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           GeForce FX 5800 Ultra

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 GeForce FX 5800 Ultra

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Engineering Board

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Date :

March 4th, 2003.


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If I'm being honest it's not unusual to be faced with reviewing an NVIDIA graphics card and knowing you have to fight back the preconceptions and the pre-launch assumptions in order to do a fair and unbiased job of it. What's different this time around is that the preconceptions and pre-launch assumptions are of the distinctly unfavorable variety, something NVIDIA haven't had to contend with before.

Originally planned to be launched late summer/fall last year (2002), NVIDIA have battled with the technological challenge of making the move from a 0.15 micron process to a more advanced 0.13 micron process and though we now know the time wasn't quite right for this step we also need to remember that these decisions are taken many months and even sometimes years ahead of the actual event. So we can perhaps forgive NVIDIA for misjudging TSMC's readiness for this challenge but what about some of the other design decisions that have raised eyebrows? Well, I'll be looking at some of those design decisions individually later in the review.



We've already looked at the technology behind the GeForce FX architecture in our preview and you might want to refresh yourself on this over HERE, but if you can't stomach a pile of techno-babble but still want the basic specs here's a quick rundown ~


  • CineFX Engine
    Powers cinematic effects beyond imagination. With advanced vertex and pixel shader capabilities, stunning and complex special effects are possible. In addition, increased horsepower delivers faster and smoother gameplay.
  • Intellisample Technology
    Intellisample's intelligent gamma-adjusted antialiasing and advanced adaptive anisotropic filtering deliver silky-smooth, ultra-realistic visuals at lightning speeds. Say goodbye to the jaggies for good: your current games will benefit immediately from this state-of-the-art technology, and the games to come will positively rock your world.
  • High-Precision Graphics
    By combining the incredible dynamic range of today's state-of-the-art 3D motion pictures with 128-bit studio-precision color, the GeForce FX brings you the industry’s best image quality for the most demanding applications.
  • nView Multi-display Technology
    The nView hardware and software technology combination delivers maximum flexibility for multi-display options, and provides unprecedented end-user control of the desktop experience. NVIDIA GPUs are enabled to support multi-displays, but graphics cards vary. Please varify multi-display support in the graphics card before purchasing.
  • Digital Vibrance Control (DVC)
    Allows the user to adjust color controls digitally to compensate for the lighting conditions of their workspace, in order to achieve accurate, bright colors in all conditions.
    Currently this feature is not available on Mac systems.
  • Unified Driver Architecture (UDA)
    Guarantees forward and backward compatibility with software drivers. Simplifies upgrading to a new NVIDIA product because all NVIDIA products work with the same driver software.
  • AGP 8X
    Provides double the bandwidth of AGP 4X—2.1GB/sec. vs. 1.1BG/sec. AGP 8X enables more complex models and detailed textures, creating richer and more lifelike environments. Uninterrupted data flow allows for smoother video streaming and faster, more seamless gameplay.
  • 0.13 Micron Process Technology
    Delivers high performance through faster clock rates.
  • 400MHz RAMDACs
    Industry’s fastest RAMDACs support QXGA displays with ultra-high, ergonomic refresh rates.
  • 8 Pixels/Clock Rendering Pipeline
    Makes all of your favorite games run faster.
  • Architected for Cg
    Ensures that the newest, cutting-edge special effects in applications will run flawlessly. Speeds up content creation so game developers can get their new games out to PC users faster than ever before.
  • Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 Optimizations and Support
    Ensures the best performance and application compatibility for all DirectX 9 applications.
  • New 64-phase Video Scaler
    Highest quality for scaling DVD and other video to full-screen HDTV resolutions.
  • OpenGL® 1.4 Optimizations and Support
    Ensures the best performance and application compatibility for all OpenGL applications.
  • Video Mixing Renderer (VMR)
    Harnesses the power of the 3D graphics engine to empower the user to view multiple video windows simultaneously with superior quality, and avoids the problems associated with video overlay.
  • World’s First DDR2 Memory Interface
    World’s fastest memory delivers fluid frame rates for even the most advanced applications.
  • DVI
    Able to drive large displays with up to 1600x1200 resolution.




GeForce FX Benefits


GeForce FX DX9.0 Implementation

GeForce FX Vertex and Pixel Shader Implementation



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