IntroductionMSI GeForce FX 5950 Ultra-VTD 256MB Card Review
Speculation and talk of NVIDIA's NV40 and ATI's R420 GPUs is as rife as ever. They promise both extraordinary bandwidth and massive pixel-pushing power. There's just one small problem with either; they're not available yet. Not to the public at large, anyway. The best consumer graphics cards are still the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra or ATI's Radeon 9800 XT. Benchmarks will usually favour the 9800 XT's better DX9 implementation, but NVIDIA still enjoys a loyal following after years of GPU success. It's of no coincidence that both are priced at roughly £300.
Both GPU designers have sought to seek out high-profile partners for their respective ranges. One of NVIDIA long-term partners has been MSI. This motherboard giant has sensibly diversified activities into related branches, of which graphics cards are one. Huge market presence and decent ties with distributors and vendors ensures that its products are amongst the most widespread and noticeable. So a GeForce FX 5950 Ultra video card from MSI is almost the definition of inevitability. If NVIDIA design it, TSMC make it, MSI will distribute it.
You'd have guessed we're looking at the MSI FX5950 Ultra-VTD256 card today. MSI rarely does generic and it rarely fails to include the proverbial kitchen sink. The best FX 5950 Ultra card yet?. Let's find out.