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SIGMA Cyber6000, Cyber5500, and Cyber5500DVI on NVIDIA
GeForce2 GTS and GeForce2 MX

April 14, 2001



Many of you are aware that on the video card market more and more sectors are being taken by Chinese manufacturers who specialize primarily in production of cards on NVIDIA chipsets. On the one hand, such a competition will make prices go down.

On the other hand, NVIDIA is producing only processors, and they can only give recommendation for cards' design. That is why it depends on the manufacturers what components will be installed on one or another video card. Unfortunately, many Chinese companies, which are often refered to as "noname", ignore NVIDIA recommendations in order to minimize expenses. As a result, many users, who are attracted by a low price, buy such cards and then complain of such a low quality.

Of course, I would advise you to buy video cards only from brand-name manufacturers. But I know that, anyway, a low price for many users will be a determining factor. Here I can advise you to take only those cards which can be given back after testing.

But not everything is that bad. Some Korean (South Korea) manufacturers of computer components, which had been working only for the internal market shipping their products against OEM-orders to such companies as Samsung, decided to come onto the Retail-market. One of such companies is S/U/M/A (SuperMicro Systems).

SIGMACOM was also dealing with production and shipment of OEM-video cards to Samsung. Today they are also moving towards the retail market.

And today we will consider three video cards from SIGMACOM, which are based on NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS and GeForce2 MX (with DVI and without).

Cards

1. SIGMA Cyber6000

The SIGMA Cyber6000 card is based on the NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS, has AGP x2/x4 interface, 32 MBytes DDR SGRAM located in 8 chips on the right and back side of the PCB.

Infineon produces memory chips with 6ns access time what corresponds to 166 MHz. Such memory has become a standard for such cards. However, GeForce2 GTS based cards have different overclockability.

The design completely corresponds to the reference one from NVIDIA. As usual, the card is green and it is equipped with DVI output for digital monitors. It is interesting that the card has roundish corners, I haven't seen such a thing before :-).

Note that the card is equipped with an AAVID cooler. Thermal Technologies company is well known for a long time for reliable and efficient AAVID coolers. Matrox and 3dfx chose this company for installation of coolers on their video cards. I'm glad that SIGMACOM is also using them.

The card is lacking for a TV-out, which for the GeForce2 cards is usually installed on daughter boards.

A bright Retail package contains:

  • User's manual;
  • CD with drivers and utilities.

Overclocking

The SIGMA Cyber6000 has shown modest capabilities in overclocking, and first of all it concerns the memory. We managed to achieve a stable work at 230/183 (366) MHz. At 190 MHz artifacts were already clear. As compared with earlier reviewed cards, I should notice that these results are far not the best. It is well known that GeForce2 GTS cards are mainly suffering from a narrow memory bandwidth, that is why memory overclocking for them is much more important than overclocking of the GPU.

2. SIGMA Cyber5500 and SIGMA Cyber5500DVI

The SIGMA Cyber5500 and Cyber5500DVI cards are based on the NVIDIA GeForce2 MX, have AGP x2/x4 interface, 32 MBytes SDR SDRAM located in 4 chips on the right side of the PCB.

The both cards have identical memory chips from Hyundai with 6ns access time what corresponds to 166 MHz. As you can see, SIGMACOM uses high quality memory.

The card's design differs from the initial reference NVIDIA design, but reportedly, this design is approved by NVIDIA as an additional one. The card is traditionally green.

The GPU is equipped with a cooler from AAVID.

The both cards differ only in a DVI output for digital monitors (the former has it). The both cards are equipped with a TV-out.

A bright Retail package of the cards contains:

  • User's manual;
  • CD with drivers and utilities.

Overclocking

The both SIGMA Cyber5500 and 5500DVI cards have shown quite good overclocking potential. We managed to reach 230/215 MHz. For 6 ns memory the results are excellent, usually 210 MHz is the upper limit. It is well known that GeForce2 GTS cards are mainly suffering from a narrow memory bandwidth, that is why memory overclocking for them is much more important than overclocking of the GPU.

Installation and drivers

Test system configuration:

  • CPU Intel Pentium III 1000 MHz:
  • Chaintech 6OJV (i815) mainboard;
  • RAM 256 MBytes PC133;
  • HDD IBM DPTA 20 GBytes;
  • OS Windows 98 SE;
  • ViewSonic P810 (21") and ViewSonic P817 (21") monitors.

For tests we used 11.01 drivers from NVIDIA.

For comparison we have taken the results of Leadtek WinFast GeForce2 MX/DVI, AOpen PA256 Deluxe (GeForce2 GTS).

Test results

2D quality is definitely excellent! It is similar to ASUSTeK or Leadtek cards, or maybe even better. No SIF-filters are needed :-) But still note that 2D quality may greatly depend not only a manufacturer but also on a definite sample.

As for 3D performance, the Cyber5500 and Cyber 5500DVI cards have shown identical results that is why only one of them is shown on the diagrams.

The following programs were used to estimate 3D quality:

  • id Software Quake3 v.1.17 is a game-test which demonstrates the card's operation in OpenGL with usage of a standard demo-benchmark demo002 and a demo-benchmark based on the level with a large number of textures: q3dm9 (Quaver);
  • Rage Expendable (timedemo) is a game-test that shows card's operation in Direct3D in multitexturing mode.

Quake3 Arena

demo002

The tests were carried out in two modes: Fast (shows card's work in 16-bit color) and High Quality (shows card's work in 32-bit color).

The performance of the SIGMA Cyber6000 differs insignificantly from analogs. Only modest overclocking results spoil impression a bit.

In case of the Cyber5500-cards we can see that there are no deviations from usual GeForce2 MX - cards, and good overclocking potential intensifies pleasant impressions.

Expendable

The game is used to show a performance in the Direct3D.



The situation is very similar.

Conclusion

As you can see these Korean cards are of high quality. They have some advantages. First of all, a low price (for example, the Cyber6000 has a price similar to that of the MSI MS-8815, however, the latter has much worse 2D quality). Usage of the NVIDIA reference design allows for very good quality.

Highs:

  • Very good 2D quality;
  • Relatively low prices for SIGMACOM video cards;
  • Good Retail package;
  • Excellent quality of implementation of the cards;

Lows:

  • Lack of a good overclocking potential of the Cyber6000.

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