Our introduction to NV36 in the form of the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra has really been a different experience than we expected. We thought we would see similar gains on the 5600 that we saw the 5950 make over the 5900. We also didn't expect NVIDIA to drop the veil they've had on the technical aspects of their products.

From the first benchmark we ran, we knew this would turn out to be a very interesting turn of events. In going down to San Francisco for NVIDIA's Editor's Day event, we had planned on inquiring about just how they were able to extract the performance gains we will reveal in our benchmarks. We got more than we had bargained for when we arrived.

For the past few years, graphics companies haven't been very open about how they build their chips. The fast paced six month product cycle and highly competitive atmosphere (while good for consumers) hasn't been very conducive to in depth discussions of highly protected trade secrets. That's why we were very pleasantly surprised when we learned that NVIDIA would be dropping their guard and letting us in on the way NV35 (including NV36 and NV38) actually works. This also gives us insight into the entire NV3x line of GPUs, and, hopefully, gives us a glimpse into the near future of NVIDIA hardware as well.

Aside from divulging a good amount of technical information, NVIDIA had plenty of developers present (a response to ATI’s Shader Day, no doubt). For the purposes of this article, I would like to stick to the architectural aspects of the day rather than analyzing NVIDIA developer relations. It isn't a secret that NVIDIA spends a great deal of time, energy, and money on assisting game developers in achieving their graphical goals. But we believe that "the proof is in the pudding" so to speak. The important thing to us (and we hope to the general public) isn't which developers like and dislike working with an IHV, but the quality of the end product both parties produce. Truth be told, it is the developer's job to create software that works well on all popular platforms, and its the IHV's job to make sure there is sufficient technical support available for developers to get their job done.

We should note that NVIDIA is launching both the NV36 (GeForce FX 5700 Ultra) and the NV38 (GeForce FX 5950 Ultra) today, but since we have already covered the 5950 in our previous roundups we will focus on the 5700 Ultra exclusively today.

First let us look at the card itself.

The GeForce FX 5700 Ultra
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  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    these anonymous forusm are always a hoot. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    Derek takes it in the pooper Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    #62 making 60k a year is still below the threshhold of being able to spend money on whatever you want and not giving a f&5k....if you made 1mil a year I highly doubt you wouldn't drop the $500 on the best card without thinking twice. So don't call other's dumb for buying video cards...maybe that's how they want to spend their money....If you saved some trips to the "Blue Oyster" I'm sure you'd have a $500 card as well. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    The message is damn clear, nvidia is using DDR2 memory to fill in the performance gaps.. Nvidia shuckhs! Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    doesnt anon mean something in french?

    Reply
  • Live - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    Anon postings should be disabled. If people dont have the energy to register the energy awarded to there post is likely to be the same minimal amount. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    #64, that makes perfect sense, just don't visit AnandTech. After all, it's not like you've just given them a page impression. lol

    Seriously, AnandTech will never lose readers or respect as long as they keep doing what they're doing. The critics here that break down every minute detail about what this review did "wrong" aren't gamers. If they were, they would realize that the IQ "differences" are so minuscule it's like trying to argue that nForce2 is incredibly faster than KT600, when the reality is that nForce2's attractiveness comes from its superior sound (APU), overclockability, and stability, most certainly not its “earth shattering” performance. nForce2’s better performance is simply a bonus to any half-intelligent hardware enthusiast, not its main selling point.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    watchu' talkin'bout willis?! Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    Look, some of us see that these reviews seem to no longer reflect reality. What to do? Quit visiting the site, quit giving AT page impressions. Find reviews elsewhere; god knows there are enough other hardware sites to choose from. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Friday, October 24, 2003 - link

    stop crying about the IQ. as #62 said "ESPECIALLY fps games where constant movement makes it almost impossible to notice the IQ differences". i would add - the difference between fx5950u and radeon 9800XT.

    i spent about 1/3 of the last 10 years playing games. i can call myself a GAMER. i want to play my games at at least 55-60 FPS and nothing else matters. i got radeon 9600pro. that's what i can affort. if fx5600u was faster i would've got it instead. brand doesn't matter if i got 60FPS at 1024x768.
    Reply

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