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Digital-Daily : Video : gigabyte-n595u-gt

Gigabyte GV-N595U-GT (NVIDIA FX 5950 Ultra)

Date: 24.02.2004

By: Alexey Burdyko

Introduction

Gigabyte GV-N595U-GT
VPU chip NVIDIA NV38
Memory DDR 256 Mb; 2.0 ns
Frequencies: 520core/950mem MHz
Category: Hi-End level `2004
Price: ??? $

I think it won't be an overstatement to say that currently the graphic accelerator market has turned into a relatively quiet spot. ATI and NVIDIA have suddenly ceased their announcements of whatever solutions for all the market sectors. Vendors are gradually selling out their unsold produce and getting morally ready to a disastrous reduction of prices for high-end boards (which is inevitable after announcement of new solutions by the giants of the graphic chip production). Reviewers, for their turn, are also getting bored since they are already tired of examining boards of the same type differing in only the packaging, package bundle and stickers on the reference cooling systems; so every video cards that stands out among the mass in something is taken like sort of a bright event :-).

The more interesting it is to review the produce by Gigabyte. Until some time in the past, the company did not produce video cards built on the chips of the two strongest players on the graphic chip market, but recently it again set about production of boards built on the base of NVIDIA graphic chips. The situation with various transitions and returns of old players of the video card market into their original places is very exciting enough. Currently, we can see such metamorphoses on the market of graphic accelerator production which were unthinkable, say, a year ago. And the example with Gigabyte is indicative of that. To date, the company is producing graphic chips based on both NVIDIA and ATI chips. By now we can quite safely claim with confidence that the time when you had to choose between manufacturers of graphic cards has gone, and currently we believe the manufacture of boards based just on the chips of both leading graphic chips manufacturers is the most advantageous option: ATI and NVIDIA. We don't take into account the manufacturers of other chips - their solutions are currently of absolutely no interest for the mainstream market of graphic accelerators. The inarticulate attempts of XGI (among the latest examples) to do something to catch up with today's flagship models of ATI and NVIDIA give us a clear idea - it's still a long way to go to the times when we might see something superior or at least equal at speed to ATI and NVIDIA chips :-). Coming back to the topic of transition of the leading graphic accelerator manufacturers to the production of boards built on chips of both ATI and NVIDIA, we can note that such transition is in fact the only sound decision. It's very good that the rules of the market were broken and manufacturers were able to acquire relative freedom in terms of forming their own product lines. Just think why a notable brand should lose its customers who want a solution, say, by NVIDIA, but the company can only provide solutions built on ATI chips? Now the situation has changed to the better.


Gigabyte GV-N595U-GT

Today, we'll be reviewing the fastest of all the Gigabyte product line, namely, the GV-N595U-GT. In the model line of GigaByte, there are two models built on the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra chip at a time - they are GV-N595U-GT and GV-N595U256V. So, what's the difference between the two models? The thing is, the "GT" prefix is used by Gigabyte to label some uniqueness or especially "advanced features" of its products. The same is in the case with GV-N595U-GT - it's not merely an ordinary board built on the base of NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra. This modification is again the same NVIDIA chip but which offers essentially increased core clocking relative to the nominal. As is known, the frequencies for NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra, as per NVIDIA's specifications, amount to 475 MHz/ 475 MHz (950 MHz). Due to the thorough selection of work chips, Gigabyte was able to produce the GV-N595U-GT model whose core is able running at guaranteed 520 MHz. The gain is substantial enough, and this fact gives us every reason to assert in advance that GV-N595U-GT is the fastest board built on NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra, because all the other manufacturers left the frequencies in the products intact. It is understandable that NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra is already extremely overclocked NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra; and it's an unforgivably costly luxury to select chips that provide guaranteed operation at frequencies considerably exceeding the nominal. But not for Gigabyte.


The NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra Chip

We have already covered the specifics of the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra chip in our previous materials, but the specifications data on this and competing ATI chip will be of use when comparing boards built on these chips, so we'd better bring in our specifications table once again:



ATI Radeon 9800 XT NVIDIA FX 5950 Ultra
Code name R360 NV38
Chip technology 256 bit 256 bit
Process technology 0.15 mk 0.13 mk
Q-ty of transistors ~107 mln (?) 130 mln
Memory bus 256-bit DDR/DDR2 256 bit DDR
Memory bandwidth 23.4 GB/s 30.4 GB/s
Pixel fillrate 3.04 Gpixel/s - Texelrate (Color+Z): 1900 texel/s
- Z-rate (Z): 3800/s
- Stencilrate: 3800/s
- Texturerate: 3800/s
Maximum antialiasing mode 6x 8x
Triangle transformation speed 412 Mtriangles/s 356 Mtriangles/s
AGP bus 2x/4x/8x 2x/4x/8x
Memory 256 MB 128/256 MB
Core speed 412 MHz 475 MHz
Memory speed 365 MHz (730 DDR) 475 MHz (950 DDR)
Q-ty of vertex shader blocks 4 FP array
Pixel pipelines 8 4 (8)
Texture blocks per pipeline 1 2 (1)
Textures per texture unit 8 16
Vertex shader version 2.0 2.0+
Pixel shader version 2.0 2.0+
DirectX version 9.0 9.0
Antialiasing modes Multisampling Multisampling
Memory optimization Hyper Z III+ Optimized LMA II
Color compression
Optimizations SmartShader 2.1
SmoothVision 2.1
IntelliSample HCT
Q-ty of monitor outputs 2 2
Integrated RAMDAC 2 x 400 MHz 2 x 400 MHz
Bits per color channel 10 10
Special features Integrated TV coder;
FullStream
Adaptive filtering
F-Buffer
Integrated TV coder;
Extended Programmability
Adaptive filtering
UltraShadow

Content:

  • Introduction
  • Gigabyte GV-N595U-GT
  • Test configuration, overclocking
  • Benchmarks: Synthetic tests
  • Benchmarks: Gaming benchmarks
  • Unreal Tournament 2004 Demo
  • Half-life 2 Leaked Beta
  • FireStarter
  • FarCry Demo, Conclusions




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