0.1. Who should read this FAQ?
Graphics cards based on the GeForce FX 5900 XT GPU have become a perfect buy in their class, but the choice of the specific card and overclocking issues have proved to be sophisticated matters leading to hot arguments on Internet forums. This in turn brought about myths, legends and just confusion about the product. On the other hand, such a mass discussion makes it difficult to find out really useful information.
This FAQ has been devised as a kind of help to actual and potential owners of 5900 XT-based graphics cards. I tried to use this question-answer form to lay out in a certain order everything I know about graphics cards of that family, focusing on the problem of choosing an overclockable specimen and on overclocking methods (including extreme overclocking). Relying on my own experience and on sources that I trust, I tried to avoid publishing unconfirmed or dubious information (for example, there’s much more such info than trustworthy facts on the questions of the section “Exploitation and Overclocking”).
Of course, I wouldn’t get along without direct or indirect help from members of the following forums: xtremesystems.org/forums, forums.overclockers.ru, forum.modlabs.net and forum.ixbt.com.
I wish to express my particular thanks (in no particular order) to Macci, Big_Sam, CoshVSR, Andrey Worobiew, Unwinder, OK, QNX, Ronaldo, maxx23, Urlopan, DenisSDV.
I would appreciate your sending me additional information about 5900 XT-based graphics cards (you can e-mail me at email@example.com).
0.3. Technical Information
Title: “FAQ on NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 XT”
Current version: 1.01
Last update: 05.02.2004.
Compiler: ALT-F13 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
1. General Questions
1.1. What is NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 XT?
The NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 XT (hereafter referred to as “5900XT”) is a modification of the NV35 graphics core. Particularly, it is the cheapest, “value”, version.
From the point of view of NVIDIA’s reference specifications, the card’s belonging to the 5900XT series is defined by several parameters (some manufacturers may deviate from the specs):
- the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 XT graphics core works at 390MHz frequency;
- the PCB design is simplified compared to older models;
- 128MB of BGA-packaged DDR SDRAM with a cycle time of 2.8ns and a nominal frequency of 700MHz.
1.2. Why did this model go into production?
In all probability, NVIDIA is thus getting rid of its stores of NV35 chips before the launch of the GeForce 6xxx series. The price of the GeForce 5900XT was set very low from the start. Today, the price has reduced to being just a dumping one – this fact confirms the theory about the need to throw away the excess of unnecessary chips.