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

    #57, don't comment on something you literally have no clue about. I make $60,000 a year and I live alone and really have no expenses to speak of, so I have plenty of money to spend hardware. I'm just finally savvy and am not one of those blind dolts who doesn't research his hardware and makes impulse purchases. I would have thought your high school teachers would have taught that to you last year.

    #59, I'm questioning the point of buying a $500 video card, period. More to the point though, I'm questioning people's over-analyization (hum, not a word I guess, you get the point though) of IQ in games, ESPECIALLY fps games where constant movement makes it almost impossible to notice the IQ differences you are seeing between NVIDIA and ATI cards with the latest drivers right now. Even more to the point, you need a high quality monitor IN ADDITION to that high-end video card to make the purchase worthwhile. When all is said and done, you could be spending $700 on just your monitor + video, and easily as high as $1000. Unless you play games 24/7 and are unemployed, you need to rethink your video card purchases.

    And what planet have you been on? AnandTech has written like 50 reviews the last two months, the majority of them 10+ page in depth articles on the latest hardware. Heck, AT is more than likely making money hand over fist. What do you know, except that the video fanatics with no credentials to speak of are claiming AnandTech has "gone down hill". LMAO, right!
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    Well I do not see how the review data supports his conclusions. And I also question the point of a review without any IQ testing but on a lighter not.

    You notice how NVIDIA drivers are now called FORCEWARE, thats because they force you to use the trilinear filtering they want, not what you want.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    Given the detail reductions seen in the IQ analyses of the sites that have done them, the trend is becoming alarmingly clear - at least until the NV40 arrives, nvidia will not stop optmizations that reduce IQ in favor of speed. This is not a necessary result of the NV3X architecture, but a result of the quality of the competitor's product.

    The glaring lack of trilinear filtering in stages 2+ of all the FXes, and the inferior antialiasing quality gives one pause to even compare similar settings between the cards. The "good enough except to everyone else" FP16 modes continue, and real-time HDR lighting at FP16 or lower (FX12) shows obvious banding.
    Therefore, pronouncing a winner at a high price ($0.5K!) level without IQ analysis and basing the judgement on absolute frame rates (without intentionally decreasing the output quality of the competition to make the IQ directly comparable), is simply sad.

    Adieu anandtech, adieu!
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    #56 If youre dumb enough to spend 500 bucks on a video card and not care about IQ you're wasting your money

    And who said Anand has ever been reputable? They haven't been doing too well lately
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    i just saw a add for ati i guess #10 is wrong Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    #56 just because I can afford a $500 graphics card and still have money to afford everything else i want, doesn't mean I'm dumb. Maybe your "dumb" because you can't find a job that pays enough to have that luxury. Sux to be you.... Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    Yikes, the video card fanboys, that aren't gamers in the first place, come full force with the criticisms. It doesn't get any more pathetic than a video fanatic that doesn't actually play any or even some of the games AnandTech used and still criticizes this review based on the total over-analysis that is Beyond3D. Though B3D does a through job and that should always be commended.

    And WTH, since when has [H] ever been reputable? Why do you think one of their editors left just recently? Kyle doesn't know jack about GPU, video architecture, or pretty much anything else besides what he picked up from his years of hands-on experience. Actually, this is a good thing in a way, because Kyle (and Brent, etc.) write reviews from a gamers' perspective. Still, the over-analysis of IQ is getting ridiculous. If you're dumb enough to spend $500 on a video card in the first place, you don't deserve IQ analysis.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    #53/54: You each have a respective product that you enjoy, that doesn't give you free reign to lord minor victories for your preferred product over everyone else or whine that whenever a benchmark doesn't go your way that the competitor is cheating or lying or optimizing or buying a victory with ads.
    Overall, nVidia and ATI really don't care what you think about them, as long as they're making money off of you; I agree that both companies should be chastised for their optimizing of their drivers, but neither is doing anything that others haven't done in the past. You just haven't noticed it until someone started slinging mud in order to try and gain more market share (ATI). I really wish ATI had shut their pieholes about the "cheats", since now everyone and their mother is throwing accusations of cheating in their competitor's drivers as soon as the competition wins a benchmark or takes performance lead in an application.
    Utterly terrible. Fanboys, stop your engines, for you're just spinning your wheels. Go get a job with this newfound free time and buy more products from the companies you so vehemently support over the Intarweb 2.0, so that we may see better products sooner rather than later.
    Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    that comment just shows that you are just as childish as the rest of them #53 Reply
  • Anonymous User - Thursday, October 23, 2003 - link

    awww boo hooo

    ati fanboys getting pissed? criticizing every site that doesn't agree with you is not going to help your credibility you know.
    Reply

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