IntroductionGainward GeForce FX 5700 Ultra Golden Sample Ultra/960 Dual-DVI 128MB
Gainward's formidable GeForce lineup is quite scary at first. How do you choose from the thirty or so cards that make up just the FX line ?. It's a daunting task to differentiate between models that are based on a single design. For example, there are three cards based on the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra (NV36) GPU alone . The best of which, arguably, has a few neat tricks up its sleeve. We've already established that the FX 5700 / Ultra is a reasonable base for midrange gaming, so Gainward has decided to distribute the finest FX 5700 Ultra that it can possibly manufacture.
Let's remember that a standard GeForce FX 5700 Ultra runs at 475MHz engine and 906MHz memory, respectively. A 4x1 rendering setup and 128-bit wide memory interface give it plenty of punch, both from pixel-pushing and bandwidth points of view. Indeed, our benchmarks put it at roughly the same level as ATI's Radeon 9600XT. It's generally faster in < DX9 benchmarks and, by brute force, clings on the the Radeon's tails when running DX9 code. NVIDIA's implementation, it seems, still needs some work.
Note the Golden Sample nomenclature Gainward use here. That's a sure-fire guarantee that the card will be tweaked for extra performance. Gainward maintains that it carefully screens GPU and memory to its exacting standards. Only the finest are chosen for the Golden Sample table. What's far more interesting is the dual-DVI nature of the card. Running two DVI-capable screens is a real possibility now. The explosive growth and accompanying sharp price decreases of TFTs has allowed many an enthusiast to justify the purchase of two screens. Gainward appears to oblige with an FX 5700 Ultra that reckons to have it all. Let's find out if it really does.