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NVIDIA Puts Its (New) Cards on the Table

A New Dish For The Mainstream: GeForce FX 5700 Ultra

When it was introduced at the beginning of this year, the FX 5600 Ultra made a pretty good impression. However, this has changed over the last few months. Partly, this is due to our new benchmark suite, which now features more current and therefore more shader-intensive games. As it turns out, this is exactly where NVIDIA's mainstream product begins to struggle.

The FX 5600 (NV36) was still based on the FX 5800 (NV30) design. The new FX 5700 (NV36), on the other hand, traces its roots back to the more modern 5900 (NV35), and therefore benefits from the improved shader units that NVIDIA calls CineFX 2.0. As a result, its floating point shader performance gets a nice boost. When it comes to shaders, NVIDIA claims that cards with CineFX 2.0 (NV 35/36/38) are twice as fast as those with CineFX 1.0 (NV 30/31/34). The number of transistors in the chip has also increased, although much more modestly, from 80 million to 82 million.

The front. For our review we received an FX 5700 Ultra from eVGA.

The back. The memory chips also get passive cooling.