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NigelW
12-05-03, 05:30 AM
OK, so it's coming up to Christmas and it's time for me to get a new video card to erplace the old trusty Geforce 2 Ultra

I was looking at a 5700 Ultra (I'm an Nvidia fan.... and don't fancy getting all confused with trying to remove Nvidia drivers and installing ATI's ) but have seen that the 5900nu is getting close to the 5700 Ultra prices (here in the UK anyway)

But, there seem to be a million and 1 ways of defining these products so I want to make sure that what seems a good price is a good price and not a cutdown product.

Leadtek do a 5900 that has 2.8 memory. Is this significantly slower than the 2.2 memory? The model is LEADTEK WINFAST A350 LX TDH and I can get it for 189

Or what about the Gainward (5186) 128Mb FX PowerPack! Ultra/1100 TV-DVI( FX 5900) for 210?

Or this? PixelView GF FX5900 128MB DDR 8x AGP DVI VIVO Retail 400/800MHz core [NVG35] for 176

Or XFX 128Mb GeForceFX 5900 AGP8x TV + DVI for 210

On the face of it, the Pixelview seems the best deal, but is it a cutdown product?

Or should I just go and get a 5700 Ultra for around 150?

My PC's processor is an Athlon 2100 XP not overclocked with 512MB PC2100 RAM

Oh, and if anybody can give me any cheaper places in the UK for a 5900nu......

Many thanks for reading this,
Nigel W

Spivey
12-05-03, 09:57 AM
Hi NigelW, Take a look at some of my posts also, I also asked this question or very simlilar and I'm sure they will help. I realize you're in Europe but there are free online currency converters. For my decision I went with an FX 5900nu largly for the price/performance since here in the US they looked to be going at 189 dollars and up HOWEVER all (all) under 225 dollar versions are SE which means the memory speed is slower (2.8 nano sec I think) and default clocked to 700 instead of a real non ultra at 850 (maybe 800 not sure at the moment) so you get a crippled card. While I'm not sure how these SE versions will clock up and what all the downside you realy need to make sure, if you go NVIDIA, that you get a real Non-Ultra and not an SE. Sorry I don't know the actual defualts of the nu off the top of my head but therye in the forums here and I'm sure someone will post it here in this string after me. I made the mistake of buying an SE and although it's nice it's going back.

You have other brands available to you in Europe also that I know nothing about but for $225 for a BFG FX 5900nu (real and very high quality) to $275.00 for an MSI FX 5900nu (real, not sure of quality yet) the 5900nu will likely be more compatably backwards than an ATI (any) and very capable for newer and DX9 games. Youre going to see arguments on IQ favoring the AA but many popular games arent even compatable with AA or run poorly with it on. The 9700 Pro is still probably a nice way to go yet I hear the 9800 series runs better. I would go with a 9800np or pro but damn it if I trust the game playablity with ATI right now. People are telling me it's much better... but still seems risky.

kraigc
12-05-03, 11:35 AM
BWAH! Get the BFG.....You wont be disappointed.......

NigelW
12-05-03, 11:51 AM
heheh, I wish I could get the BFG, but I dont think they sell in Europe :(

Spivey, I have read some of your posts and I think I understand where you are coming from. But I was only wanting to spend around 150 which would mean a 5700 Ultra. So I guess my budget isn't going to stretch to a full-blown 5900nu, unless someone knows otherwise.

So my question is going to be: Is a crippled 5900nu going to be worth 50 more than a 5700 Ultra? (I think I saw on one topic that a 5900LX from Leadtek would O/C to near 5950 speeds which could be tempting... :) )

Thanks for your replies guys, keep em coming! :D

Spivey
12-05-03, 01:37 PM
NigelW,

Here's a real 5900nu for 192 US dollars free shipping I found on Pricewatch.com. Here's the catch though, see where it says Lifetime warranty? What they mean by that is as long as theyre manufactureing that card it's under warranty and if you check the PNY web site they are No Longer making that card. So no warranty with them... if you want to risk that. The reseller I want this BFG 5900nu from has horrible ratings - lol. Not sure what to do now, going to continue shopping.

