VGA Card Buyer's Guide 07/2003

Gainward FX PowerPack! Ultra/1200XP 128 MB Golden Sample

The Ultra/1200XP 128 MB Golden Sample is based on NVIDIA's GeForce 5900, a.k.a. NV35. Like the other Gainward Golden Sample models, this card is guaranteed to run at fast clock speeds, with the caveat that you have to first activate them in the Gainward EXPERTool software. This results in 450 MHz core and 900 MHz memory clock (NV35 standard: 400/ 850). The card we tested was a prototype using Hynix code 25 memory modules, which means they are specified for 900 MHz.

The board is painted in classic Gainward red. The chip and memory on the card are cooled with a large heat sink sporting two fans studded with blue LEDs, which blow the heat away from the board. The fans are very quiet. A Philips SAA7108AE video encoder chip supports both video-in and video-out. There is also a built-in Silicon Image Panel Link Transmitter chip (Sil166C ) that permits DVI display with resolutions as high as UXGA (1600x1200).