Technologies ASYLUM GeForce FX 5700 Ultra Review - Page 1 Of 9
By Clay Angelly - October 23, 2003
NVIDIA's "Fall Refresh" is kicking off today with new products based on the GeForce FX 5950 (NV38 chipset) and the GeForce FX 5700 (NV36 chipset). In this
review the focus is on the the latter product line offering from BFG
Technologies: the ASYLUM GeForce FX 5700 Ultra.
The GeForce FX 5700 is targeted towards the mainstream market's $200 price
Technologies ASYLUM GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
NOTE: I had less than one week to complete this review from start to
finish. As a result, there are only two game benchmarks contained herein. I have
plans, however, to update this review with additional game benchmarks in the
near future. Also, I am including 3DMark2003 basically for its low time
investment and partially because I'm starting to see some benefit of synthetic
benchmarks in certain cases.
Humus OpenGL And Direct3D Demos
One of these cases is also in this review in which I use FRAPS to benchmark a
few of Emil Persson's (a.k.a. "Humus" on the web) OpenGL and Direct3D demos.
Currently there is a dearth of DirectX 9 games and benchmarks and even the ones
that are available face legitimate arguments as to their accuracy/validity both
pro and con. Having said that, I feel that my inclusion of these technical demos
as a benchmark are as good as most anything else right now. What I feel to be
particularly interesting and beneficial is that Humus provides details as to
which OpenGL extensions, Vertex Shaders and/or Pixel Shaders are being exhibited
in each demo. Some may disagree with this approach for a variety of valid
reasons (all of which I'm very open to hear). My opinion right now is that these
can be informational to a degree. In no way do I suggest that you should base
your buying decisions on the results of these demos.
As stated earlier, the ASYLUM GeForce FX 5700 Ultra is based on the NVIDIA
NV36 chipset. As with any new chipset launch, much speculation about the details
precedes it. Today we are now able to present those details as the NDA was
lifted this morning.
GPU NVIDIA® GeForce™ FX 5700 Ultra
1.5x GeForce FX 5600 Performance
3x GeForce FX 5600 vertex processing power
Support for DDR1/DDR2/GDDR3
NV36 is made using the 0.13 micron fabrication process at IBM's East
Fishkill, New York facility.
API Support Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0, OpenGL for Microsoft® Windows®
Connectors VGA, DVI, S-Video out
Bus Type AGP
256-Bit Graphics Core
128-Bit Memory Interface
4-Pixels Per Clock (4x1 or 2x2 Configuration)
1.9 Billion pixels/sec (fillrate)
14.4GB/sec. Memory Bandwidth
356 Million Vertices/sec.
500MHz Core Clock
900MHz Memory Clock (effective)
400MHz Dual RAMDAC
NVIDIA nView Multi-Display Technology
NVIDIA CineFX 2.0 Engine
Supports AGP 8X, 4X, And 2X
NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control 3.0
Supports Microsoft DirectX 9.0
128-Bit Precision Color
High Quality Anisotropic Filtering (64- tap)
Hardware MPEG-2 Support
BFG Technologies ASYLUM
BFG Specific Notes
ASYLUM cards are built with DDR2 (other board partners may use
MSRP at launch is $199.99 ($219.99 with a $20 Mail In Rebate Everyday)
VIVO was not included on this model primarily to keep costs down to
reach the $199 price point
Upgraded fan solution that exhibits superior thermal resistance to the
Diversion from the "one surface solution" for HSF and memory of
reference design for more efficient cooling.
Reference design of this card does not call for backside BGA cooling but
BFG implemented them for better memory cooling.
The phrase "lifetime warranty" has been misused and stretched for as long as
it's been around. Companies will tout this claim but upon reading the fine print
you'll see that some shaky limitations apply. For example, one of BFG
Technologies' competitors (PNY) claims a lifetime warranty as follows:
"Lifetime Replacement warranty does not cover
items out of production if PNY no longer stocks them. Lifetime is
defined as the lifetime of the product on the market. Outdated
technology is not covered by lifetime warranty if the item is no
longer available on the common market as a new product."
BFG Technologies, on the other hand, has a true lifetime warranty. You
read the details about their warranty, which John Malley, Director or
Marketing and Public Relations, elaborates on:
"Our lifetime warranty is not limiting the
definition of "lifetime" to "products on the market". With product
cycles moving as fast as they do in this industry, that really makes
PNY's "lifetime warranty" about 6-12 months.
If an end user and our tech support agree that their Asylum card has
a technical failure, BFG Tech will replace that card with a card of
equal or greater value. So, where PNY customers may be out of luck
because a PNY product is no longer on the market, BFG Tech, given
the same situation, will give the end user an equivalently valued
product that is most likely newer technology (if the original
product in not in stock or available)."
Warranties aren't the coolest thing to talk about and you may
never pay much attention to them. However, if you're going to spend $500 on a
piece of hardware, then a warranty like BFG's is major plus. Common sense will
tell you that, like all warranties, certain conditions must be met as stated
BFG's website. In other words, you can't expect to get your card replaced if
you snap off a capacitor, acts of God, etc.
FREE 24/7/365 TECHNICAL SUPPORT
Another service that BFG offers is
24/7/365 absolutely free technical support. They are the only video card
company, that I know of, that has 24/7/365 free tech support, which is
reassuring during those weekend or late night troubleshooting sessions.