The graphics memory heatsinks are connected with each other with the help of a tricky spring screws, which prevent you from damaging the graphics card in case you apply too much physical effort:
Without the heatsinks on the graphics memory chips the card looks pretty funny: the memory chips are located in pairs around the graphics core, just like by Matrox Parhelia. This layout allows reducing the signal lines length thus eliminating most distortions and EMI:
The graphics card components – the core and the memory – consume quite a bit of power thus requiring stable power supply and voltage. So, no wonder that their voltage regulators occupy at least one third of the PCB. It looks as if the PCB has become somewhat longer than NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800 Ultra reference graphics cards only because of these voltage regulators:
By the way, on the photo above you can actually see the already traditional connector for additional power.
The heart of this graphics card is the NV35 (NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra) chip marked as NV35GL, the professional NV35 version:
The graphics processor works at 450MHz, which is a little lower than the core frequency of NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800 Ultra. It looks as if the company considered the performance potential of NV35 with 256bit memory bus so high, that they even dared to reduce the graphics processor frequency a little bit, thus having reduced its power consumption and heat dissipation and having increased the stability.
The graphics memory chips used on our card are 32bit DDR SDRAM pieces from Hynix in BGA package:
The clock cycle time of these chips equals 2.2ns, so that the nominal frequency makes 908MHz (454MHz DDR). By NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra these chips work at a slightly lower frequency: 850MHz (425MHz DDR).
These memory chips dissipate much less heat than those DDR II ones from Samsung used in NVIDIA GeForce FX 5800 Ultra based graphics cards. As a result, when we ran the tests in an open PC case without any additional cooling solutions the memory chips remained just slightly warm even after two hours of work.
Another very interesting thing: the graphics card is equipped with 16 chips like that, which should make the overall bus width equal to 512bit (32bit x16). But this is not true, of course: the card used 2 memory banks, with the total size of 256MB!
The card is equipped with a D-Sub, DVI and a combo TV-In/TV-Out. The signal for digital monitors is formed by an external TMDS-transmitter from Silicon Image:
And the encoding/decoding of the TV-signal is performed by SAA7108 chip from Philips:
Well, it’s high time we installed the card and started testing it.