ASUS 9800 XT and FX 5950 Ultra - IntroductionIntroductionWith our industry pushing forward as aggressively and competitively as ever, we are amazed to see strong newcomers jumping aboard the graphics market; especially those taking the monetary risk of offering two different graphical processing technologies simultaneously. Under the recent influence of ATi's impressive marketing strategies, ASUS is offering both product lines from ATi and nVidia- whilst focusing heavily on their ATi line. With an existing abundance of video card manufactures and designers, it is not easy for one company - no matter how large - to competitively offer their own line of licensed GPU technologies. However with the right prices, bundled accessories, helpful support, useful software and great performance, it's more than possible to rise to the calibre of quality that other such companies offer - and even surpass them.With us today is ASUS's finest: the ASUS V9980U (GeForce FX 5950 Ultra) and the infamous ASUS 9800XT. Both are equipped with 256MB of onboard RAM and are backed by ASUS's award-winning GPU-cooling technology. I personally have conducted many top-of-the-line video card analyses, benchmarks and tests; throughout my time, I have acquired a sufficient amount of onboard GPU-cooling technology - and we can tell you that we've been mightily impressed with ASUS in this category so far.Understanding its vast importance, I have recently begun to focus heavily on the unique technologies implemented by specific manufactures; when a plethora of companies are all manufacturing products based on identical technologies, they all must have their unique trademark in order to differentiate their product from another similar one. ASUS has not only made this trademark blindly apparent, but they've incorporated their technology in such a way that truly encompasses the meaning of unique manufacturing.Throughout this article we plan to devour both our cards and put them through the ultimate performance tests, pairing off with other cards currently available on the market.
ASUS 9800 XT and FX 5950 Ultra - The BundlesThe BundlesAs previously mentioned, one must truly stand out in this market in order to prevail in their marketing campaigns. ASUS has correctly done this; offering external TIVO options and the largest range of included software and games I've ever had the pleasure of using, ASUS's overall packages truly fulfill any costly accessory necessities.
ASUS 9800 XT and FX 5950 Ultra - Accessories and SoftwareAccessories and SoftwareBoth cards include a much-appreciated accessory entitled the "Multi-video in & TV out adaptor" - and frankly, it does just that. The adaptor sports composite in, composite out, S-Video in and S-Video out and attaches to a proprietary adaptor available on both the V9980 Ultra and the 9800XT.
ASUS 9800 XT and FX 5950 Ultra - Cooling and DesignCooling and DesignAs with all large PCB and energy-sucking graphic cards, both ASUS's V9980 Ultra and 9800 XT requires a now-generic 4-pin Molex connection in order to run the card and its HSF. Both cards feature massive cooling systems, thus giving us two impressions: The first being that both of these bad boys must be loud, and secondly the GPU's underneath must be virtually arctic.
ASUS 9800 XT and FX 5950 Ultra - Benchmarks - Test System Setup and 3DMark03Test System SetupProcessor(s): AMD Athlon FX-51Motherboard: Asus SK8V (Supplied by ASUS)Memory: Corsair TwinXRE3200LL (Supplied by Corsair)Video Card(s): ASUS 9800XT 256MB, ASUS V9980U 256MB, ATi Radeon 9800 XT 256MB and HIS Excalibur 9800 Pro IceQ 128MBHard Disk(s): 2x Western Digital Raptors (RAID0)Sound Card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum Operating System Used: Windows XP Professional SP1Drivers Used: ATi 3.10 and nVidia 53.03After installation we were met with whirring sounds only audible from our CPU and case fans - the 9800 XT and V9980U seemed virtually quiet. However, upon thorough testing and benchmarking, they kicked into high gear and proved to be slightly louder than the HSF found on ATi's own Radeon 9800 XT and Radeon 9800 Pro. However, having two smaller fans pin-pointing specific areas on the graphic card's PCB does prove itself as a more effective cooling solution. Benchmarking both cards was enjoyable; we thoroughly examined performance under extreme operating conditions, then picked and stabbed at them both to find their strengths and weaknesses.3DMark033DMark03 is the latest version of the highly favoured 3DMark series. By combining full DirectX9.0 support with completely new tests and graphics, 3DMark03 continues the legacy of being industry standard benchmark.Please Note: Due to recent events with the 3DMark03 series, we are adding results purely for those who are still in favor of 3DMark03. These results should not be taken too seriously and are only added for interest sakes.
ASUS 9800 XT and FX 5950 Ultra - Benchmarks - Aquamark 3 and Halo PCAquamark 3Aquamark3 is the latest instalment of the Aquamark benchmark suite. This new benchmark is much more powerful and demands much more from both the system and the graphics card. If there is any weakness in the system or 3D components, Aquamark3 will find them.
ASUS 9800 XT and FX 5950 Ultra - Benchmarks - Jedi Knight IIJedi Knight IIJedi Knight II, Jedi Outcast is an OpenGL game that many have been playing of late. It has greatly improved graphics over its predecessor and it fully supports advanced shaders, as well as very high texture resolutions and effects. There is one demo included in the multi-player section that is good for benchmarking use.
ASUS 9800 XT and FX 5950 Ultra - Benchmarks - Prince of Persia and High Detail AA / AFPrince of PersiaEarning itself "Game of the Year" from various media publications and critics alike, Prince of Persia proves itself as not only an enthralling title but a beauty as well. Taking full advantage of the technologies brought forth by the most respectable manufacturers, and sporting visuals one only finds very rarely, TweakTown is honoured to include Prince of Persia into our prestigious benchmarking suite.
ASUS 9800 XT and FX 5950 Ultra - ConclusionConclusionIt's difficult to end an article that focuses on two top-of-the-line graphic cards and pairs them off with similar products in its class. However, we can confidently reassure you that ASUS's manufacturing and cooling technology not only top that of ATi's own, but give it a run for its money by including an extremely impressive bundle of useful software and innovative features; specifically of which is their multiple input/output adaptor.As many of you already are aware of, it's difficult to select a champion in a race with such close combatants. Both underlying GPU technologies from ASUS are cutting edge and in the end usually provide quite similar results overall -in both real-world and synthetic benchmarks. ASUS has taken the rare path of coherently producing two separate line of video cards from two completely different manufactures. Taking this step allows them to broaden their marketing horizons and offer a solid base of products in the near future.The V9980 Ultra will run you $480 USD over at NewEgg, and the 9800XT will cost you roughly the same amount at similar online retailers. Unfortunately however, competing products go for roughly $35 - $50 less in their retail packages. But, calculating in the extremely useful media adaptor and their overwhelming software suite and competitor-beating performance, here we truly believe the extra difference is worth it.Their comparatively high prices unfortunately restrain the two from reaching their deserved 10/10, but we're happy to award both of ASUS's fine products with 9/10's and our prestigious TweakTown "MUST HAVE" Best Features award.- ProsCompetitor-beating performanceImpressive media bundlesEffective cooling designBoth cards look greatMultiple input/output adaptor- ConsMore expensive than competitorsHard to find at local retail outletsCollective Rating - 9 out of 10 and TweakTown's "MUST HAVE" Best Features Award
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca
Deutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de