After letting the entire hardware community down with the FX 5200, 5600 and 5800, these lines were considered to be a total waste of money compared to what was available to the end user, which we here agree with. The mothership of the nVidia line, the FX 5800 Ultra was unable to beat a Radeon 9700 Pro in most benchmarks, let alone the 9800 series. With the price of the FX 5800 being well over $800 AU why would you take the inferior product? You wouldn't.
nVidia have once again shown that with a bit more research, a few good ideas and listening to what people want rather than sticking something in front of them.
After all the troubles that the FX 5800 Ultra had, such as poor memory bandwidth, graphic distortion with FSAA enabled and the ultra high noise curtsey of the horrid cooling solution, the NV35 is defiantly a giant leap in the right direction for nVidia. The fact is that the memory bandwidth of the improved 256-bit memory interface can easily pick up the slack and then some. Now, the FX 5900 is able to outpace the Radeon 9800 Pro in all relevant benchmarks and can reclaim the Ultimate 3D card claim for NVIDIA - for the moment.
While the FX5900 has its good points there are a few drawbacks with the new 3D marvel. First off the PCB is much larger than any previous card from nVidia. This can cause serious space issues in SFF computers, which are the biggest sellers amongst the enthusiast community these days. The larger PCB also costs a considerable amount to produce compared to the relatively small PCB design of the Radeon 9800.
The other major drawback is the size of the cooling. The unit blocks the first PCI slot on most motherboards, reducing you to five or in some cases four PCI slots.
Faster than the FX 5800 Ultra
Quieter Cooling solution
Improved FSAA image Quality
Improved Driver support
Cost of retail cards to be well over $900AU
Cooling solution blocks PCI slot 1
Rating: 9 out of 10 and TweakTown's Editors Choice