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eVGA NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Personal Cinema Review - Page 6 of 7


NEED FOR SPEED UNDERGROUND

Need for Speed Underground

Need For Speed Underground is Electronic Arts' latest installment of the popular racing franchise. This game features several graphic enhancements over its predecessors. There is no question that this game has some of the most beautiful graphics seen in racers to date, making it a good test for graphic card performance.

The tracks Inner City and Olympic Square were used to conduct these tests. Free run race was selected and traffic was reduced to zero. I used Fraps and took three preset runs through a track spanning multiple resolutions of anti aliasing and anistropic filtering. The three results were then divided by three to reduce margin of error. The internal game settings were set to max with light trails and motion blur disabled. Motion blur and light trails cause anti-aliasing to not function.

NFS Underground Olympic Square Results

NFS Underground Inner City Results

Once again the FX 5700 Personal Cinema is capable of delivering anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering with playable frame rates across all resolutions. Anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering seemed to primarily affect the maximum frame rate. The minimum frame rate remained consistent regardless of image quality settings used. I felt, when taking this into account, 4x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering settings were very playable. However, for a more enjoyable experience, I lowered anisotropic filtering from quality to performance mode.

OVERCLOCKING

I must admit, when I first looked at the card, I didn't expect much in the way of overclocking headroom. With only a small heatsink for the core and no ramsinks to be seen, I anticipated minimal overclocking potential. To find out just what the card was capable of, I used the coolbits registry tweak, which enables several hidden features within the Forceware drivers, including the overclocking tab.

The GeForce FX hardware has seperate clock speed settings for 2D and 3D to save power and provide lower temperatures. The 5700 Personal Cinema is no exception, so when overclocking be sure to set the proper core frequency in 3D performance mode. After testing I was able to achieve 460 MHz on the core (up from 425 stock) and 620 MHz on the memory (up from 550 MHz). Overclocking the memory provided the most benefit to the 5700, as memory bandwidth is the card's major bottleneck when compared to the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra (which has 950 MHz memory).

Overclocking the GeForce FX 5700 Personal Cinema

My initial overclocking tests were a bit conservative. The memory itself did not go much higher than 620 MHz, but I was able to push the core to 500 MHz. That's a pretty solid overclock on the core. The results seen in this review were all based on the 460/620 results.

Overclocking Results

Unreal Tournament 2003 sees an immediate improvement, bringing DM-Inferno up three frames per second and DM-Antalus up five frames per second. The results are not jaw breaking, but the difference between three and five frames per second can mean the difference of playable and unplayable. Neverwinter Nights also sees an improvement, bringing up the average frame rate by three.

Never have I been more thankful that my original impression was wrong. The GeForce FX 5700 Personal Cinema overclocks like a champion, reaching 500 MHz on the core. The memory also overclocked to 620 MHz, exceeding my expectations as well. Overclocking the card really allowed it to spreads its wings.

Next Page: Conclusion

Last Updated on June 28, 2004


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