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Overclocking

If we set the well-known Coolbits key in the registry to 3 or enable graphics card overclocking on the driver level in RivaTuner, then among the available pages with graphics card settings there will appear “Clock Frequencies” page. With these settings we can try increasing the core and memory frequencies of our GeForce FX 5900 Ultra.

The maximum frequencies when the card still worked stably equaled 490MHz for the core and 900MHz (450MHz DDR) for the memory. Compared with the nominal frequencies in 3D mode – 450MHz/850MHz (425MHz DDR), this result is more than modest: the frequency grew up by only 8.9% for the graphics core and 5.9% for the graphics memory.

The benchmarks results are also not that impressive:

Well, no ones had expected the first NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra reference graphics card to work overclocking wonders. Moreover, bearing in mind that graphics memory as well as graphics core of the new NVIDIA solution work at frequencies close to the maximum ones, we can suppose that the mass graphics cards based on the new chipset from NVIDIA will boast just a little bit higher overclocking potential.

Conclusion

Well, it is evident that NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra is not only a wonderful replacement for GeForce FX 5800 Ultra, but also the today’s most powerful gaming accelerator. The launch of NV35 helped NVIDIA to win back the title of the gaming 3D graphics leader, because the fastest solution from ATI - RADEON 9800 Pro – appeared slower than NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra in most tests.

The shift to 256bit memory bus and return to DDR SDRAM provided NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra with a number of important advantages over the unlucky predecessor. First, its high memory working frequency equal to 850MHz (425MHz DDR), GeForce FX 5900 Ultra can boast the today’s fastest memory bus with the peak bandwidth 70% higher than the bandwidth of GeForce FX 5800 Ultra memory bus: 25940MB/sec against 15258MB/sec. Together with the improved caching algorithms and enhanced frame buffer and Z-buffer compression, this fast memory bus doubles the performance of GeForce FX 5900 Ultra when FSAA is enabled compared with GeForce FX 5800 Ultra.

Second, DDR SDRAM memory chips from Hynix used in NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra feature lower heat dissipation than DDR II chips used on GeForce FX 5800 Ultra, which means that the mass graphics cards will be able to do without massive memory heatsinks, or completely without any heatsinks for the memory.

And finally, DDR memory chips are cheaper, which will definitely reduce the graphics cards production cost.

The new NVIDIA chip boasts one more very important enhancement compared with NV30: NV35 performs much faster DirectX9 Pixel Shaders using floating point calculations with 32bit precision. Of course, this improvement is of no use for contemporary games, because DirectX9 shaders are not involved yet. However, this is a very good start for the future, and in NV35 the company eliminated the weak spot of their NV30.

Of course, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra based graphics cards are intended for 3D gaming enthusiasts: the expected pricing for these solutions will be $499. However, unlike NV30, NV35 chips will be manufactured in mass quantities (if a High-End product can ever be mass), that is why the new graphics cards prices will go down little by little.

This way, the launching of NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra should please not only hardware enthusiasts but also the whole lot of users who do not demand a lot from the graphics accelerators. The prices of NVIDIA based solutions will probably go down after this launch and the same thing may also happen to ATI based solutions now.

 
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