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  • XFX 5700 Ultra Dual DVI DDR3 Review
  • XFX 5700 Ultra Dual DVI DDR3 Review



    The FX 5700 Ultra is what I would call the "hot-rod" of the mid-range video card market since the chip is so versatile. The low-end versions start out as a basic performance card that are limited mostly by the components used, i.e. slower memory and reduced clock speed. As we climb the performance ladder the 5700 becomes an Ultra chip equipped with higher core speed and very high-end memory normally found on workstation class and top-of-the-line gaming cards. As we have seen in this review the FX 5700 Ultra benefits from the additional memory bandwidth (even on a small scale) and thus switching bottlenecks from onboard memory to the 128bit wide memory bus.
    The XFX FX 5700 Ultra in this review is no exception, the card has been tested and tweaked by XFX not only to provide peak performance right from the box but also to allow manual tweaks by the user to further enhance overall performance. In this review alone we were able to push the 5700 Ultra core 90+ Mhz higher than default using the stock nVidia cooler, however with some voltage modifications and better cooling the chip could easily clock much higher than this. Pair the GPU with high-end memory like DDR3 and the additional speed can easily be accommodated for.
    nVidia has specified that Samsung K4J55323QF-GC20 GDDR3 be used on the FX 5700 Ultra and has a maximum clock frequency of 500Mhz. Gainward has programmed their cards to run enhanced at this frequency whereas XFX has pushed the envelope and bumped the speed up an extra 10Mhz by default. With some manual overclocking this frequency was pushed an extra 40Mhz before any visual defects were seen. Ideally the sweet spot is someplace in the middle but 50Mhz over the maximum rated speed is not to shabby.
    The XFX FX 5700 Ultra is truly a gamer card, built by gamers for gamers but I wouldn't limit its usage to just games, the dual DVI connections are perfect for any digital workstation.
    Now for the ever popular list of Good things and Bad things.
    The Good Things
    Swanky Blue PCB
    Comes mildly overclocked from the factory
    Dual DVI video connections
    GDDR3 on a mid-range card
    Card is very overclockable
    The Bad Things
    Unexpected "Auto Detect" behavior
    Stock cooling is rather loud
    Ninjalane Rating