Forgot the link info: PNY Vertro GEFORCE FX 5900 AGP 128MB DDR VIDEO CARD RETAIL BOX # VCGFX59APB
Details:
400Mhz Core 850Mhz Memory Speed FX5900 Chipsets Dual View Ready w/DVI to CRT Dongle Lifetime MFG Warranty
Part - VCGFX59APB

Itachi
12-05-03, 01:49 PM
Both the Leadtek -whatever- LX and the Gainward PowerPack! Ultra/1100 are SE's. 2.8ns RAM clocked at 700MHz. The XFX 5900nu are now also SE's, and I'd avoid that brand even if you see a site that still states 2.2ns RAM (falling heatsinks problems etc.).
I'm not sure how the loss of bandwidth actually affects performance, you'd have to find some benchmarks. Either way it should be stronger than a 5700U.
Also avoid PNY for the reason Spivey mentioned.
Finally, I haven't heard about PixelView......maybe it's a european manufacturer. If you can find good opinions on their cards go with that.

NigelW
12-05-03, 01:57 PM
Spivey
I hear what you say, but I don't think it'w worth me buying from the US as I will have to play import duty, and like you the PNY one without a warranty scares me a little :)

Itachi
Pixelview are from Taiwan I think and can be found at www.prolink.com.tw

And like you say, a 5900nu SE should still perform better than a 5700U so maybe that whould be the way to go, as I know I definitely cannot afford a full-blown 5900nu.

But, and here is the proverbial spanner in the works, I have just found a Sapphire ATI 9600XT for 120 - stock wasnt coming in until the New Year but seems to be in early.

Decisions decisions.......

Regards

Spivey
12-05-03, 02:01 PM
How about this one for 219 dollars guys?

Chaintech GeForce FX 5900 (128MB DDR / VIVO & DVI-Out, memory clock speed 850! ) (Retail Box) Details: 4x/8x AGP Support Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Support Dual 400MHz RAMDACs Part - A-FX98

I mean how is Chaintech? They make good quality cards? I don't mean to steal youre post here NigelW (lol!) just borrowing it a sec.

NigelW
12-05-03, 05:57 PM
Hey Spivey I don't mind - you do the US prices and I'll try and find the UK/Euro prices :)

Itachi
12-06-03, 06:36 AM
Originally posted by NigelW
But, and here is the proverbial spanner in the works, I have just found a Sapphire ATI 9600XT for 120 - stock wasnt coming in until the New Year but seems to be in early.

Decisions decisions.......

Regards
That's a really nice deal. I think it'll actually give better longevity than a 5900SE.

Oh, and Spivey, I haven't heard a lot about it, but the Chaintech's supposed to be good. Other than ****ty brands, though, there's not much difference between the different 5900nu's. It all comes down to the packages the manufacturers put together (fans, VIVO etc.). One exception is the Gainward GoldenSample cards that give significantly better OC's. So again, I say just get the cheapest one, as long as it's a brand you trust, and it's a real 5900nu (400/850).

NigelW
12-06-03, 06:38 PM
Oh this is just too confusing. I thought I had it down to a 5900nu, then it was a 5900nuSE for 180, then maybe a 9600XT for 120, then how about a 5900nu XT for 150? Is the performance of any of these 5900's way more than a 960XT?

Just confused.... :)

Nigel W

Malfunction
12-06-03, 06:54 PM
Originally posted by NigelW
Oh this is just too confusing. I thought I had it down to a 5900nu, then it was a 5900nuSE for 180, then maybe a 9600XT for 120, then how about a 5900nu XT for 150? Is the performance of any of these 5900's way more than a 960XT?

