How Nvidia messed up the GeForce 5 (FX)

Howdy all, while this is my first post here - I've been a long time visitor of Toms Hardware since the Voodoo Banshee days. I wanted to post this because of what I see in the market place and get others opinion on this. Before you read about the subject, I've owned theses cards in order: Voodoo1, Banshee, V3 2000 & 3000, TNT2Ultra, GF2mx, GF2Ultra, GF3-Ti200, GF4-Ti4200.
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How Nvidia messed up the GeForce 5 (FX)

It seems the “5” series of graphic technology is bad luck, if anyone can recall the 3Dfx Voodoo5 series – you know what I mean. Both the GF5fx and V5 share the same problems.

1 – Promoted as State of the Art
2 – Very Late (Voodoo5 was very late)
3 – Performance NOT quite as good as it should have been
4 – Manufacturing cost are high
5 – Street price higher than competing products
6 – Both have “fx” in their name (hehe)

Unlike 3Dfx, the GF5fx is not going to KILL Nvidia. They are a much stronger company doing business in many markets. But the fx line will be their big black eye and it WILL take them quite a while to recover from it.

The NV35 (rumored to be reveled at E3 in May) should be faster than the ATI 9800Pro – which is currently shipping more so than the GeForce 5600/5800 will NOT save Nvidia! They may take the performance crown, but that’s it. Why?

The entire GeForce5 (I call it what it is… look at the model numbers 5200/5600 etc) is in shambles! It’s so bad, why did they waste money bothering with it? It’s bad enough to lose out to a competitor – its another to LOSE out to your OWN products that are over a year old.

I base this on my experience with my own GeForce 4 card and the current reviews (what little there is) of the GeForce5. In games like UT2003 (which I play), I get good game play without the use of FSAA, the GeForce5600Ultra performs as good as the 4200 and even better with FSAA on in comparison. But UT2003 is too demanding without USING FSAA. The ATI 9500 does a better job. In other games, the 5600Ultra is sometimes noticeably SLOWER than the Ti4200!

Now this wouldn’t be bad if we were talking about the MX440 vs the Ti4200 – you expect a lower end card to not be as good as a high end. But we are TALKING ABOUT the replacement of the Ti4200! Which has oddly been discontinued already! Geez, the GF2 line was not stopped until the GF4 was shipping in good quantity. Nvidia and their partners have already STOPPED manufacturing the GF4 Ti series and most likely the GF4MX as well. Perhaps this is so if someone REALLY wants to get a Nvidia card – it will only be the GeForce5.

Why does this sound bad? This is based on the Price / Performance scale. I use STREET prices like CompUSA – even thou about 15~30% savings is possible online – most buyers go to the bigger stores.

Here is what I see.
Until recently, the Ti4200 was on the shelf for $120~160. (obviously $200 when new)

$100~120 = GeForce5-5200 (AGP / PCI) 64mb
$180~200 = GeForce5-5200 ULTRA (AGP) 128mb

No GeForce5 5600 / 5800 on the shelf. But I can get my hands on a 5800non &Ultra today – for about $350/400.

With this price structure – the 5600 would sell for :
$200~250 = GeForce5 5600
$250~300 = GeForce5 5600 Ultra

This is VERY BAD! At CompUSA & BestBuy – they sell the ATI 9700Pro for about $300, the AIW version for $400! And for $175~225, the ATI 9500/Pro.

In what way is a $200 GeForce5 5200 Ultra a good deal? It’s sometimes MORE than half the performance of the GeForce Ti4200! Never mind the plain 5200 which is about HALF the speed of the 5200 Ultra. (there is NO info on these GPUs from Nvidia – compared to what they USUALLY publish about the GF2 ~ GF4!!!)

When the GeForce5 5800Ultra is generally slower than the ATI9800, why would an educated buyer PAY $300 for the slower 5600Ultra which is 2-3 feet from the ATI9700 or 9600?

It would have been cheaper for Nvidia to simply SELL the Ti4200 for $80, the MX440 for $50, the TI4600 for $175… THOSE would be an excellent deal over the ATI 9000~9200 and the ATI 9500-9600. And then come out with the NV35 as their TOP dog.

