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   PixelView GeForce FX 5900XT Golden Limited

Product :

  Graphics Card

Manufacturer :

  Prolink

Reviewed by :

  Wayne Brooker

Price :

  $195

Date :

  19th May 2004.

 

   Page No:   1
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Introduction:::...

If there's one great thing about the introduction of new, high-end graphics cards with price tags that look like telephone numbers, it's that the products that came before them must now cower in humiliation and lower their prices suitably to reflect the new order and their diminished status.

Sounds grim, but in truth these "old" style cards are still plenty fast enough for the vast majority of the gaming population, and not just for yesterday's games either. Sure they may struggle with some of the big-name games that are written to push your hardware beyond its limits, but games like those aren't released every week. Most games will run just fine even if it means easing up on some of the graphical glory and dying amongst slightly less convincing shadows or getting blood all over your bump mapped walls rather than your displacement mapped walls.

Take a look around 3DVelocity and you'll notice that I haven't personally reviewed many NV3x based graphics cards, and this wasn't because we couldn't source any, it was because I had decided that there were just too many architectural idiosyncrasies for me to give any card based on this GPU my wholehearted recommendation.

Well, today I'm breaking my silence, but I'm not doing it because I've suddenly taken a liking to NV3x, but rather because my eye was taken by what the guys at Prolink had done with it. Their GeForce FX 5900 XT Golden Limited looks unique, has a good price and, because it's part of NVIDIA's plans to dump the last of its previous generation chip stocks, won't be available in huge numbers.

Let's do the specs:

GeForce FX 5900 Specification
1.256-bit advanced memory interface
2.nVIDIA CineFX 2.0 Engine
3.Intellisample HCT performance technology
4.Ultrashadow Technology
5.Advanced display pipeline with full nVIDIA nView Capability
6.nVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0
7.Advanced Technology
8.Broad operating system support
9.API Support
Key Features & Benefits
CineFX 2.0 Engine
The second-generation CineFX 2.0 engine powers advanced pixel and vertex shader processing and true 128-bit color precision. Delivering double the floating-point pixel shader power of the previous CIneFX engine, CineFX 2.0 produces a visible performance boost through its more efficient execution of pixel shader programs.

Intellisample HCT
Second-generation Intellisample technology delivers up to a 50-percent increase in compression efficiency for compressing color, texture, and z-data, and powers unprecedented visual quality for resolutions up to 1600 x 1280.

UltraShadow Technology
Powers the next-generation of complex, realistic shadow effects by accelerating shadow generation. Accurate shadows that effectively mimic reality without bogging down frame rates are one of the keys to more believable game environments.
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.
AGP 8X
Provides double the bandwidth of AGP 4X—2.1GB/sec. vs. 1.1GB/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.
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.
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.
256-bit Memory Interface with Advanced Memory Control
Delivers more memory bandwidth and efficiency to power the latest games and applications at blazing speeds.
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.
0.13 Micron Process Technology
Delivers high performance through faster clock rates.

DX8
DX9
GeForce FX Implementation of DX9
Pixel Shader
Version 1.4
Version 2.0
Version 2.0+
Instructions
32
64
Thousands
Constants
8
32
Thousands
Registers
6
12
32
Vertex Shader
Version 1.1
Version 2.0
Version 2.0+
Instructions
128
256
256
Constants
96
256
256
Registers
12
12
16

System Reguirements
Intel Pentium III, AMD Duron or Athlon?class processor or higher
128MB system RAM
AGP compliant motherboard with an AGP 2.0 slot
10 MB of available hard disk space (50 MB for Full installation)
CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
Windows 95 OSR2, 98 or higher, ME, 2000, XP, or Windows?NT4.0
(Service Pack 5 or 6)
VGA or DVI-I compatible monitor

 

The 5900XT is a slightly strange beast. With its four pipelines each featuring dual TMUs, and a price that put it pretty much up against NVIDIA's already reasonably successful, but undoubtedly slower 5700, it became the big value for money choice for those prepared to sacrifice a little pixel pushing power in exchange for a substantial cash saving.

While Prolink are a large, well respected multimedia company they don't seem to have as high a profile as some of their competitors when it comes to graphics cards. This must I assume be down to a lower visibility marketing strategy as their products have always struck me as being innovative and of good quality.

Anyway, let's get to the card itself and see what Prolink have done to try and get their product noticed in a market every company around seems to have a slice in.

This way please:

 

 

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