Just confused.... :)

Nigel W

C&C Generals: Zero Hour Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280x1024 = 38.5 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 40.2 FPS

EVE: The Second Genesis Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 18.7 FPS

9600XT

1280x1024 = 22 FPS

F1 Challenge '99-'02 Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280x1024 = 30.7 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 29.9 FPS

Final Fantasy XI Performance: no AA/AF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1024x768 = 5914

9600XT

1024x768 = 5117

GunMetal Performance Benchmark 1: 2xAA/No AF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 20.4 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 18.9 FPS

GunMetal Performance: Benchmark 2: 2xAA/No AF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 26.7 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 24.3 FPS

Halo Performance: No AA/No AF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280 x 1024 = 37.3 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 34.3 FPS

Homeworld 2 Performance Benchmark 1 and 2: no AA/AF

5900 Ultra Speeds

B1 1600x1200 = 61.2 FPS

B2 1600x1200 = 40.2 FPS

9600XT

*Unfortunately, we are still unable to get an RV3xx based
card to run Homeworld 2 without crashing. We've tried quite a few workarounds, but so far we've come up empty. This is a known issue, and it is being looked into. The issue that remains on NVIDIA hardware has to do with the software telling the hardware not to do AA even if its turned on in the driver. The developer and NVIDIA are working on this issue as well.

Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 20.6 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 18.8 FPS

Neverwinter Nights: Shadow of Undrendtide Performance 4xAA/8xAF


5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 29.1 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 26.6 FPS

SimCity 4 Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 38.6 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 102.1 FPS

Splinter Cell Performance- No AA/AF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 38.7 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 36.6 FPS

Tron 2.0 Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280x1024 = 26.6 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 48.7 FPS

Unreal Tournament 2003 Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280x960 = 96.4 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 78.7 FPS

Warcraft III: Frozen Throne Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280x1024 = 37.1 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 47.6 FPS

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 48.5 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 40.4 FPS

X2: The Threat Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280x1024 = 34.7

9600XT

1024x768 = 29.9 FPS

*Results posted in red result in being beat by competition using higher resolution.

*Results posted in blue result in being the victor no matter what resolution the competition used.**MAKE certain you look at the resolution at which the competition lost in, as 1280x1024 was often the lowest resolution given from the competitions product.

**All benchmarks results were courtesy of: http://www.anandtech.com/video/index.html

5900 Non Ultra overclocked appears to be the better choice. :)

Peace,

;)

bkswaney
12-06-03, 09:03 PM
Originally posted by Malfunction
C&C Generals: Zero Hour Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280x1024 = 38.5 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 40.2 FPS

EVE: The Second Genesis Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 18.7 FPS

9600XT

1280x1024 = 22 FPS

F1 Challenge '99-'02 Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280x1024 = 30.7 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 29.9 FPS

Final Fantasy XI Performance: no AA/AF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1024x768 = 5914

9600XT

1024x768 = 5117

GunMetal Performance Benchmark 1: 2xAA/No AF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 20.4 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 18.9 FPS

GunMetal Performance: Benchmark 2: 2xAA/No AF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 26.7 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 24.3 FPS

Halo Performance: No AA/No AF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280 x 1024 = 37.3 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 34.3 FPS

Homeworld 2 Performance Benchmark 1 and 2: no AA/AF

5900 Ultra Speeds

B1 1600x1200 = 61.2 FPS

B2 1600x1200 = 40.2 FPS

9600XT

*Unfortunately, we are still unable to get an RV3xx based
card to run Homeworld 2 without crashing. We've tried quite a few workarounds, but so far we've come up empty. This is a known issue, and it is being looked into. The issue that remains on NVIDIA hardware has to do with the software telling the hardware not to do AA even if its turned on in the driver. The developer and NVIDIA are working on this issue as well.

Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 20.6 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 18.8 FPS

Neverwinter Nights: Shadow of Undrendtide Performance 4xAA/8xAF


5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 29.1 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 26.6 FPS

SimCity 4 Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 38.6 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 102.1 FPS

Splinter Cell Performance- No AA/AF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 38.7 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 36.6 FPS

Tron 2.0 Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280x1024 = 26.6 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 48.7 FPS

Unreal Tournament 2003 Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280x960 = 96.4 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 78.7 FPS

Warcraft III: Frozen Throne Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280x1024 = 37.1 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 47.6 FPS

Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1600x1200 = 48.5 FPS

9600XT

1024x768 = 40.4 FPS

X2: The Threat Performance 4xAA/8xAF

5900 Ultra Speeds

1280x1024 = 34.7

9600XT

1024x768 = 29.9 FPS

*Results posted in red result in being beat by competition using higher resolution.

