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  Monday, May 12, 2003 Report News | Archive | Top  
Nvidia GeForce FX 5900 Line Of Cards
- Posted 10:03 AM By Kagato
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Now that there's official word of Nvidia's new GeForce FX 5900 line of cards (based on the NV35 core vs the NV30 that the previous FX line was built around), reviews are popping up all over the place. One of the first was from the guys over at [H]ard|OCP who decided to compare it with ATI's latest and greatest, the Radeon 9800 Pro, with both cards packing a whopping 256MB of onboard memory. So who comes out on top?
It almost seems like in every benchmark the cards go back and forth, dancing around each other. One map will run one card faster, another map will run the other one. One resolution shows a card faster, another resolution shows the other fast. It makes deciding which is the fastest card a very hard decision. Here we have an 8 pipeline card clocked at 380MHz beating in some cases a 4 pipeline card clocked at 450MHz with a lot of bandwidth. It appears in those situations that the 9800 Pro 256MB card just has a better architecture with faster shader speed. Then on the other side we do have the GeForceFX 5900 Ultra winning in some DX8 tests as well. One thing at least is certain, both cards offer awesome performance with AA/AF at high resolutions, and the 256MB of RAM does make a difference once you overcome CPU bottlenecks. If you only play games at 1024x768 and have an aging CPU, a card of these calibers will probably not help you much. But if you run at high resolutions with AA and have a fast CPU, a 256MB card can help stabilize FPS at those resolutions.

Both cards offer exceptional performance, but if I have to place my finger on which card I would choose for my primary system that I play my games on, I would have to opt for the 256MB 9800 Pro. It has better AA quality, and can play at 6XAA on a 256MB card very easily. It has also proven to be very strong in shader operations. It is not an easy decision for sure now. NVIDIA has done a great job at sizing up the issues with the NV30 and fixing those issues and making the NV35 an incredibly competitive part.

So, it all comes down to you, how much you want to spend, and what video card you need to fill your wants and desires while gaming. With the race this tight, small things might certainly tip your buying decision one way or the other. Brand loyalty, past hardware performance, and past driver support should come into play. Certainly what specific games you want to play should be weighed if possible and being able to actually purchase one is a plus as well. Both of the cards looked at here should be available for sale in quantity in 30 to 45 days.
Rather interesting to see the tug-of-war between the two cards, the fact that there's no clear winner in any given game, that maps factor into who wins. Like anything, I imagine ATI and Nvidia are both hard at work tweaking away at their drivers to try and one up the other guy.
Source: [H]ard|OCP
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