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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  • XPgeek - Tuesday, October 28, 2003 - link

    Today I purchased this eVGA GF FX 5700 Ultra. i have no complaints of image quality. i am using the 52.16 betas, and Battlefiled 1942 and its XPacks run great, as do the rest of my games. The only issue i have is its length. in my case, the power connector nestles right up to one of my hard drives. but it does fit. barely.

    To re-itterate, this is a very nice card. no, i havent tested a 9600Pro / XT myself, but o well. no i dont work for AT or any other reviewing site. and no im not biased. i actually went to Best Buy to get a 9600 Pro, but saw the 5700U instead. so i wont get HL2 for free. o well, i'll just buy it when it comes out.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 27, 2003 - link

    you misspelled comparing 110, doh! rofl you sux!
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 27, 2003 - link

    106, if you read the review and don't get the impression that it's a rushed and shoddy job, well then you're just not a particularly smart or insightful person. which is ok, no one said you had to be. again, i'm camparing this to the old AT from 2,3,4 years ago. read some of the older reviews, and you'll see what i mean. or maybe you won't, whatever.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 27, 2003 - link

    that'd be earth 106. and you? thanks 108.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 27, 2003 - link

    #104 you mispelled the word fuck.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 27, 2003 - link

    ...nvidia sucks.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 27, 2003 - link

    #104, you're officially an idiot. AT didn't spend "much time"? What planet are you living on.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 27, 2003 - link

    Firingsquad has a decent image quality article up today. You can draw your own conclusion from the screen shots.
  • Anonymous User - Monday, October 27, 2003 - link

    why does anandtech use these anonymous forums? it just encourages all of this nonsense. wtf are you yelling at eachother fanboy-this and fanboy-that? grow the fuk up.

    that said, i think anyone who has been a fan of AT (like myself) must be concerned with the recent nature of the graphics card reviews. i'm an owner of both nvidia and ati cards, and am too damn old to be a fanboy (maybe i'm a fanman). ATs recent reviews have been rubbish. I understand about trying to get info out in a timely fashion, but these reviews read like they were written the night before they were due (so to speak). i mean, if i were grading these as college papers or something, AT would get a D at best. i'm mostly comparing this to previous AT work, not other websites. i'm still an AT fan, i'm not goin anywhere.

    for some reason, the problems seem to be with the graphic card reviews more than anythng else. maybe because this is the most competetive market, and they have to pump it out ASAP.. it just feels like they're not giving much time to their reviews.

    the posters that have done the metrics on the review seem to have the right idea. specifically, it looks most like a tie to me, with 5700ultra being best in opengl situations, and 9600xt being best in other situations (ok, maybe that's not a tie :)
    the "TKO" conclusion certainly is baffling.
  • Anonymous User - Sunday, October 26, 2003 - link

    Stop acting like a fanboy #102, you look stupider by the second. Oh, and I'd like to see you try to keep my mouth shut. Ahhh, too bad, the little geek has no control over the situation. lol

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