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XFX GeForceFX 5950 Ultra - Page 3 of 6

Display Gridlines

NVIDIA nView Display Gridlines provide the easiest way to maximize your desktop space by dividing up your monitor into separate regions for all of your applications.

Below is a typical Microsoft Windows Desktop

Multiple applications open on a typical Windows desktop

In the past, it took valuable time resizing individual application windows in order to fit them all on a desktop without any unused space. Now with the nView Display Gridlines tool you can quickly and easily use the entire available desktop space with the click of a button.

nView Display Gridlines divide the desktop into separate regions to efficiently use the available area

To enable Display Gridlines, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the nView Desktop Manager from the Windows control panel.
     

  2. Make sure the nView Desktop Manger is set to Enabled.
     

  3. Browse to the User Interface tab.

nView Desktop Manager Control Panel
  1. Click the checkbox Enable display gridlines and then click the button Edit Gridlines.
     

  2. The Display Gridlines user interface will now overlay on top of your screen. To create new grid areas, simply click your mouse at one point and drag to create a line. You can also move the lines by clicking on them and dragging, or you can delete them by clicking and pressing the delete button.

NOTE: NVIDIA GeForce GPUs can create up to four display grids, while NVIDIA Quadro GPUs can create up to nine display grids.

Display Gridlines User Interface
  1. Once you have decided on your layout, you can view the display grid names by clicking Show Grid Name.

Show Grid Names
  1. To configure your grids to interact with windows and dialog boxes, click on Options.

  2. Click on the option nView Maximize.

Grid Options
  1. Now click the Back button and then the Exit button.
     

  2. To use the nView Maximize button, make sure you checked Grid-area maximize from the User Interface tab. If you have, there will be an additional rectangular button in the title bar area for nView functionality.

  3. Now when you click the nView Maximize button on all of your application windows, they will maximize to each display grid region, efficiently using your entire desktop space and allowing you to see all application windows simultaneously.

Display Grids in Action

As you can see the new drivers have a lot to offer and some neat applications. Now, lets see how the XFX FX5950 performs with these new drivers!

TESTING CONFIGURATION

System Specifications

  • AMD Athlon64 3000+ @ ~2.0GHz
  • MSI K8T Neo FIS2R Motherboard w/DualDDR Memory
  • Mushkin PC-3500, Level 1, DDR CAS2 RAM - (2) 512MB DIMMs - 1024MB Total
  • Western Digital WD2000JB(SE) 200GB 7200RPM ATA-133 Hard Disk Drive
  • ViewSonic A90f+ CRT Monitor - 19-Inch
  • Vantec Stealth 470 Watt PSU
  • XFX GeForce FX 5950 Ultra - 256MB - 475MHz/950MHz
  • NVIDIA ForceWare 55 Graphics Driver Version 56.56
  • 32-Bit Color / 85Hz Refresh Rate @ 1024x768
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 1 / DirectX 9.0b

BIOS Settings

  • 200MHz Front Side Bus
  • Memory Timings 2-3-2-6

Synthetic Benchmarks

  • Code Creatures
  • 3DMark01
  • 3DMark03 Build 340
  • AquaMark3

Games Tested

  • Call of Duty, Mike's custom timedemos Dawnville and POW Camp
  • Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo, v2225
  • Unreal Tournament 2004 Demo, 3Dcenter's "Assault"

Notes

  • All applications tested were patched to their latest version.
  • All test were run at the default of 475/950 except where overclocked timings of 550/1000 are noted.
  • Antialiasing and anisotropic filtering were configured using the NVIDIA driver control panel.
  • Gameplay tests were conducted with in-game sound options set to each game's default settings.
  • Gameplay tests were conducted with in-game graphics options set to their highest quality.
  • FRAPS was used to capture average frame rates for some benchmarks.
     
XFX GeForce FX 5950 Ultra - Front

Overclocking:

First, I would just like to say what I found to be obvious. That is, you do not have to overclock this video card, it is fast enough for gaming as is. But, then again, if overclocking is in your blood, as it is with me, then let's get started and find out what this card will do!


Overclocking capability is another asset you regularly find in XFX video cards and the XFX GeForce FX5950 Ultra is no different. Enabling coolbits provides access to the overclocking feature in the FX5950 Ultra control panel. The auto overclocking feature provided me with an overclock of 501/1010 that upon testing I found to be stable.


However, I enjoy finding the limits of computer components whether the processor, ram, HDD, or video card. So, using the manual "set and test" technique from default settings, I began the long time-consuming journey of finding the upper limits for the graphic processor unit (GPU) and the memories of this card. To make a long story short, I was rewarded with maximum overclock settings of 565MHz on the GPU. This overclock rates in the upper end for these processors using stock cooling. With such a successful overclock of the GPU I was anxious to find the upper limit for the memories. However, I was not as fortunate in this endeavor as the 1010MHz (505x2) previously attained was the limit. I believe that cooling is the culprit here but unfortunately I was pressed for time so I would have to settle with what I had.
 

To ensure stable performance throughout testing I backed the GPU overclock to 550MHz combined with a memory overclock of 1000MHz (500x2). For this review, when referring to overclock settings of this card it will be in reference to 550/1000 timings.
 
XFX GeForce FX 5950 Ultra - Back


Next Page: Call of Duty, Unreal Tournament 2003

Last Updated on April 1, 2004


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