Our today’s tests confirm that NVIDIA has improved its standings both in high-end and mainstream sectors and should say big thanks to its software team for that. Graphics cards on NVIDIA GPUs don’t look hopeless against ATI’s RADEONs anymore. However, today’s NVIDIA’s victories mostly happen in OpenGL games as well as in all other applications where you don’t use pixel shaders, anisotropic filtering and full-screen anti-aliasing.
Using FSAA and AF you can easily eliminate all the performance advantages of GeForces over RADEONs. Next-generation games are also more likely to use a lot of pixel shaders and run faster on RADEONs.
In the mainstream sector, RADEON 9600 XT evidently lacks fast memory, and GeForce FX 5700 Ultra is winning. On the other hand, some manufacturers are now offering special editions of their RADEON 9600 XT equipped with fast memory chips. You can learn about one such product in our GeCube RADEON 9600 XT “Extreme” Review.
The particular GeForce FX 5700 Ultra-based card we have reviewed today left an ambiguous impression. On the one hand, this card did excellently in many games and overclocks greatly, but the low quality of 2D and the noticeable noise from its cooling system spoil the overall picture a little bit. The first drawback is not critical for owners of LCD monitors with a digital input, but the noise is a thing that matters to everybody. The small heatsinks on the memory chips at the backside of the PCB are also working at their utmost. I do not quite understand why the engineers decided to use this solution rather than a single large heatsink.
Meanwhile, the card has a stylish appearance and comes with a bunch of good stuff. It may make a good gift like Albatron Gigi GeForce FX 5900 PV did. It will suit overclockers, but I’m not sure that every sample of this card will work at our frequencies without any additional volt-modding. Overall, this graphics card from Albatron deserves your attentive look, notwithstanding its design flaws. According to Price Watch, Albatron Gigi GeForce FX 5700 Ultra comes to us with something like “$190” on the price tag.
- Very appealing appearance;
- Good accessories;
- High performance;
- Good overclockability;
- Efficient cooling system, Wise Fan II.
- Low 2D image quality;
- Insufficient cooling of the memory chips on the back side of the PCB;
- High noise level.