Video Cards: NVIDIA

NVIDIA is in the same boat as ATI when it comes to prices being prohibitively high on their newest 6800 cards. While the 6800 scored a hit against ATI with the latest Doom 3 benchmarks, it's still too early to tell for sure which will perform best in the long run. In short, be patient. Prices will come down and variants of the 6800 will be available in enough quantity to keep the supply-to-demand ratio at reasonable levels.

If you absolutely must buy a video card right now, and can't wait for prices to drop on some of the newer options, BFG's GeForceFX 5900 128MB is a good choice. Fully capable in the latest games and reasonably priced are two descriptions that fit this card well. A great overclocker, the BFG 5900 can squeeze out those extra frames needed to keep your games running at high resolutions with the details cranked up.

For the non-gamer or occasional gamer, the GeForceFX 5700 128MB from AOpen gets the pick this week. Keep in mind that much like the Radeon 9600 series of cards, the 5700 will also likely be the NVIDIA low end for some of the games slated to come out later this year, so do not consider this card if you intend to take up gaming as a new past-time any time soon, unless you don't mind the lower resolution or frame rates.

Video Cards: ATI DDR Memory


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  • Trake - Sunday, August 01, 2004 - link

    bah, you are indeed correct. too bad you didn't post a couple days ago. :-) it would have saved me a whole lot of time. The AOpen 5700 just, not "LE", is indeed a good buy. I discovered that my friend's was in fact an AOpen 5700 whereas the one i purchased, by mistake no less, was 5700LE. My apologies to the good people at anandtech. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Sunday, August 01, 2004 - link

    256MB versions of mid-range (and low-end) cards often use slower memory than the 128MB versions, which makes them slower cards overall. If you use something like Coolbits (just Google for it if unsure) you can check the current core and memory clock of your card to see how it compares with other 5700's.

    The usual speed of a 5700 is core 425, memory 550. There are also the faster 5700 Ultra (core 475, memory 900), and the really slow 5700LE (core 250, memory 400).

    That should be enough for you to find out how your 5700 compares with the standard.
  • Trake - Saturday, July 31, 2004 - link

    Please don't ever recommend the AOpen 5700 again. Using a benchmark I heard of here at anandtech (aguamark 3) I found that it is a terribly underperforming card (i have 3dmark2003 but didn't bother because the AQ3 rating was so poor). I used a friends 5700 a couple weeks ago to see what kind of gains i'd get by upgrading, they were substantial, though i didn't know the brand. I have a pixelview 5600. The AOpen 5700 didn't even outperform my 5600, not to mention come even close to the performance of my friends 5700. The AOpen 5700 performed about 8% worse than my pixelview 5600 and a whopping 33% worse than my friends 5700. 33%!!!! and it's SUPPOSED to use the same nvidia chipset? I bought it because of the recommendations here and man am i now sorry. In all fairness to anandtech, i did buy the 256 version and not the 128... not sure what kind of difference that would make. It's not a driver issue either because i made sure all tests used the same and most recent drivers. AOpen = suck Reply

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