iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail

Platform

Video

Multimedia

Mobile

Other

Leadtek WinFast A310 Ultra MyVIVO

on NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 Ultra (350MHz revision)

July 1, 2003





CONTENTS

  1. Video card's features
  2. Testbed configuration, test tools, 2D quality
  3. Performance comparison
  4. Conclusion


Last time when we were reviewing the FX5600 Ultra based video card from Gainward we touched upon the problem of two variations of the 5600 Ultra chip available on the market. Below are also reviews of graphics cards we examined before:

Theoretical materials and reviews of video cards which concern functional properties of the GPU NVIDIA GeForce FX

 

Yet in the beginning of spring when the NV31/NV34 were announced, the higher-level NV31 named GeForce FX 5600 Ultra was clocked at 350/350 (700) MHz. Such cards were anticipated by the end of April.

But the child delivery turned to be much harder than expected. Probably, the successful arrival of ATI's RADEON 9600 PRO and the pressure from the partners who didn't like that the difference between the 5600 and the 5600 Ultra was only 25MHz made NVIDIA reconsider the frequencies of its FX5600 Ultra and start working on the second revision to let the processor run confidently at 400 MHz. Plus, the memory's access time was to be set 2.2ns instead of 2.8ns to make it able to maintain 400(800) MHz without redesigning the PCB.

That resulted in the new specifications which are now available at the NVIDIA's site where it's said that the fillrate is 1600 M texels. Divide it by 4 texture units and you will get the core frequency of 400 MHz. That's nice, and the Gainward's card reviewed last time proves that everything is OK.

But! Either NVIDIA had its plans changed too late, or they brought out a certain number of the previous 5600 Ultra in the FCPGA package, or there was a marketing trick, or the previously released chips got to the manufacturers by mistake and it could trigger big losses to call the chips back, but the cards carrying the previous GeForce FX 5600 Ultra clocked at 350 MHz and coupled with the 2.8ns memory of the same frequency got onto the market.

The saddest thing is that both NVIDIA's solutions have identical names:

This is the older GPU, 350 MHz






The newer GPU, 400 MHz




So, the packages are different, the frequencies are different but the names are the same. On the store shelves you can see video cards based on the different chips (like GeForce4 Ti 4200 and 4600) but with the same words on the boxes and cards: GeForce FX 5600 Ultra.

It's simply a disgrace! One has to call a spade a spade. First ATI confused us with their RADEON 9000 - RADEON 9200 which were equal in speed and the RADEON 9200 turned to be slower than the 9100, and now there are two different 5600 Ultra and something wrong happening in the NVIDIA's marketing department.

Users will again have difficulty in choosing cards because the traders can easily pass off 350MHz cards as 400MHz ones, and most people who don't use the Internet or PC press can be easily deceived. I just hope that companies which have already released the GeForce FX 5600 Ultra 350 MHz will name 400MHz cards differently. However, the rumor has it that there are currently some problems with the mass production of the new ultras.

But while the new revision is still on its way to the market, the 350 MHz cards are already on sale. That is why we decided to find out what such cards can offer us, especially because there were several driver versions released after the preproduction samples got here.

So, today we are dealing with the Leadtek FX 5600 Ultra (350 MHz). It looks exactly like the previously reviewed GeForce FX 5200 Ultra based card.

Leadtek is well known for a careful quality control its cards go through; besides, its retail packages always contain some games and other useful software; finally, you can always find some peculiarities and unusual designer's thoughts incarnated in its cards. Unfortunately, as Leadtek is getting more popular in Russia, the traders raise prices for its products, and even the price leader ASUS takes the second position in this respect.

But let's leave the sad things aside and have a look at the card itself.

Card


Leadtek WinFast A310 Ultra MyVIVO




AGP x8/x4/x2 interface, 128 MB DDR SDRAM in 8 chips on the front and back PCB sides.

Leadtek WinFast A310 Ultra MyVIVO
Hynix memory chips of 2.8ns access time; it corresponds to 350 (700) MHz. The memory works at the same frequency, the GPU runs at 350 MHz. 128bit memory interface.




Comparison with the reference design, front view
Leadtek WinFast A310 Ultra MyVIVO Reference card NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 Ultra











Comparison with the reference design, back view
Leadtek WinFast A310 Ultra MyVIVO Reference card NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 Ultra











Last time we mentioned that all new 5600 Ultra (like 5200 Ultra) are based on the reference design with slight changes. It's quite possible that NVIDIA released a new version of the reference card, but we don't have it, that is why we can compare only to the older one.

Now, look at the cooler.

Leadtek WinFast A310 Ultra MyVIVO
You all know how much Leadtek is fond of experiments with coolers. This time they offer an effective and relatively small cooler with the heatsink covering both GPU and memory chips on top. On the backside you can see an ordinary flat fin heatsink. The fan grill looks perfect.







The card is equipped with the Philips 7114 codec for the VIVO control:




The TV-out functions lie on the shoulders of the GeForce FX 5600 chip (the Philips 7114 is used only for VI).

