VGA Card Buyer's Guide 07/2003

GeForceFX 5600

The chip with the internal designation NV 31 is produced on a 0.13µ process and was designed to replace the very successful GeForce4 Ti4200 series. After its introduction earlier this year, NVIDIA was able to further refine the Ultra version of this chip. Thanks to the new flip-chip packaging, NVIDIA was able to raise the clock speed by 50 MHz so that it now runs at 400 MHz. Plans are to sell all previously produced "old" Ultra chips as normal "non-Ultras." It remains to be seen whether all companies will follow this directive. Maybe we will see some "old" Ultras appear on a new Ultra card - who knows? At any rate, prospective buyers should check the card's specs to make sure. If the chip is only clocked at 350 MHz, it still belongs to the old batch.

Technologically, this DirectX 9 chip supports the same features as its big brother, including Color Compression, fast (adaptive) anisotropic filtering and multi sampling FSAA. The FX 5600 has fewer pixel pipelines than the 5900. Besides, it doesn't share the 128 bit DDR-II interface of the NV30 (FX 5800) or the 256 bit DDR memory architecture of the NV35 (FX 5900) - it "only" uses conventional 128 bit DDR(-I) memory.


  • GeForceFX 5600 128 MB 128 bit DDR (325/ 550); official price: $179.
  • GeForceFX 5600 Ultra 128/256 MB 128 bit DDR - (400/ 700); official price: $199.