The GeForce5 5200 Ultra is in the same class as a GF3 Ti200 (we need better reviews) And the 5200 plain is about a MX420~mx440. This is not exactly a MOVE up for Nvidia.

When the GF3-Ti200 hit the market for under $175, it sold like hot-cakes (I bought one) and it was the SAME with the Ti4200 which I replaced my GF3-Ti200. These cards were POWERFUL and sold at a GOOD price point. Nothing in the GeForce5 line can say the same thing.

If the GeForcefx5 line wants to be a REAL upgrade to the GF4, the price/market points will need to be adjusted. Here is what I would consider as GOOD deal :

$ 50 = 5200
$ 75 = 5200 Ultra
$ 90 = 5600
$130 = 5600 Ultra
$200 = 5800
$250 = 5800 Ultra

Of course, this price structure doesn’t work for BRAND new product. Even if the 5600 was on the shelf for $130 next to the Ti4200 – many educated buyers MAY opt for the Ti4200 anyway…. Unless the REPLACEMENT card is faster in EVERY WAY over the older model, it’s not much of an upgrade.

The GF3Ti200 was in everyway, FASTER than my GF2 Ultra. And not even the GF3-Ti500 (which sold for $400 about 18 months ago) could touch the TI4200.

With such LOW performances and high prices… how does Nvidia expect US to buy their cards? Nvidia and ATI and everyone else know that the SWEET spot is under $200 for the budget hard core gamer and $100 for the casual gamer. Even if I made $100,000 a year – I wouldn’t buy a $400 graphic card. Not when the $200 one does the job – because USUALLY – when a game actually needs more power, there are newer cheaper cards on the market.

Here is what I would ask of the hardware review sites, especially Toms Hardware (which I have been visiting back in the OLD days when it was a much smaller site).

We need to see a complete review of the shipping GeForce5fx line of cards (All PRO and NON pro versions) compared against the GF3Ti200, GF4 MX440, GF4 Ti4200 & 4600. The ATI 9000~9200, ATI 9500, 9600, 9700 and 9800. Maybe a Trident Blade 3D for the FUN of it… we don’t hear much from other card :)

Use TWO base systems please:

AMD XP 3000 (or P4 3ghz)

AMD XP 1700 (For the mid-budget player, many players are still using 1ghz systems as well as lots of sub AMD 2000 / P4 2ghz) I think it’s a good balance.

Res. Of 1024x768 is fine. But if you WANT to show more POWER range, SKIP the 1280x1024. Just do 1600x1200 which is harder on the hardware and 640x400 to show how NEW games run a bit better when using LOW-END video cards…

Playing games in anything UNDER 1024x768 is NOT ACCEPTABLE to me. But many people HAVE to when they have a GF3 or GF2 card and try to run Unreal2.

Games should be UT2003 of course, as well as 2-3 others in which one be OPEN GL. Please include the flight sim IL2 : Forgotten Battles. And perhaps a CAR Game.

Thanks for your time.

--------------------------
Amiga - The Original Power
35 answers Last reply
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  1. that's a long ass post/rant for something i'm kind of bored to death of

    <A HREF="http://www.planettribes.com/allyourbase/ayb2.swf" target="_new">411 UR 84$E R 8E10NG 2 U$</A>
  2. i wonder how many "NVIDIA vs. ATI" and "NVIDIA FX sucks" posts have been posted. I am getting sick of this.
  3. He was trying to be helpful from the tidbits I read, but it has been rather.....worn out.

    Hilbert space is a big place.
  4. Is his name nfag?...is that the gay version of Nforce?
    Seriously though, it wasnt that bad of a post...you guy's are just hard to please.

    <font color=red>My score would be better</font color=red> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6258104" target="_new">http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6258104</A><font color=red> if I was Dutch!</font color=red>
  5. In what way was my post an ATI vs NVIDIA? I've owned 1 ATI card (pre Voodoo1) and 5 Nvidia powered cards.

    I've NEVER used this part of Tom's hardware - EXCUSE ME. I posted because a lot of people are still confused on what to get. People are buying GF5-5200 thinking they are replacement cards OVER the GF3-200 and GF4-4200. I *WISH* the $100 5200 was a true replacement over the Ti4200, that would be KILLER.

    My post is more of an Nvidia GF4 vs GF5.

