Gainward FX PowerPack! Ultra/1800 XP Review - Page 9 Of 9
By Clay Angelly - February 1, 2004
At the beginning of this review I said that we'll try to find out what would,
or would not, compel you to purchase this video card knowing full well that next
generation hardware is on the horizon from NVIDIA, ATI and others. So here is my
"would/would not" list (not to be confused with my "pros/cons" list a bit
further down). Actually I'll rephrase it to "might/might not"...I don't want to
come across as being presumptuous. ;)
Retail Box And Card
What might compel you to buy this card:
This card uses the most mature and refined version of NVIDIA's
current generation (NV3x) chipset.
Exceptional overclockability/stability (which is not as
prevalent in first round of next generation hardware).
Being an early adopter of next generation hardware can be risky,
this card is arguably the safer bet.
This card will be cheaper than next generation hardware.
It overclocks as promised and beyond.
What might not compel you to buy this card:
Promise (hype) of next generation hardware due out later this
quarter/early next quarter.
Early opinions/rumors that NV35+ chipsets may not perform
too well with Half-Life 2.
Performance gains over 5900-class cards may not be enough of an
improvement to warrant purchase.
Gainward FX PowerPack! Ultra/1800 XP
No doubt about it, this card is marketed towards the niche of high-end gamers
and not your neighbor who just wants to spend $150 tops so he/she can play "The
Sims". Speaking of price, this card is obviously on the high end of the scale.
No apologies necessary for that though as, again, this is not a mainstream
product. Other online stores carrying this Gainward card can be found via
At the end of the day this card exceeds everything you'd expect from Gainward
Golden Sample quality. If you like to overclock hardware then this card will be
a joy to push boundaries with. The Gainward FX PowerPack! Ultra/1800 XP is one
of the fastest video cards available today with rock-solid stability and
high quality components.
NVIDIA 5950 Ultra
Overclocking, overclocking, overclocking
Proven Gainward Golden Sample quality and performance
Single slot solution
Considerably quieter than reference design
Two red lit fans, large heatsink front/back
Big style points, this card is very slick in appearance
Built in VIVO
EXPERTool overclocking utility
Timing with next generation offerings on horizon
While not loud, it's not super quiet either
I originally had a paragraph here with my own personal recommendation. After
some thought I decided to remove it. There are a lot of different gamers out
there with many different goals and this card is in a unique place in the scheme
of things. I've presented the facts about this card and will leave it up for you
to decide whether or not it's the next card for you.