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VIDEO CARDS

XFX GeForce FX5600 Ultra 128MB
By: KaoMAN
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    2003-10-02

    Table of Contents:
  • XFX GeForce FX5600 Ultra 128MB
  • In The Box
  • Installation And Performance
  • Performance (Continued)
  • Performance (Continued 2)
  • Performance (Continued 3)
  • Overclocking And Conclusion

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    XFX GeForce FX5600 Ultra 128MB


    (Page 1 of 7 )

    Up to now, OCA has had two Radeon 9600 Pro reviews and just one 5600 non-ultra review. Even though it seemed pretty clear that ATI's middle-end performer was superior than nVIDIA's, we haven't been able to support that statement with conclusive evidence as we haven't had a true 5600 Ultra on the test bench. Well, that's all about to change as today we DO have one of the later flip-chip packaged 5600 Ultras, thanks to XFX.

     

    Manufacturer:

       XFX
      Product:   GeForce FX5600 Ultra 128MB (PVT31FNC)

    Price:

       USD$200

    Availability:

       NOW

    Reviewed By:

       kaoman

    Edited By:

       Mack "SPeeD"

    Introduction

    Up to now, OCA has had two Radeon 9600 Pro reviews and just one 5600 non-ultra review. Even though it seemed pretty clear that ATI's middle-end performer was superior than nVIDIA's, we haven't been able to support that statement with conclusive evidence as we haven't had a true 5600 Ultra on the test bench. Well, that's all about to change as today we DO have one of the later flip-chip packaged 5600 Ultras, thanks to XFX.

    XFX is a division of PINE Group that specializes in video cards and motherboards. PINE is the leading technology company in Hong Kong founded in 1989 and listed on HKGEM board in 1999. It engages in the design, development and manufacture of high quality digital audio, video devices and computer peripherals. PINE also distributes branded computer and communications products. It has 16 sales branches around the globe, 4 R&D centers strategically located in Asia pacific region and 2 factories in China, covering over 50 countries with premier products and services.

     

    Looking at XFX's product page, all their video cards have been nVIDIA based from the ancient TNT2 Vanta to the latest GeForce FX5900 Ultra. Unfortunately, with HL2 soon to be released, there has been a great deal of talk concerning nVIDIA's FX line of video cards and their very lacking DX9 performance. Are FXs really true DX9 accelerators or are they simply DX8 powerhouses modified to tackle DX9 code? Why can't they handle native DX9 code as well as ATI cards? With the advent of the latest pixel and vertex shaders, video card performance seems to no longer be dependent on memory bandwidth; instead, performance is likely based more on GPU power and efficiency.

     

     

    Today, OCA will match the XFX GeForce FX5600 Ultra with the Radeon 9600 Pro. The mainstream (Ultra/Pro) performance crown will finally be delivered to its rightful owner. And we'll also give you a closer look at the FX5600 Ultra's DX9 performance.


    Specifications

     

     Graphics Engine nVIDIA GeForce FX5600 Ultra (NV31)
     Process 130 nm
     Video Memory 128MB DDR
     Core / Memory Clock 400MHz / 800MHz
     Memory Interface 128 bit
     Memory Bandwidth 12.8 GB/s
     Pipelines 4 pipelines x 1 texture unit
     Maximum 3D Resolution 2048 x 1536 x 75Hz
     RAMDACs Dual 400MHz
     Bus Type AGP 8X or 4X compatible
     Display Support CRT
     DVI-out
     TV-in/out
     DVI-VGA converter
     API Support DirectX® 9.0
     OpenGL® 1.4
     OS Support Windows® NT4, 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP
     Linux
     Bundled Software Drivers
     PowerDVD, PowerVCR, PowerDirector

     

    In terms of bundled software, you don't get a whole lot with the XFX 5600 Ultra. The notable points here are the 400/800MHz core/memory clock, 128 bit bus, and 4 pipelines by one texture unit. The 400/800MHz clock is a 50/50MHz improvement over the original 5600 Ultra. Everything else about the two versions have remained the same. The 128 bit bus is significant because it's the biggest difference between the 5900 and 5600; the 5900 features a 256 bit bus. Another major architectural difference between the 5900 and 5600 is the rendering pipelines. The 5900 has 8 pipelines for most purposes (4 for color & Z, 8 for z, 8 for stencil, and 8 for texture), but is also sometimes described as "4x2" architecture. The 5600 is clearly defined as 4x1.


    Features & Benefits

    - CineFX Engine

    Powers cinematic effects beyond imagination. With advanced vertex and pixel shader capabilities, stunning and complex special effects are possible. In addition, increased horsepower delivers faster and smoother gameplay.

    - High-Precision Graphics

    By combining the incredible dynamic range of today's state-of-the-art 3D motion pictures with 128-bit studio-precision color, the GeForce FX GPUs bring you the industry's best image quality for the most demanding applications.

    - Intellisample Technology

    The industry's fastest and highest quality antialiasing delivers ultra-realistic visuals, with no jagged edges, at lightning-fast speeds.

    - nView Multi-display Technology

    The nView hardware and software technology combination delivers maximum flexibility for multi-display options, and provides unprecedented end-user control of the desktop experience. NVIDIA GPUs are enabled to support multi-displays, but graphics cards vary.

    - AGP 8X

    Provides double the bandwidth of AGP 4X-2.1GB/sec. vs. 1.1BG/sec. AGP 8X enables more complex models and detailed textures, creating richer and more lifelike environments. Uninterrupted data flow allows for smoother video streaming and faster, more seamless gameplay.

    - Digital Vibrance Control (DVC)

    Allows the user to adjust color controls digitally to compensate for the lighting conditions of their workspace, in order to achieve accurate, bright colors in all conditions.

    - Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)

    Guarantees forward and backward compatibility with software drivers. Simplifies upgrading to a new NVIDIA product because all NVIDIA products work with the same driver software.

    - Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 Optimizations and Support

    Ensures the best performance and application compatibility for all DirectX 9 applications.

    - OpenGL® 1.4 Optimizations and Support

    Ensures the best performance and application compatibility for all OpenGL applications.

    - 400MHz RAMDACs

    Industry's fastest RAMDACs support QXGA displays with ultra-high, ergonomic refresh rates.

    - DVI Support

    Able to drive the industry's largest and highest resolution flat-panel displays with up to 1600x1200 resolution.

    - Integrated TV Encoder

    Provides best-of-class TV-out functionality for resolutions up to 1024x768. Integrated Full Hardware MPEG-2 Decoder Delivers full-frame, full-screen MPEG-2 video on your desktop.

    - New 64-phase Video Scaler

    Highest quality for scaling DVD and other video to full-screen HDTV resolutions.

    - Architected for Cg

    Ensures that the newest, cutting-edge special effects in applications will run flawlessly. Speeds up content creation so game developers can get their new games out to PC users faster than ever before.

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