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Palit Daytona GeForce FX5200 Ultra Review Page 5 of 5

OVERCLOCKING

Overclocking via NVIDIA's clock frequency controls in the display properties is the most advisable method of overclocking with the GeForce FX class of cards. NVIDIA has implemented an Auto-Detect feature which attempts to find the maximum attainable clock speed of both the memory and the GPU of the card. There's also a Test Settings feature which checks to ensure the card is stable and will not allow you to select that clock speed unless the test is passed. The Auto-Detect feature wasn't much of a hit with the Palit Daytona GeFortce FX 5200 Ultra as it detected the maximum GPU clock speed as 357 MHz, with the memory clocked at 654 MHz. Yep, that's a 32 MHz overclock on the GPU and a whole 4 MHz on the memory. The drivers wouldn't even allow me to select a memory speed above 654 MHz as it wouldn't pass the test. Could those few missing components on the end of the card come into play here? We've all seen various other 5200 Ultras hit much higher memory clock speeds...

All hopes in overclocking the card then resided on the GPU. Thankfully I was able to crank it up all the way to 400MHz. I'll take those extra 75 MHz. Thank you very much. Finding the max overclock for the card proved to be an extremely tedious and probably the most time I've ever spent on trying to find the max clock speed of a video card component. The core passed the test at 415 MHz, but would have corrupted the images under certain occasions and not others. Everything would be fine one hour, then the next hour may produce a couple other errors. However, everything stopped at 405MHz and I settled on 400MHz to provide a little comfort cushion for the GPU.

 

AMD ATHLON XP 1600+ PERFORMANCE

As previously mentioned, I thought it would be useful to see the performance of the card in a mid-range PC, which is where I think most of the owners considering such a card would be located.

The test system is the following

  • AMD Athlon XP 1600+
  • MSI Pro2-RU (KT266A)
  • 512MB of PC2100 RAM
  • Windows XP SP1a
  • DirectX 9.1

Splinter Cell

Splinter Cell
Intel P4 vs. AMD XP Benchmark Results

Intel P4 2.4 GHz

AMD Athlon XP 1600+








Splinter Cell performed almost identically on both systems. The extra 1GHz computational power of the P4 setup is wasted as the video card is clearly the bottleneck for better Splinter Cell performance.

Unreal Tournament 2003

Unreal Tournament 2003
Intel P4 vs. AMD XP Benchmark Results

Intel P4 2.4 GHz

AMD Athlon XP 1600+







Unreal Tournament performance between both systems exhibits the same behaviour as Splinter Cell, being that the game's performance is limited by the video card. The only map which exhibited a noticeable change in performance was the dm-phobos map where performance at 800x600 with and without FSAA dropped drastically. This is quite normal as at this resolution the CPU speed has quite an impact on the performance as it's not capable of providing the graphics card with enough data to allow it to perform any faster. Nevertheless, performance in the lower powered system is very acceptable.

 

CONCLUSION

The GeForce FX 5200 Ultra chip is aimed at providing DX9 functionality to the casual gamer who doesn't mind playing current games at 800x600 or 1024x768 with a few features disabled. Depending on the game, the GeForce FX 5200 Ultra is also capable of providing 2X FSAA capabilities at acceptable frame rates, which is a definite plus and a feature that the previous generation of similarly priced card couldn't provide.

Palit Daytona GeForce FX 5200 Ultra

The Palit Daytona GeForce FX 5200 Ultra is a capable solution for those looking for a GeForce FX 5200 Ultra based card without the desire to pay a slightly higher price for an extensive bundle. I've had the card in my system for a little over two months. It's gone through its fair share of gaming, web surfing, chatting and benchmarking and hasn't hiccupped once. A solid card at its factory settings, just don't expect too much from overclocking the RAM.

Return to nV News

Last Updated on September 18, 2003


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