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Galaxy Zeus 5700 Ultra Review - Page 1 Of 4

INTRODUCTION

While the mainstream graphics market continues to be highly competitive, consumers have reaped the benefits of a number of successful products that were based on mid-range graphics processing units (GPUs). Over the past few years, NVIDIA's GeForce4 Ti 4200 was a perfect example of such a product and was critically acclaimed for its price-to-performance ratio.

With the debut of the next generation GeForce FX architecture, NVIDIA targeted the GeForce FX 5600 Ultra as the successor in the mainstream market. While NVIDIA was very successful in delivering DirectX 9 to the masses with the GeForce FX 5200, the GeForce FX 5600 failed to receive the high praise that the GeForce4 Ti 4200 had earned. Seeking to rectify this situation, NVIDIA countered by delivering the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra last October. At that time we examined BFG's Asylum GeForce FX 5700 Ultra. Today we will be reviewing Galaxy's Zeus 5700 Ultra.

Hong Kong Headquarters
Test Area

Galaxy Technology is a certified NVIDIA Board Partner with headquarters in Hong Kong. Kevin Poon, who is Galaxy's International Director of Sales, furnished nV News with a review sample of the Zeus GeForce FX 5700 Ultra, which was the second unit to come off their manufacturing line.

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

Of particular interest is that the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra, code named NV36, was manufactured at IBM's plant in East Fishkill, NY. In early 2003, NVIDIA enlisted the services of IBM to become a second supplier of its GPUs, which are also manufactured in Taiwan at the TSMC facility.

  • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
  • 0.13-Micron Process
  • 256-Bit Graphics Core
  • 128-Bit Memory Interface
  • 4 Pixels Per Clock
  • 475MHz Core Clock
  • 14.4GB/sec Memory Bandwidth
  • 400MHz Dual RAMDAC
  • NVIDIA CineFX 2.0 Engine
  • UltraShadow Technology
  • NVIDIA nView Multi-Display Technology
  • Supports AGP 8X, 4X, And 2X
  • NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control 3.0
  • 128-Bit Precision Color
  • High Quality Anisotropic Filtering
  • Hardware MPEG-2 Support
  • DirectX 9.0 and OpenGL 1.4 Support

The Zeus 5700 Ultra operates at a core clock speed of 475MHz and is outfitted with 128MB of DDR2 memory running at 450MHz. Although the NV36 was a refresh of the NV31, which the GeForce 5600 Ultra was based on, NVIDIA added several new features.

The most significant improvement was incorporating the CineFX 2.0 engine. By increasing the number of vertex shader and floating point processing units, DirectX 9-level shader performance was much faster compared to the GeForce FX 5600 Ultra. UltraShadow, which improves stencil shadow performance, was also added to the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra, but the technology has yet to be incorporated in a retail game.

The GeForce FX 5700 Ultra is matched with 128MB of 2.2ns DDR2 memory modules and is clocked at 450MHz giving it a healthy increase in data throughput over the GeForce 5600 Ultra. Data is processed on the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra using a 128-bit memory bus compared to the 256-bit memory bus used on high-end graphics cards from NVIDIA such as the GeForce FX 5900 and 5950.

PACKAGE CONTENTS

Along with the graphics card, the package contents included six CD's, a DVI to VGA adapter, a user's manual, an S-Video to RCA cable, and a TV-out cable.

Package Contents
Package Contents

The game bundle was extremely generous. Galaxy bundles full versions of Gun Metal, Chrome, and Moto GP2 with the Zeus 5700 Ultra. Additional software that is included consists of PowerDVD 5 and Power Director 2.5 Value Edition.

Packaging - Front of Box
Packaging - Front of Box

The Zeus 5700 Ultra is based on NVIDIA’s reference design and requires an external power connection through a Molex cable to the power supply.

Galaxy's Zeus 5700 Ultra
Galaxy's Zeus 5700 Ultra

TEST CONFIGURATION

The system I used to test the Zeus 5700 Ultra consists of the following components.

System Specifications

  • AMD Athlon XP (Barton) 2800+ @2.2GHz
  • ABIT NF7-S v2.0 nForce2 Ultra 400 Motherboard
  • 1GB Geil Memory (512MB x 2 Sticks)
  • Philips 170B4 17-Inch LCD Monitor
  • Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 120GB ATA-133 HDD
  • Lite-On LTC-4816H Combo Drive
  • NVIDIA nForce 3.13 Drivers
  • NVIDIA ForceWare 53.03 Drivers

BIOS Settings

  • CPU FSB 200MHz (400MHz DDR)
  • Memory FSB 200MHz (400MHz DDR)
  • Memory Timings 2.5-3-3-6
  • VCore 1.65V

Notes

  • Testing was conducted at 1024x768 and 1280x1024
  • The Image setting under the driver control panel was set to Quality
  • Vertical sync was disabled
  • Antialiasing and anisotropic filtering, with the exception of FarCry, were set with the driver control panel

Benchmark Software


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