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Gainward FX PowerPack! Ultra/1800 XP Review - Page 9 Of 9

CONCLUSION

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
Gainward FX PowerPack! Ultra/1800 XP 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
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 Shopping.com.

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
NVIDIA 5950 Ultra

PROS
  • Overclocking, overclocking, overclocking
  • Proven Gainward Golden Sample quality and performance
  • Impressive stability
  • 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
CONS
  • Price
  • Software bundle
  • 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.

You can provide feedback, ask questions, etc in this thread of our forums.

CHANGE LOG

This following is a list of changes that have been made to this review since it was originally published:

  • February 2, 2003 - Page 1: Confirmed that there was a typo with 2.2ns Golden Sample column in the comparison chart. The memory speed is actually 2.0ns.

     

 

Back to nV News

Last Updated on February 1, 2004


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