NVIDIA's GeForce FX 5700 Ultra

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NVIDIA's GeForce FX 5700 Ultra - Page 6

NVIDIA's GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
NVIDIA's immediate answer to the 9600 XT

By Robert Maloney
October 23rd, 2003

Head-to-Head Performance With X2 - The Threat
A Hot New Space-Sim

X2 - The Threat is a game that is due out in November, that probably hasn't received too much press...that is, until now.  A demo version can be downloaded from http://www.egosoft.com/, and it is simply a gorgeous space simulation. The benchmark is enabled by a checkbox within the demo, albeit a long one to complete.  Egosoft promises that X2 will provide gamers with the best gaming experience with sound and graphics to match, and based on what we saw in the demo, we would have to agree.  The same resolutions and optimizations were used with this benchmark as well.

In our final test, we saw a little more of the same, with the 5700 Ultra in the lead in all but one test, followed closely (at least at 1024x768) by the Radeon 9600 XT, and then the 5600 Ultra.  The only sore point once again was the application of 6XAA, where the 5700 Ultra lost nearly half of its framerate from 4XAA.  In direct comparison, the Radeon only lost about a third of its frames when doing the same.  However, at 1600x1200, the tables are turned somewhat with the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra besting the 9600 XT by a wide margin, even with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering applied

Overclocking With The NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
Because we just couldn't leave well enough alone

Much like we saw with the 9600 XT, the .13 micron process used on both cards provided some headroom for us to play with when overclocking either card.  The 5700 Ultra didn't get as high, however, as we were only able to get as high as 537MHz for the core, and 1030MHz for the memory.  That amounted to a 13% increase in both the core clock and memory speeds.  To see how we would fare in gameplay, we ran another Gun Metal test at 1280x1024, with the default 2XAA setting.  

We managed to increase our original score by a modest two and half frames, which, as you may guess, came out to a 13% increase in the frame rate.  Not exactly something to write home about, but it was still nice to see that there was some room to play with.  It should also be noted that the 5600 Ultra was clocked at 400MHz, so we have already gotten a 75MHz boost to begin with.  Add in the overclocking, and you're looking at 137MHz over the 5600 Ultra.  A quick check of the scores has the overclocked 5700 Ultra nearly doubling the output of the 5600 Ultra.

 

Once again we see the two biggest names in the graphics industry trading blows.  One week it's ATi taking the lead with the impressive Radeon 9600 XT, then this week we find NVIDIA reclaiming their position as a mainstream leader.  Although the mighty GeForce FX 5950 Ultra also emerges from the shadows on this day, its price makes it a somewhat prohibitive purchase, best left for those with large budgets.  The bulk of sales has and always will be in the mainstream market, and NVIDIA has released a superb entry into this burgeoning field.  It's almost a shame to label the 5700 Ultra as a mainstream unit, since its performance was top notch in all of our benchmarks and it comes with some solid features like a 475MHz 0.13 micron process GPU and 128MB of DDR2 memory.  The new ForceWare drivers have taken a full step in correcting some of the shader problems we have seen with GeForce FX cards using Detonator drivers of the past.  Until they make the switch to PCI Express, expected in the first half of 2004, this just may be the card for current owners of GeForce Ti 4200 or FX 5200/5600 cards to get in order to play newer DX9 titles like HalfLife 2 or Doom3. 

NVIDIA releases the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra just in time for Halloween, with no tricks, just a lot of treats, and we're giving it a 9.5 on the HotHardware Heat Meter, and an Editor's Choice Award.

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Tags:  Nvidia, GeForce, 5700, Ultra, force, fx, 570, ULT, id

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