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MSI FX5700 Ultra-TD128 MSI FX5700 Ultra-TD128: Not everyone has the cash to blow on fancy 400$ video cards, but 100$ cards won't get the job done for those fancy pixel shader games. The FX5700 Ultra is one card that meets you halfway.
Date: February 11, 2004
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In the world of graphic cards, you have plenty of choices at different prices. However, are there any differences when you come to compare few mid-range card together that are almost the same? With a lot of today's mid ranged offerings, can you save a couple hundred dollars to have almost the same performance as a high-end card (at resolutions 1024 and lower)?

As many of you are probably aware, there is a battle between the two giants, nVidia and ATI, for your hard earned greenbacks. While ATI has the Radeon 9600 XT, nVidia has fired back with the FX5700 Ultra. This is a continuation of their 9600 Pro/FX5600 Ultra fued. We've covered these products in the past, and today, we'll be focussing on the FX5700 Ultra, and gauge its performance against FX5600 Ultra, and tell you how much nVidia has improved their product.

GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
Graphics Core:
Memory Interface: 128-bit
Memory Bandwidth: 14.4GB/sec.
Fill Rate: 1.9 billion pixels/sec.
Vertices/sec. 356 million
Memory Data Rate: 900 MHz
Pixels per Clock (peak): 4
Textures per Pixel: 16

The MSI FX5700 Ultra-TD128

For those of you unfamiliar with MSI, by experience I can say that I've never been disappointed with their offerings. A good deal of my PC contains a lot of hardware built by MSI, and I'm quite happy with it. This isn't a fanboy talking here, as being a hardware reviewer, we'll use anything that is reliable and high quality, and we're confident in saying that MSI falls under this category.

The box art is typical MSI, with some attractive graphics, and a clear explaination of the product features. Other than the graphics card, you'll find some software, a manual, games (rather old ones), a S-video cable, a DVI-to-VGA adapter, and a power splitter.

The MSI FX5700 Ultra is a large card, and took almost all the space that i have in my case that's dedicated for VGA. Granted, I use a smaller case in the form of the Super Lanboy, and I some had trouble in connecting the power to the back of the card. As with all of MSI's products, fire engine red is the colour of the day.

The card is cooled via a huge fan. Dubbed T.O.P. TECH cooling (Thermal Obviation Protection), this cooling solution is basically a heavy copper heatsink, designed to provide good cooling at low noise levels. For those of you who have a water cooling kit, it is really easy to remove, with only two clips that hold the fan down. Not neglecting the ram, we also have heatsinks covering all the ram modules on the card.

As with most higher end cards, you'll still need to plug in a power source to use the card. A standard molex connection is all you need, and in case you're running low on these, a molex splitter is included. A 300W PSU will do the trick, but as we always say, more power won't hurt, but the quality of the PSU is of importance.

The card didn't give us any hardware problems such as those we experienced with the FX5600 Ultra. Previously, with the ABIT NF7-S v2.0, an Antec TruePower 350W PSU, and the FX5600 Ultra, we could not get the system to boot with default voltage. We needed to boost the AGP voltage, but later found it to be a driver problem. With the Detonator v53.03, it appears these problems are solved.

You got your standard I/O options here. There is a DVI connection for LCDs, a 15-pin VGA connection, and a TV-Out connection. nView Multi-display Technology is supported (based on the GPU technology, and MSI packaging setup), so multi-display users are fully covered here.

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