NVIDIA's GeForce FX 5900 XT

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NVIDIA's GeForce FX 5900 XT - Page 6

eVGA's e-GeForce FX 5900SE
A curiously named GeForce card hits the market

By Robert Maloney
December 15th, 2003

Head-to-Head Performance With Tomb Raider: AOD
Putting the Pixel Shaders to work!

Although Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness won't be winning any "Game of the Year" awards, it is one of the more advanced DirectX games currently available.  We've recorded a custom demo run of Lara jogging through a indoor garden area of the "Prague3" map. When using the Pixel Shader 2.0 code path, this area of the game utilizes a DOF (depth of field) blurring effect to enhance your sense of depth and size. We ran our custom demo at 1024x768 and at 1600x1200 using both the Pixel Shader 1.4 and 2.0 code paths (with and without 4x anti-aliasing in the PS 2.0 tests).

In our final test, we saw the 5900 SE somehow beating even the 5950 Ultra when AA was disabled, although the scores were very close.  At 1024x768, the 5900 and 5950 Ultra lead the other two cards by almost 33%, and almost doubled their frame rates at 1600x1200.  The 5900 SE is still producing a mostly playable 45.93 frames per second here.  As usual, 4XAA took a big bite out of our benchmarks, putting the 9600 XT on a more footing.  The 5700 Ultra, on the other hand, consistently lagged behind the other cards in all but one test.

Overclocking With The e-GeForce FX 5900SE
Because we just couldn't leave well enough alone

We always like to see how far we can push our hardware.  We were able to get the e-GeForce FX 5900 SE's core up as high as 471MHz and the memory all the way to 844MHz.   That amounted to a 17% increase in the core clock and just over a 20% boost for the memory.  To see how this translates in real-world performance, we ran another Gun Metal test at 1280x1024, and compared this result to our original results.  

As you can see, the overclocked 5900 SE gave had a much higher frame rate, almost catching the 5950 Ultra.  This shouldn't actually come as a major shock, since the overclocked speeds we achieved were similar to the standard speed of the 5950 Ultra (475/475).  The major point you should be coming away with is that we are getting 5950 Ultra like performance at 5700 Ultra prices.  Not too shabby.


It's hard to figure out NVIDIA's strategy here.  As much as we raved about the 5700 Ultra's price / performance ratio a couple of months back, this card is all that and more.  We consistently got performance that was just off that of a GeForce FX 5950 Ultra, and can overclock the card to similar speeds.  The price however, places this card firmly into the mainstream arena.  In doing so, it makes the relatively new 5700 Ultra all but obsolete, so expect its price to plummet.  Throw in the bundled copy of the excellent Call of Duty, and we're hard pressed to find anything negative to say here at all, save for the naming convention flap and the fact that you can find "standard" 5900's with faster memory for a few dollars more.  Overall though, we were impressed with the eVGA e-Force FX 5900 SE.  This card offers excellent performance and has a great bundle, at an affordable price point - and its just in time for the holidays!  We're giving this card a 9 on the HotHardware Heat Meter...

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Tags:  Nvidia, GeForce, force, fx, XT, id

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