Today we're looking at a card that I've personally been waiting to check out for a while now, the ABIT FX5900 OTES graphics card. With all of the controversy swirling in the air about nVidia lately I was anxious to leave all the speculation and "what ifs" behind for a short while and see just what kind of chipsets they're putting on the market. Another reason I was anxious to take a look at this was that hey, it's ABIT we're talking about here! It's not a big secret that I'm an ABIT fan from way back. ABIT products aren't exactly perfect, but in my experience they're closer to that title than most other companies out there.
ABIT first started experimenting with retail video cards back around the GeForce2 timeframe and has steadily been expanding their lineup since. The top of the video card chain currently ends with the FX5900 which is what we're reviewing for you today. Based on the nVidia FX 5900 chipset this card is being touted as one to have when Doom3 and Half Life 2 hits the shelves. We plan to put that claim to the test by stacking this card against an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro to see if it can hang. Let's do this thing eh?
SPECS AND TECH
We're going to quickly go over the company, both ABIT and nVidia claims and technical specifications. To be completely honest personally, at the end of the day as long as my video card can deliver stellar frame rates while pumping out high quality 3D images and detail, I don't really care what it says on paper. That said, what it says on paper is somewhat indicative of whether or not it can deliver what I'm looking for. Let's see...
Product Features (from ABIT)
NVIDIA® GeForce™ FX 5900 256-bit 3D Graphics Accelerator
128MB 256-bit DDR Memory Interface with Advanced Memory Control
Nvidia is actually making some pretty bold claims on their product page about this chipset...
"The second-generation Intellisample high-resolution compression technology (HCT) delivers the highest-quality antialiasing for ultra-realistic visuals with no jagged edges. And, powered by the second-generation NVIDIA CineFX™ 2.0 engine with the industry's only true 128-bit precision processing--the GeForce FX 5900 GPUs take cinematic-quality special effects to new levels while providing the industry's most compatible and reliable gaming platform."
These are some pretty heftly claims, it's gonna be fun to place this card against it's #1 competitor to see if it lives up to it's own billing.
OUT OF THE BOX
Speaking of the box, lets see what it looks like, and even more importantly, what comes in it...
ABIT has put the days of sticking that annoying little cowboy on all of their products packaging and actually started putting out some cool box art.
Nothing extremely exciting, but not too shabby. Besides, like mom always said, ya can't judge a book by it's cover, it is what's inside that counts.
Included in the Box
Siluro FX5900 OTES 3D Graphics Accelerator
Installation CD: Driver/SiluroDVD 4
Siluro Software Album CD: WindowBlinds NV Edition/Earthviewer 3D Demo
Adapter for S-Video & RCA TV-out Cable
Composite (RCA) Cable
S-Video Extended Cable
Extra 4-pin Power Cable
DVI to D-Sub Adapter
As you can see from the list above, ABIT's included pretty much everything you need, and not a whole lotta stuff ya don't need. They've included all the cabling and the DVI converter which is a must if you plan to run two CRT monitors with the nView. The cable quality used by ABIT is impressive, right down to the shielding cover on their Molex power cord, very nice touches by ABIT.
Notably missing is any full version games or demos from the bundled software list. While some may, rightfully so, consider this a negative, personally I don't mind. By not including the software that 90% of users won't ever use they're able to avoid escalating the price for essentially worthless programs.
Alright, let's go to page 2 and take a closer look at this card before we dig into the benchmarks that I know you're here to see.
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