As the fight for the fastest video card in the industry intensifies, both nVidia and ATI continue to introduce their latest and greatest technologies in the hopes that they will reclaim (or continue to hold) the prestigious video card crown for the PC enthusiast. nVidia is quickly putting the 5800 series cards behind them and has introduced NV35 in the form of the GeForce FX 5900 and GeForceFX 5900 Ultra. Today we have the BFG Asylum™ GeForce™ FX 5900 Ultra graphics card to see what advances nVidia may have made in recent months.
First a quick bit about BFG Technologies Inc. The company is fairly new in the industry but has already made a name for themselves by introducing a great line of nVidia products on par with, or ahead of the competition. These guys appear to have built their foundation from the ground up to support the PC enthusiasts and so far it appears as if they are doing a great job. Here is a blurb straight from their website that may give more than a few of you a bit of wood.
"We plan to listen to what our customers want in a hardcore gaming card. We will continuously solicit feedback, through our website and other forums, to gather information so we can continuously improve our products and services and meet the needs of our customers. Our goal is to be recognized by the enthusiast community as a company that understands and responds to consumer feedback."
That's what I'm talkin' about! Let's checkout a few snaps of the actual video card and then move on to it's specifications.
Out of the Box
It seems with the initial release of the GeForce FX 5900 that most companies are staying very close to the reference design. I would assume in order to get the product in the hands of eagerly anticipating enthusiasts if nothing else. The card we currently have was shipped so fast that we did not get any of the retail packaging or hardware. Simply the card. However, BFG has assured us this card is representative of what you can expect to see in the retail boxed form.
Once these cards have been out for awhile, I expect we'll see some changes in both card and cooling design. Speaking of cooling, the 5900 Ultra has some of the most monstrous amount of stock cooling I have yet to see on a video card. This card looks like it's ready to head to war in all sense of the meaning and apparently not going to take prisoners of any sort. Let's take a look.
We are talking no joke, balls to the wall cooling here. Albeit, much quieter and much more sensible than what we previously saw on the 5800's. We'll cover cooling a bit more in depth soon, but first lets checkout the official card specs.
Specifications • GPU NVIDIA® GeForce™ FX 5900 Ultra • Bus Type AGP • Memory 256MB DDR • Core Clock 450MHz • Memory Clock 850MHz (Effective) • RAMDAC Dual 400MHz • API Support Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0, OpenGL for Microsoft® Windows® • Connectors VGA, DVI, VIVO • 338 million vertices/sec. • 27.2GB/sec. memory bandwidth
Features at a Glance • AGP 8X (compatible with 4X and 2X AGP 2.0 compliant slots) • Up to 8 pixels per clock rendering engine • Up to 16 textures per pass • NVIDIA® CineFX™ 2.0 engine • Microsoft® DirectX ® 9.0 with Vertex Shader 2.0 and Pixel Shader 2.0 • NVIDIA® UltraShadow™ technology enhances performance of bleeding-edge games that use complex shadows
I ncluded in Box • Asylum™ GeForce™ FX 5900 Ultra graphics card • Quick install manual • DVI to VGA connector • VIVO cable • Video editing software
Driver CD, which includes; • NVIDIA® unified drivers • NVIDIA® GeForce™ FX and GeForce™4 demos • Full installation manual .pdf • NVIDIA® NVDVD™ 2.0 multimedia software • Windowblinds™ BFG / Asylum Windows XP skins
And minimum system requirements for those that wish to take a look.
Minimum System Requirements • Intel Pentium®III, AMD® Duron™ or Athlon™ class processor or higher • 128MB of RAM • A minimum 350W system power supply • An AGP compliant motherboard. Some motherboards violate the AGP specification and therefore this card may not physically fit in some systems • A vacant PCI slot adjacent to the AGP slot. This board occupies two slots: one AGP and one PCI • An available hard disk drive power dongle (smaller floppy disk drive connector is not sufficient) • CD or DVD-ROM Drive • 10MB available hard disk space (50 MB for full installation) • Microsoft® Windows® 95 OSR2, 98 or higher, ME, 2000, XP, NT4.0 with service pack 5 or 6
Lets move on to page 2 and check out some more screenshots of the card as well as installation.
BFG Warranty Information
All Asylum brand graphics cards come with:
- a TRUE lifetime warranty (compare the details of PNYs vs. BFGs)
PNY's Lifetime Replacement Warranty (excerpt from full warranty: http://www.pny.com/support/warranty/verto.cfm ) PNY Technologies, Inc. ("PNY"), warrants the product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the product as sold to the original purchaser ("purchaser"), subject to all the terms and conditions hereunder.Lifetime Replacement Warranty is given to all PNY® Verto® Graphics Cards. This warranty is for replacement for like items only. Lifetime Replacement warranty does not cover items out of production if PNY no longer stocks them.
(Lifetime is defined as the lifetime of the product on the market. Outdated technology is not covered by lifetime warranty if the item is no longer available on the common market as a new product.) This warranty is not assignable.
There's a lot of leway there with the terms, "outdated technology, and "new product". That means their "lifetime" warranty is really only less than a year in most cases.
BFG Tech has no such qualification, making it a true lifetime warranty:
BFG Technologies Lifetime Warranty (full text from quick install guide in retail boxes)
BFG Technologies is proud to warrant the original purchaser of the hardware products included in this package (“Products”) that the Products will be free from defects in material or workmanship for the lifetime of the product when given normal wear and proper usage. This warranty is valid if the product(s):
Were not damaged while being installed.
Were not damaged by software or hardware from a company or individual other than BFG Technologies or by motherboard incompatibility.
Were operated in accordance with BFG Technologies specifications, instructions and any technical support directions.
Were not damaged by overclocking, tampering, user error, accident, disaster, abuse, misuse, power supply, power application, alteration, repair, modification, a fix or replacement by someone other than BFG Technologies.
BFG Technologies reserves the right to inspect and verify the defectiveness of any product returned. This warranty does not apply to any software component.
-- 24hours / 7days a week / 365 days a year FREE toll-free telephone and online technical support
As with any product of this expense, you surely want to make sure your money is spent wisely. BFG gives you the confidence that if for some reason the card stops working or becomes faulty throughout the life of the product, they will replace it. You really can't beat that.
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