*Results posted in blue result in being the victor no matter what resolution the competition used.**MAKE certain you look at the resolution at which the competition lost in, as 1280x1024 was often the lowest resolution given from the competitions product.

**All benchmarks results were courtesy of: http://www.anandtech.com/video/index.html

5900 Non Ultra overclocked appears to be the better choice. :)

Peace,

;)


Nice reply. :) :thumbsup:

bkswaney
12-06-03, 09:07 PM
One thing I do notice tho.


The 9600XT is a 500Mhz clocked "4pipe" card.

The 5900NU is a 450+ mhz 4x2 card.

Notice how close they are at most things?

It really makes me wonder if the NV3x is really a 4x2.

I mean I know it is I guess it just really shows that 4x2 sucks.

Spivey
12-07-03, 01:50 AM
Did you have to quote all that? LOL!

By the way, what driver set was used for the 5900U? Seems to make a big difference. Seen aloth of benchmarks on NVIDIA vs ATI where they go back and correct or update the review over a more recent driver release. I've seen several different reviews with benchmarks favoring the 5900nu by leaps and bounds over the 9600xt and the 5900U besting a 9700 PRO (Pro!) most of the time also and sometimes greatly and matching a 9800Pro or very very close just as often.

If I discover must buy an ATI to play DX9 games well then I'll buy one and keep my 5900nu for non-DX9 games since ATI has shown me they suck the royal wholag in backwards compatability.. capable hardware (I suppose) yet for **** drivers... maybe it is the hardware.

bkswaney
12-07-03, 06:14 AM
Originally posted by Spivey
Did you have to quote all that? LOL!

By the way, what driver set was used for the 5900U? Seems to make a big difference. Seen aloth of benchmarks on NVIDIA vs ATI where they go back and correct or update the review over a more recent driver release. I've seen several different reviews with benchmarks favoring the 5900nu by leaps and bounds over the 9600xt and the 5900U besting a 9700 PRO (Pro!) most of the time also and sometimes greatly and matching a 9800Pro or very very close just as often.

If I discover must buy an ATI to play DX9 games well then I'll buy one and keep my 5900nu for non-DX9 games since ATI has shown me they suck the royal wholag in backwards compatability.. capable hardware (I suppose) yet for **** drivers... maybe it is the hardware.


ATI has NEVER been as stable for me as nvidia.

Burnt_Ram
12-08-03, 11:28 PM
i have the Gainward ultra 1100, and it is a great card ! i run mine @450/850. it runs like a top. i get 5500 or so in 3d mark 03 and 48,000 ish in Aquamark. not bad for a"value"card ;)

NigelW
12-11-03, 04:23 AM
OK, so I got the Pixelview 5900nu for 176 yesterday and it runs a dream. Thanks to all who helped me decide :)

The box says it runs at 400/800 but there is no way in the driver panel to check this. Do I still need to use coolbits, with the Forceware drivers?

Again, many thanks to you all

Nigel W

DSC
12-11-03, 04:34 AM
Yes, you'll need coolbits to unlock the Clock Frequencies tab which will show you your current clockspeeds.

NigelW
12-11-03, 06:28 AM
Thankyou :)

Edit:
Well, Coolbits is showing stock sppeds of 400/850 so for 176 I seem to have got a bit of a bargain........ :)
Happy Christmas to me indeed :D

NigelW
12-12-03, 04:20 AM
OK, quick update, the card is running like a dream, except I got a Blue screen dump after a couple of hours playing AC2. The fault was in nv4_disp.dll (I think) so my first thought was to see if indeed I have a full-blown 5900nu and not a heavily over-clocked SE. So is there any easy way of finding out what memory is on the card either from drivers or looking at the thing? (The ram chips are under the HSF though)

Thanks
Nigel W