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It’s been a while since we tested the topmost graphics solutions from NVIDIA and ATI. Graphics card manufacturers have embraced the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra and RADEON 9800 XT graphics chips. Well, it’s holiday sales season, after all. So the recent newcomers are now ordinary off-the-shelf products, if I can refer to graphics cards of that class as “ordinary”.

This review will be another opportunity to put the chips from NVIDIA and ATI to fight. They arrived into our text lab on two graphics cards: the e-GeForce FX 5950 Ultra from EVGA and the RADEON 9800 XT from PowerColor. Let’s get started, eh?

Closer Look: EVGA e-GeForce FX 5950 Ultra

The graphics card on the GeForce FX 5950 Ultra GPU to go trough the unmerciful tests in our lab cannot boast a noiseless water cooling system or heavy-weight heatsinks with thermal pipe technology. It doesn’t strike your eyes with acid colors of the PCB textolite or feature a couple of “spare” fans in case the main one fails. There is no illumination in it like light-emitting diodes, highlights or anything. EVGA doesn’t need it. The company’s product enjoys popularity as an etalon of reliability and high quality.

Although belonging to the “premier league” of gaming graphics cards, this one comes in an average-sized box. I would say it is quite moderate considering the current tendency to gigantic dimensions. The box is decorated with a collage of well-known characters from NVIDIA’s demo programs.

The EVGA e-GeForce FX 5950 Ultra doesn’t veer even a step away from the reference design: we’ve got the same PCB and the same cooling solution consisting of an active cooler on the face side and a heatsink mounted on the memory chips at the back:

 

Like the reference card, the EVGA e-GeForce FX 5950 Ultra is equipped with DVI-I, D-Sub and composite video-in/video-out connectors. We have also got accustomed to the additional power supply connector on the face side of the PCB:

 

 
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