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Old May 12, 2003, 01:44 PM   #1
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ben6
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Default Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB Comparisons

There are a slew of reviews of both. I decided to include NVIDIA's card because most previews have both, even though this is a primarily ATI site.

[url=http://www.hardocp.com/>HardOCP - GeForceFX 5900 Ultra / Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB[/url]
ATI has had their DX9 part out since September of 2002 along with an announcement of the R300 in July of that year. They shocked everyone by creating a card with more raw memory bandwidth than any card at the time, all thanks to their 256-bit memory bus. It nearly doubled the bandwidth of what was already established as the fastest card at the time, the Ti4600. For the next 5 months, ATI would be the only company to have a fully functional DX9 video card that not only had the features, but also the best AA/AF image quality and performance available.

On November 18, 2002, NVIDIA finally showed the world what we had been waiting a long time for. After the curtains lifted, we were introduced to the NV30, aka GeForceFX 5800. However, it wasn’t until January 27, 2003, more than two months later, that we actually had our hands on the hardware itself. We had literally only a few days worth of time to evaluate this monster before the embargo date lifted for the preview. In that hands-on preview of the GeForceFX 5800, we found that the performance numbers were very close to that of the 9700 Pro. There were a few situations where the performance numbers were faster, and a few where they were slower, but all around it seemed to be on par with the 9700 Pro. Or so we thought.

[url=http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,1074270,00.asp>Extremetech - nVidia Retaliates With GeForceFX 5900 Ultra[/url]
So what's new here? Well nVidia's 5900 Ultra now has a 256-bit memory interface, which addresses one of the biggest issues we saw with the NV30/GeForceFX 5800 Ultra in our previous tests. But will that new interface be enough to oust ATI's latest from the top spot?

In this test we pit ATI's latest 256MB version of the Radeon 9800 Pro against nVidia's NV35, to see which one comes out on top. Because ATI's Radeon 9800 Pro hasn't changed – except for the bigger frame-buffer and a memory clock speed increase, we'll concentrate first on the changes to the NV35, and then move on to performance and our product scores. For more details on the Radeon 9800 Pro, read our earlier review.


[url=http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.html?i=1821>AnandTech - NVIDIA's Back with NV35 - GeForceFX 5900 Ultra[/url]
Just by looking at the table above you can see that NVIDIA was able to use slower (and cheaper) memory with the NV35, as well as drop the core clock a bit in comparison to the NV30. Will the architectural enhancements and 256-bit memory bus be able to overcome these reductions? You better believe it and soon you'll find out exactly how. Also note that NVIDIA is planning on introducing cheaper 128MB versions of the NV35 core in the next month.

Today we're finally able to bring you all there is to know about NVIDIA's latest GPU and the new GeForceFX 5900 Ultra.


NVIDIA GeForceFX 5900 Ultra: The Way FX is Meant to be Played!!
There are several compelling reasons behind this somewhat surprising step. The previous flagship, the FX 5800 Ultra, was plagued by several problems. Due to the high clockspeed of 500 MHz and the new 0.13-micron process, the yields for this chip were much lower than expected. The DDR-II memory it requires is expensive, not yet available in sufficient quantities and only supports a 128-bit bus, creating a memory bottleneck. On top of that, NVIDIA's reference cooling solution proved to be unacceptably loud, earning the reference card the nickname "dustbuster." Lastly, the chip's image quality when using anisotropic filtering also didn't live up to expectations and was criticized in many reviews. When ATi launched its Radeon 9800 PRO, it was able to beat NVIDIA's flagship in practically every discipline. In short, the FX 5800/ NV30 is too loud, too expensive, offers sub-par image quality and is slower than its direct competitor, the Radeon 9800.
Gamer's Depot - Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB Review
Realizing that few games really need the extra RAM, but that many folks don’t like buying a new video card every few months, and the games of “tomorrow” will pump even more data - ATI has introduced a 256MB Radeon 9800 Pro - while it doesn’t prove to be anything revolutionary, it is in fact somewhat evolutionary – as well as an industry first.

Built on the same exact R350 core as the 9800 Pro 120MB version, this card uses the same clock speeds for its core and memory operating frequencies, however ups the ante a bit by using 256MB of DDR-II RAM.
HotHardware - The 256MB ATi Radeon 9800 Pro Review
Gamers and Enthusiasts always seem to be looking for their next major upgrade. There's almost a quest for that one piece of hardware that's going to give them bragging rights and make their buddies green with envy. Every time a new processor, chipset or video card is announced, someone, somewhere begins to save their money in eager anticipation of the product's eventual release. In March, when ATi unveiled the 128MB Radeon 9800 Pro, they mentioned a 256MB version of the card was also in the works. The 128MB variant proved to be the "fastest" video card available at the time of its release, so naturally enthusiasts everywhere were excited by the prospect of a Radeon 9800 Pro with double the amount of RAM. We're sure some of them even set aside a few dollars for one of these cards without really knowing what the official specifications would be. What speed would the memory be clocked at? And what type of memory would it be? Would the core be running at the same speed as the "standard" Radeon 9800 Pro? And how would the extra memory affect performance? Questions like these were posted in many forums and message boards across the web. Well, we've finally got one of these cards in the lab and will attempt to answer these, and many more questions for you on the upcoming pages. So, without further delay, we bring you the 256MB ATi Radeon 9800 Pro...

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