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Reviewed by: Bryan Pizzuti [06.25.03]
Card Manufacturer: InnoVISION

MSRP: $199
Est. Street Price: $150

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The Test

We're testing the FX5600 ultra against its previous generation cousin, the GeForce4 TI4200 (64 MB version) as well as a RADEON 9700 Pro, in order to get a bead on its level of DX9 performance.  Test system is configured as follows:

P4 2.4 GHz Northwood (533 bus, 512k cache)
Abit IT7 motherboard
512 MB Kingston PC2100 RAM
WD 40 GB 7200 RPM HDD
On-board Realtek AC97 Audio
Microtek 17 inch flat panel

ATI Catalyst v3.4
NVIDIA Detonator v44.03

ATI drivers were set to BALANCED mode, with AA and Aniso were manually disabled.
NVIDIA drivers were set to QUALITY mode, with AA and Aniso were manually disabled.

This is a balanced and fair setting. ATI's "Balanced mode" maximizes all non-AA/Aniso settings.  Modes above "Balanced" begin to enable and increase AA and Aniso levels only.  NVIDIA only has 3 quality settings, and none automatically enable AA/Aniso.  So, in effect, both cards were set to their highest possibly quality level without involving AA and Aniso (which were overridden to OFF rather than Application Preference on both cards). 

Here's a quick comparison of the cards:



FX 5600 Ultra

RADEON 9700 Pro

GPU Speed

225 MHz

350 MHz

325 MHz

RAM Technology


(128bit crossbar)

128 MB DDR

(128bit crossbar)

128 MB DDR

(256bit crossbar)

RAM Speed


250 MHz

350 MHz

310 MHz


8 GB/sec

 11.2 GB/sec

19.87 GB/sec

Pixel Pipes

4 64 bit

4 128 bit

8 96 bit

Texture Units

2 per pipe

1 per pipe

1 per pipe

Vertex Units

Hardware – 2 units

“Massively superscalar” array unit

Hardware – 4 units

Textures per pass




Pixels per clock




Additional Technology


CineFX, Intellisample,

.13 micron







Don't start looking at the clock speeds; they're just there for reference. Right now, comparing clock speeds on previous generation NVIDIA chips with current ones is a little like trying to compare Intel and AMD CPUs by clock speeds: the architechture is too different for it to balance anymore. The important fact here is the the TI4200 chip is the one that the FX5600 and FX5600 Ultra is intended to replace.

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