    It's about WHAT I SEE on the market, from distributors, and on the shelves at Best Buy and CompUSA. I was SHOCKED to learn that the Ti4x00 series is being KILLED off so quickly - considering that you can STILL fine people buying GF2-MX cards. The GF4(ti) killed the GF3 quickly because they were truely HIGH END end over any GF3. That cannot be the same for the GF5.

    My post is not about having MY card's got bigger balls than yours... It about having a discussion about choices that we need to make if were about to upgrade.

    I got friends who STILL have GF2 cards... I can tell them in a hear beat - "Buy a Ti4200". But once those are gone, I sure wouldn't tell them to BUY a $150 5200Ultra or $250 5600. Where is the KILLER $125 video card? That maybe the ATI9600 once its out for a while - considering the higher yields it makes over the 9500.


    Amiga - The Original Power
  6. Is his name nfag?...is that the gay version of Nforce?

    LOL
  7. nah it wasn't a bad post

    <A HREF="http://www.planettribes.com/allyourbase/ayb2.swf" target="_new">411 UR 84$E R 8E10NG 2 U$</A>
  8. I see that some people here cannot read, perhaps they need to retake 3rd grade.

    g is the little G
    q is the little Q

    Two different letters.


    Amiga - The Original Power
  9. 'tis a q and not a g. Come on, give the guy a break, he's trying to help. If ya wanna pick on someone, pick on me, I'll kick yer ass back too [insert country here].

    Hilbert space is a big place.
  10. Please disregard some of the insulting posts. People are on edge, since some of the people here would rather give their life than see Ati insulted.

    Hilbert space is a big place.
  11. 3rd Grade?..I learnt to spoke in secand graid.....BTW...I brand you Nfag for the rest of your days on this forum...for being a fuckking smartass.

    <font color=red>My score would be better</font color=red> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6258104" target="_new">http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6258104</A><font color=red> if I was Dutch!</font color=red>
  12. Me fail englich! That's unpossible?
    Hehehe, sad part is I once did write unpossible on an essay this year when sleepy and rushing.

    Hilbert space is a big place.
  13. There will still be tons of people buying the 5xxx series because its faster than the 4xxx series. Just like the P4 willy 1.6 is faster than the piii 1.4.
    Its all in the name. You can see these computer manufactures listing video card as geforce4. Well to the average joe, geforce 4 is geforce 4. No difference between MX420 and Ti4200. Unfortuanally, many people are mislead.
  14. The other side to that tho, is do they need a geforce 4/5 for ms word and aim? Most use their comps for that.

    Hilbert space is a big place.
  15. LOL!

    That's Unpossible? I love that Ralphism!

    I am so Smart, S-M-R-T, I mean S-M-A-R-T! - Homer


    Flame, Don't forget you can use <b><font color=red>C</font color=red><font color=green>o</font color=green><font color=yellow>l</font color=yellow><font color=purple>o</font color=purple><font color=blue>u</font color=blue><font color=orange>r</font color=orange> </b>and<b> <i>Fonts</i></b> in Word, so that may just crush an MX or 5200. :tongue:

    - You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red> :tongue: GA to SK
  16. Hell, my quadro dcc can't even handle those!:)

    Hilbert space is a big place.
  17. You are right, they don't need it for MS Word and Aim. Sometimes they pay extra for the geforce 4 upgrade thinking they are getting a geforce 4 while they are really getting a Super Geforce 2 MX.
  18. Hey, as long as they get the superman cape, it's all good:) Even my frinds who r gamers use mx's. To be honest, the games I have spent time on are counterstrike, halflife, deus ex, il2, and gta3. UT2003 I got bored of soo fast, Doom I dislike so there u have it, I don't need a creamer for vid games. If I didn't do graphics, I prolly would have an mx as well. Now I need to upgrade tho for Deus Ex 2 and Half Life 2 (Quadro 7 anyone?).

    Hilbert space is a big place.
  19. Ya know, Doom is pretty old dude. Doom III will make quite a graphical difference!

    --
    This post is brought to you by Eden, on a Via Eden, in the garden of Eden. :smile:
  20. I meant doom 3. I just find it totally pointless.

    Hilbert space is a big place.
  21. Why judge a game before you even try it in its entirety?

    That's prejudice at best!

