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Review: GeForce FX 5200 Ultra and FX 5600 Ultra

by David Ross on 13 March 2003, 00:00 3.0


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Last week NVIDIA announced that they are to release a new range of graphics cards. These fall within the FX range and will all fully support DX9. The range started with the 5800 Ultra which although announced last December is only just reaching the retail marketplace now. It received significant amounts of bad press due to the fact that it was loud and did not perform as well as hoped against the Radeon 9700. Technology used in the FX5800 Ultra was by in large ignored at the time, it is only as DX9 software becomes available that some of its potential is starting to be utilised. What is becoming clear is that the FX range of cards is designed as the backbone of NVIDIA’s drive towards better image quality.

Today we are taking a good look at the mainstream FX cards which look set to eventually replace the MX and GF4 products we have become so used to. With the aim of bringing DX9 support to all and sundry, NVIDIA have 2 new mainstream cards ready to hit the market. - The GeForce FX range has now been expanded to include the GF FX5200 (NV34) and GF FX5600 (NV31).

To establish how these cards performed NVIDIA submitted 2 references cards to the labs for us to test out – these cards of course are made by NVIDIA and do not contain all of the potential enhancements which we currently see on the Ti4200 and Ti4600 range. The two cards are very similar touting the same PCB, RAM configuration, Cooling, and connectors – so the only way which we could tell them apart was by a sticker located on the rear of the PCB. Oh and of course – when we powered them up. Cooling is far more conventional than the FX 5800 Ultra due, in part, to them not having the same high clock speeds.