The Inquirer-Home

Club 3D's mirror returns with the FX5900XT

Review Geforce FX 5900XT
Tue Jan 20 2004, 22:26
FUNNY HOW the first Nvidia-based cards we manage to get our hands on come from a manufacturer that is not even listed as an Nvidia partner. Club3D are promiscuous enough to do all manufacturers: ATI, Nvidia, S3 and XGI all have their own channels of cards and Club 3D likes to be early to market.

Still, the Geforce FX 5900XT we have here with was shipped in late December so when you read this you will already be able to buy one - or a few. This is a very interesting product since it will give you NV38, Geforce FX 5900XT for only 205 USD/Euros, while the FX 5700 Ultra costs only fistful of dollars less at 199 USD/Euros. This chip is actually a Geforce FX 5900 chip that works at 390 MHz just 10 MHz slower than the original FX 5900 chip. But the distinguishing factor of this card is its memory which ticks over at 700 MHz while FX 5900s have memory that works at 850 MHz.

This card is a prong in the attack on ATi's Radeon 9600XT with Half Life 2. Nvidia wants to take as much of sub 200 USD market as possible.

Mirror-in-the-bathroom

That mirrored cooler that we saw on Club3D's 5700 Ultra is back and, as we mentioned, the core works at 390MHz, while DDR 1 memory works at 700 MHz. Production costs of this card actually have to be less than for a FX 5700 Ultra card that is clocked at 475MHz core with quite fast and expensive 900 MHz DDR II. We aren't privy to how much Nvidia partners pay for an FX 5900FX chip but at least the memory is significantly cheaper than on FX 5700 Ultra.

I tested the card against its nemesis, the FX 5700 Ultra and Radeon 9600XT cards that Nvidia is aiming at. I used my Athlon 64 test rig and here is the configuration I used:
Athlon 64 3200+ @ 2000 MHz
Epox 8HDA+ K8T800 motherboard
2x256 MB Corsair PC4000 XMS
Maxtor 80GB 2MB cache drive
Pioneer Slot IN DVD
Akasa K8 Cooler
Enhance ENS 0246 400 W PSU
Targa Visionary 19 inch Display

Quake 3
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200  
Club3D FX5900XT 390 / 700 MHz
364.3
282.8
218.8
 
Club3D FX5700Ultra 450 / 909 MHz
305.4
227.9
163.5
 
Radeon 9600XT 500 / 650 MHz overdrive
305.3
228.3
163.6
 
   
Quake 3 FSAA 4X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
 
Club3D FX5900XT 390 / 700 MHz
282,7
201.7
141
 
Club3D FX5700Ultra 450 / 909 MHz
181.6
114.9
80.7
 
Radeon 9600XT 500 / 650 MHz overdrive
181.7
114.9
80.7
 
   
Quake 3 FSAA 4X + 8 Aniso
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
 
Club3D FX5900XT 390 / 700 MHz
252.2
176.3
127.6
 
Club3D FX5700Ultra 450 / 909 MHz
165.3
107.1
76.7
 
Radeon 9600XT 500 / 650 MHz overdrive
165.3
107.1
76.7
 
         
3Dmark 2001SE Nature
Nature
1024x768
   
Club3D FX5900XT 390 / 700 MHz
77,2
17257
   
Club3D FX5700Ultra 450 / 909 MHz
73,7
14492
   
Radeon 9600XT 500 / 650 MHz overdrive
73.2
15414
   
     
UT 2003 FLY
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200  
Club3D FX5900XT 390 / 700 MHz z
246.3
182.3
124
Club3D FX5700Ultra 450 / 909 MHz
180.2
121.9
81.4
Radeon 9600XT 500 / 650 MHz overdrive
180.2
121.8
81.6
 
UT 2003 BOT
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
Club3D FX5900XT 390 / 700 MHz
98.8
97,9
86,1
Club3D FX5700Ultra 450 / 909 MHz
94.8
82,2
58,9
Radeon 9600XT 500 / 650 MHz overdrive
64.11
64
63.6
 
Serious Sam 2 FSAA 4X + Aniso 8X
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
Club3D FX5900XT 390 / 700 MHz
146.9
104.9
76.0
Geforce FX 5950 Ultra Nvidia ref speed 470 / 950 MHz
104.5
79
58,2
Radeon 9600XT 500 / 650 MHz overdrive
105.5
78.9
58.1
 
Aquamark 3  
1024x768
Club3D FX5900XT 390 / 700 MHz  
36.9
Club3D FX5700Ultra 450 / 909 MHz    
29.4
Radeon 9600XT 500 / 650 MHz overdrive    
41.12
 
Halo PS 2.0 benchmark
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
 
Club3D FX5900XT 390 / 700 MHz
38 .7
30.5
22.4
 
Geforce FX 5900 400 / 900 MHz
32 .6
21.7
15
 
Radeon 9600XT 500 / 650 MHz overdrive
30,35
21,6
15,4
 
         
Max Payne 2 INQ benchmark
1024x768
1280x1024
1600x1200
 
Club3D FX5900XT 390 / 700 MHz
6 6.5
44
33.9
 
Geforce FX 5900 Ultra 400 / 900 MHz
56,7
41.9
29.7
 
Radeon 9600XT 500 / 650 MHz overdrive
57,2
41.8
29.6
 
         
Composite Figures 3Dmark03
3Dmark03
game 2
Game 3
Nature
Club3D FX5900XT 390 / 700 MHz
5208
34.3
29,2
31,1
Club3D FX5700Ultra 450 / 909 MHz
3961
26
21.2
22
Radeon 9600XT 500 / 650 MHz overdrive
5685
37.9
33.5
33.4
         
Composite Figures 3Dmark03 Single Texturing Multi Textur. Vertex Shader Pixel sharer 2.0
Club3D FX5900XT 390 / 700 MHz
1270.6
2741.2
17
39.8
Club3D FX5700Ultra 450 / 909 MHz
1152.2
1523.4
18,6
27.1
Radeon 9600XT 500 / 650 MHz overdrive
1713.1
2615.9
18.3
47.9

Results
Let's put it simply: it beats the hell out of the FX 5700 Ultra. The FX 5900XT has an extreme performance advantage over ATi's contender, leaving just the Radeon 9600XT to fight the good fight. We suggest ATi will have no alternative than to make its Radeon 9800SE available as soon as possible, since this is the card that can hold its own in the performance stakes.

Conclusion
For mainstream money you get a high-end card. What more do you want? Well, you don't get a Half life 2 voucher.

If you wanted to buy Geforce FX 5700 Ultra I advise you to get Geforce FX 5900XT instead since it will cost you only six Euros more but at 4X FSAA it will get you 100 FPS more than a FX 5700 Ultra or a Radeon 9600XT. On the other hand, the FX 5900 XT is a superior card that bests mainstream FX 5700 Ultra and Radeon 9600XT, there is no doubt about that.

This certainly is king of mainstream market with a high-end heart. I'd guess that Nvidia barely makes a bean on the price of this card but it will make life much more complicated for the Radeon 9600XT. That was the point, I guess. µ

 

Share this:

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement
Subscribe to INQ newsletters

Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ

Advertisement
INQ Poll

Heartbleed bug discovered in OpenSSL

Have you reacted to Heartbleed?