    --
    This post is brought to you by Eden, on a Via Eden, in the garden of Eden. :smile:
  22. If you think Nvidia is bad, I cant imagine how horrid you must think Ati is.

    Nvidia OWNS in performance, price and stability. Ati needs work in ALL areas, especially drivers and stability.

    Nvidia is on top now, and will be with the next batch of high end cards.
  23. Ahh, yes, and of course the Nvidia cards are made by Santa himself. And all the elves make the drivers with pixie dust.
    Tra-la-la Nvidi-a. La-De-Da...

    Wait, no they're not made by Santa, lemme get my glasses, actually it's says they're made by Satan. :evil: Sorry I misread the press release. So those must be goblins, but what the heck is that dust? Oh yeah it's the smoking remnants of an FX left on a Screensaver!

    NeoMagic Rulz!

    - You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red> :tongue: GA to SK
  24. Made by <font color=red>SATAN</font color=red> in <font color=red>SANTA</font color=red>clara...

    <font color=red>My score would be better</font color=red> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6258104" target="_new">http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6258104</A><font color=red> if I was Dutch!</font color=red>
  25. Just to let you know, my response was so correct and well versed that I DID NOT read your response. Sorry :( Its just I am certain I am correct therefore I will not carry on a childish conversation. Whatever info you repsonse held, if any, will be lost.

    Sorry :( But you picked an argument you cannot win :(. Goodbye for this topic.
  26. Goodbye for this topic?....would you please make it ALL topics?

    Pictures of my PC & Me!<A HREF="http://www.lochel.com/THGC/html/Genetic_Weapon.html" target="_new">http://www.lochel.com/THGC/html/Genetic_Weapon.html</A>..<font color=red>My score</font color=red>..<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6258104" target="_new">http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6258104</A>
  27. great post

    youguys have to remember that not everyone reads all the threads like we do...

    someone just coming here woulent see the 50 GFFX bashing threads of last week


    and yea i totally agree with what he says.

    -------

    <A HREF="http://www.xgr.com" target="_new">XGR-Game Reviews</A>

    "You change the channel, and you change our minds..." - System of a Down
  28. Let's do a generalization of mr. Hineigger. You will notice this entire page of his posts has been a rather humerous attempt to piss you off and make statements of nv's superiority, perhaps to serve as satire?

    Hilbert space is a big place.
  29. I agree with you here....great post.

    I do admit my eyes are a little tired after reading it though...
  30. i wish he would realize that its NOT funny lol


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    <A HREF="http://www.xgr.com" target="_new">XGR-Game Reviews</A>

    "You change the channel, and you change our minds..." - System of a Down
  31. 2 strikes in a row GW, you're on a roll! :smile:


    Good one with the SATAN anagram, I thought the same thing, and love how you ditched Hin!

    --
    This post is brought to you by Eden, on a Via Eden, in the garden of Eden. :smile:
  32. Thank you... I even stated that it was my first post, it was something I wanted to ask for a long time, especially when I saw these EXPENSIVE slow cards on the shelf.

    My didn't think my board was GF-FX bashing, out of meaness, but of concern.

    I hope this site will do a complete performance test of the entire FX line as stated in the original post - so WE can see exactly where the FX line really is. No site that I know of has done this yet. And we also have 2 issues I've been seeing 1 - Screen-saver FX5800Ultra meltdown ans 2- Nvidia "tweaked" drivers to get higher scores - by way of reducing graphic details. (whats the point of high-end without the details?) I've seen some screen shots of before and after showing a flaming & smoking WWII fighter plane - the older driver version looked a more realistic, but at the cost of a few fps.


    Amiga - The Original Power
  33. great post man.... you need some muscle relaxing after working out those fingers so much????

    -==-
  34. Thank you Eden....

    Pictures of my PC & Me!<A HREF="http://www.lochel.com/THGC/html/Genetic_Weapon.html" target="_new">http://www.lochel.com/THGC/html/Genetic_Weapon.html</A>..<font color=red>My score</font color=red>..<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6258104" target="_new">http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6258104</A>
  35. LOL... for the original post, I had typed that into a word processor over a period of a day or so. But I do type fast thou, including some stupid typos in the proccess.

    What hurts the fingers more is slamming a car door.

    Amiga - The Original Power
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