8 Performance

Our first batch of testing was done with DX8 driven 3DMark2001 SE.  This test utilizes Remedy's "MaxFX" game engine, so the thought process here is that it is perhaps a little less "synthetic" per say, than the new 3DMark03.  Regardless, it's a good relative performance metric on Direct 3D capabilities of the graphics subsystem.


Here the playing field is leveled.  Both cards are capable of DX8 Pixel and Vertex Shader effects, as well as Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering for improved image quality.  However, the GeForce FX 5200 Ultra shows it's more up to the challenge here, besting the Radeon 9000 Pro at all resolutions and AA/Aniso settings.  As you read our graphs, keep in mind the Radeon 9000 Pro can only run 2X AA up to 1280x1024, and 4X AA up to 1024x768, hence all of the empty spaces on some of the graphs...

Next Up, 3DMark03, Comanche 4 & UT2003... 


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