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


View All Comments

  • Anonymous User - Saturday, October 25, 2003 - link


    There are no DX9 cards....They run it via a DX9 wrapper since the native DX9 in-hardware support sucks more than Jenna Jameson on a gang bang movie.

    Horror stories? Like that of Cat 3.8 burning up monitor crap? Give me a break you idiot, I can say the same crap against NV without any proof, yet I lost 2 GFMX with a real bug on Det 6.xx where the speed of the GPU and memory doubled once you got out of Standby mode. Get back to your sandbox kid.
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, October 25, 2003 - link

    ""jesus, fanatics get all pissy if their card loses in FPS tests... you act like every consumer who reads this review will be swayed into believing that NV sells a superior midrange card... its obvious that the "ATI v NV" battle is personal to u... my only question is why? are you guys trying to justify your purchases by bashing something that poses a threat? personally, i dont let hardware sites choose what i buy... i often times purchase 2 contending cards, and take it upon myself to determine which is better... the winner stays in my machine, the loser goes back to where it came from...""

    My own personal reason is to save a few from lunatic flamers like you how post just rage instead of reason to support your standpoint.....pathetic.
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, October 25, 2003 - link

    Yup. HE couldn't do anything about scores (inevitable), so he proceeded to take everything NVidia said for granted (as usual).

    That's like listening to OJ SImpson acussing everyone else of being a murderer.

    DOn't care if there were developers there...ALL HAD WAY BIGGER ISSUES with FX cards and said nothing, but to show a fe selected screenshots on TWIMTBP games, and everyone with some brains knows NVidia pushes for optimized code on that software and/or code that will not work right on the competition.....old news.
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, October 25, 2003 - link

    "#19, I don't think it is a fanboy thing. It's an AT thing that's costing them their respect from other hardware sites and readers."

    Wiser words are yet to be spoken.
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, October 25, 2003 - link

    Driver optimization in Assembly explanation is complete BS.
    Easy and nice to rearrange commands and to clean code, but NO INFO about reducing data from 24/32bit registers to 16 bit....give me a break. No IQ loss? They should change their 14" 45Hz monitors for something more up to date, and please, use LOOSELESS images at HIGH RESOLUTIONS if you dare to compare IQ....Beyond3D is definitively light years beyond you at this.

    The benchmark that's hurting NVidia more besides HL2 is of no use because of a "strange" crash. WTF? How other sites can do it? Can some one plz explain them how to install software properly?

    Fun to see how NVidia "completely dominates" when it wins by 2-3% but "it can take a punck to the chin" when is trailing by a similar number.

    TR was omitted, but they admit X2 runs like crap in FX, yet they put the scores in.

    For the last time...Gunmetal onla has 2 Vertex Shader 2.0 instructions....just to be called a DX9 test...thats all. PS are of 1.1 level.
    Aquamark just uses 4 PS 2.0...dunno about VS 2.0 if any.
    Now, Tomb Raider uses 12 PS 2.0. The game can be crappy but there are plenty used, yet that "starnge crash" wont allow people to see a future-proff scenario.

    ...should I go on?

    This is a big bunch of tree hugging hippie crap.
    [A] for sure will have a happy christmas...I wonder how much was it.
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, October 25, 2003 - link

    #85 what do you prefer? do you prefer playing 1024x768 @ 60 fps or playing 1600x1200 +FSAA 8x/6x +AA 8x @ 19 fps? Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, October 25, 2003 - link

    Is it just me or could this massive 24 page review have been fit easily into about 10 pages. I spent more time clicking to get to the next page than actually reading the review. I guess that's one way to keep your page view numbers high if you can't provide a decent analysis of the product you are reviewing. Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, October 25, 2003 - link

    LOL 83 you call other hardware sites IQ comparisons shoddy? Boy you have some mouth, go look at Anands IQ comparison in the high-end shootout. This pictures are tiny, compressed jpgs, they do NOT come in fullscreen versions, and most of them omit the ground! a part that should be required to see in any comparison. No wonder they didnt see any IQ problems, they couldnt even SEE Nvidias new filtering method because they dont even show the ground, where filtering IQ is most noticeable. Their Iq comparisons are complete BS and look like they are purposely trying to hide something from their users Reply
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, October 25, 2003 - link

    ( ._.)‹^›
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, October 25, 2003 - link

    I think this is hilarious,

    The day that a new graphics card comes out, one of the most REPUTABLE hardware review sites busts there ass to write an article about it and gets downplayed.

    They admit that their review is not a full review because there are other factors that they would like to invest more attention to and will release a part 2 at a later date. They go as far as to even say, "we still have more to come in the form of image quality analysis. Our findings in that arena will affect what we recommend just as much as pure speed." Which still seems unsatisfying.

    From what I've seen from EVERY other hardware review site, their IQ examples are shoddy at best (here's two images where one is f'd up, compare). A few of these posters are also much more versed in IQ technology than the rest of us (comments about trilinear filtering in a compiler setting) which is applauded and most likely the type of insight that AT will be devoting to there analysis on IQ.

    The majority of these posts, however, are nothing more than a chance for some immature limp dick computer junkie to get his rocks off by chastising one of the biggest names in hardware anonymously. I will continue to come this site and read the reviews, to learn about new technology and drool high performance electronics. And I will continue to read these comment boards, but mostly as a reminder of how pathetic some folks can be and to get a good laugh every once in awhile (still trying to get past Thomas Jefferson supporting Anal Fisting).

    -The Ways

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