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Albatron GeForceFX 5950 Ultra Videocard Review

Albatron GeForceFX 5950 Ultra Videocard Review  - PCSTATS
Abstract: The FX5900 Ultra gave the Radeon 9800 Pro a good run for its money, but the question we are now facing is if the revised FX5950 Ultra be able to dethrone the Radeon 9800XT?
 82% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Albatron Jan 02 2004   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > Albatron FX5950UV

Quiet Cooling System

Unlike other Albatron videocards, the GeForceFX 5950 UV uses a green (not blue) coloured PCB. The card is fairly long, and heavy with the large heatsinks too. All high end videocards require extra power but I would have preferred Albatron to orient the molex power connector parallel to the PCB - it just makes it a little easer when installing the power cord.

Albatron equip the FX5950UV with the "Wise Fan HSF" which we saw on their FX 5900 PV a while back.

Two of the three 40mm fans spin by default, however if one fan should fail, or the temperature rises above 56 degrees Celsius, the third backup fan will kick in automatically.

To test out the redundancy we stoppd one fan with our finger and as expected the third fan spun to life almost immediately. For those of you who are allergic to noise, you'll be happy to know that the fans are very quiet and are impossible to hear inside an enclosed case. Oh, the center of the heatsink lights up with a blue LED when the fan has power, it looks pretty cool.

Albatron also cools the BGA DRAM on the back and the rear of the GPU with large aluminum heat spreader. Albatron uses a good amount of thermal paste between the chips and the heatsink which should ensure good thermal transfer between the chips.

Surprisingly when we removed the Wisefan heatsink to grab a snapshot of the core, the copper heat spreader protecting the FX GPU came right off; this, without forcing the heatsink at all. With the copper heat spreader off we could view the the GeForceFX 5950 Ultra core in all its goodness. Despite being built on 0.13 micron manufacturing, the core is still quite large. The silicon is easily as big as the R3x0 core, and they're built on 0.15 micron.

With those 130 million transistors running at 475 MHz, the GeForceFX 5950 Ultra produces a lot of heat and with nVIDIA's built in thermal monitoring software we noticed the chip was idling in Windows at around 45-50 degrees Celsius. Under load we saw temperatures above 70 degrees and that will create a huge hot spot in any PC.

Because the GeForceFX 5950 Ultra is basically an higher clocked GeForceFX 5900/5900 Ultra if you'd like to learn a bit more on its underlying technology please read our Albatron GeForceFX 5900PV Review.

We've said this before and we'll say it again, overclocking nVIDIA based videocards is now harder because of the built in thermal management feature. It's certainly not a bad feature and I'm glad nVIDIA has incorporated that into their graphics processors, but it does make things a bit more difficult for the enthusiast.

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Contents of Article: Albatron FX5950UV
 Pg 1.  Albatron GeForceFX 5950 Ultra Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  — Quiet Cooling System
 Pg 3.  Overclocking Results
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, 3DMark03
 Pg 5.  Benchmarks: AquaMark
 Pg 6.  Benchmarks: AquaMark3
 Pg 7.  Benchmarks: CodeCreatures
 Pg 8.  Benchmarks: Gun Metal 2
 Pg 9.  Benchmarks: Quake III Arena
 Pg 10.  Benchmarks: UT2003
 Pg 11.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, Quake III w/AA
 Pg 12.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, Quake III w/AF
 Pg 13.  Benchmarks: 3DMark2001, Quake III w/AA+AF
 Pg 14.  Well it's certainly fast!

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