Picture of the wafer of an FX 5600
At the beginning of next week, we'll already be able to tell you more about the FX 5600 Ultra and the FX 5200 Ultra and give you a full report of the test results. Until then, NVIDIA has placed an embargo on benchmarking.
However, we can already give you some of our first impressions about the performance of the new cards. In the standard tests without FSAA and anitotropic filtering, the FX 5600 Ultra seems to be just about the same or slower than a GeForce4 Ti4200 8x and Radeon 9500 PRO. This might be due to the reduced pixel pipelines (2x2, as opposed to 4x2). With 4xFSAA, it appears to reach nearly double the performance of the 4200, beating a 4800 as well, but it loses out to the Radeon 9500 PRO. It's a similar picture with the anisotropic filtering. In the pixel shader tests from 3DMark 2001, it beats the 4200/2800, but loses in the vertex shader tests. In both tests, it clearly loses to the Radeon 9500 PRO.
The FX 5200 Ultra is quite a bit slower than the 5600 Ultra in the standard tests. In anti-aliasing, it's just a tad behind the Ti 4200. It's the same with anisotropic filtering - at least in Balanced mode. In Performance mode, it even manages to beat the 4800.
We'll have more for you on this in a few days, including extensive benchmark tables. But this much can be said for now: the FX 5600 and 5200 cards won't have an easy time competing against the new ATi products.