Now let's see what the box contains:

Leadtek WinFast A310 Ultra MyVIVO
User Guide, CDs with drivers and utilities, 2 games, S-Video-to-RCA, DVI-to-d-Sub adapter, VIVO splitter, s/w for VIVO.




The card ships in the retail package.

Leadtek WinFast A310 Ultra MyVIVO
This is a stylish box in austere colors without unnecessary pictures. The mirror-like cover looks excellent.




Testbed and drivers

Testbed:

  • Pentium 4 3200 MHz based computer:
    • Intel Pentium 4 3200 MHz CPU;
    • DFI LANParty Pro875 (i875P) mainboard;
    • 1024 MB DDR SDRAM;
    • Seagate Barracuda IV 40GB HDD;
    • Windows XP SP1; DirectX 9.0a;
    • ViewSonic P810 (21") and ViewSonic P817 (21") monitors.
    • NVIDIA drivers v44.65.

VSync off, S3TC off in applications.

Cards used for comparison:

  • Gainward Powerpack4 Ultra/750 (GeForce Ti 4600, 300/325 (650) MHz, 128 MB);
  • ATI RADEON 9600 PRO (400/300 (600) MHz, 128 MB, driver 6.343);
  • MSI FX5600 128-VTD (GeForce FX 5600, 325/275 (550) MHz, 128 MB).

As you know, cards from this company come with Leadtek's own software which also includes additional driver settings (in a more convenient form), and the WinFox utility which provides certain information and serves as an overclocker. When we reviewed other 5200 Ultra based cards, including one from Leadtek, we carefully described it.

Test results

Before we start examining 2D quality, I should say there are no complete techniques for objective 2D quality estimation because:

  1. 2D quality much depends on certain samples for almost all modern 3D accelerators;
  2. Besides videocards, 2D quality depends on monitors and cables;
  3. Moreover, certain monitors might not work properly with certain video cards.

With the ViewSonic P817 monitor and BNC Bargo cable the card showed excellent quality at the following resolutions and clock speeds:

Leadtek WinFast A310 Ultra MyVIVO 1600x1200x85Hz, 1280x1024x120Hz, 1024x768x160Hz (nothing wrong with the quality!)


Test results: comparison of the cards' performance

Conventional signs: ANISO 8xP - Anisotropic 8x Performance (earlier it was called Balanced), ANISO 8xQ - Anisotropic 8x Quality, ANISO 16xQ - Anisotropic 16x Quality.

Test applications:

  • Return to Castle Wolfenstein (MultiPlayer) (id Software/Activision) - OpenGL, multitexturing, Checkpoint-demo, test settings - maximum, S3TC OFF, the configurations can be downloaded from here

  • Serious Sam: The Second Encounter v.1.05 (Croteam/GodGames) - OpenGL, multitexturing, Grand Cathedral demo, test settings: quality, S3TC OFF

  • Quake3 Arena v.1.17 (id Software/Activision) - OpenGL, multitexturing, Quaver, test settings - maximum: detailing level - High, texture detailing level - #4, S3TC OFF, smoothness of curves is much increased through variables r_subdivisions "1" and r_lodCurveError "30000" (at default r_lodCurveError is 250 !), the configurations can be downloaded from here

  • Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo (Digital Extreme/Epic Games) - Direct3D, Vertex Shaders, Hardware T&L, Dot3, cube texturing, default quality

  • Code Creatures Benchmark Pro (CodeCult) - the game that demonstrates card's operation in DirectX 8.1, Shaders, HW T&L.

  • AquaMark (Massive Development) the game that demonstrates card's operation in DirectX 8.1, Shaders, HW T&L.

  • RightMark 3D v.0.4 (one of game scenes) - DirectX 8.1, Dot3, cube texturing, shadow buffers, vertex and pixel shaders (1.1, 1.4).

Quake3 Arena, Quaver












The card tested Compared to: Performance difference, %
1024x768 1280x1024 1600x1200
Leadtek FX5600 U R9600 PRO 15,5 14,9 18,4
Leadtek FX5600 U GF FX 5600 15,3 17,7 18,8
Leadtek FX5600 U GF4 Ti 4600 -9,6 -18,8 -19,6
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x R9600 PRO AA 4x 15,3 2,9 -8,0
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF FX 5600 AA 4x 19,8 22,2 25,5
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x 13,3 18,6 18,8
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ R9600 PRO AA 16xQ 6,4 8,1 12,5
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ GF FX 5600 ANIS 8xQ 15,7 16,5 17,7
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ GF4 Ti 4600 ANIS 8x -7,9 -3,4 1,2
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP R9600 PRO ANIS 16xQ 52,1 48,6 47,3
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP GF FX 5600 ANIS 8xP 15,8 16,8 17,7
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP GF4 Ti 4600 ANIS 8x 31,6 32,9 32,5
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xQ R9600 PRO AA 4x+ANIS 16xQ 8,9 1,9 -6,5
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xQ GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x+ANIS 8x 3,9 11,5 12,0
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xP R9600 PRO AA 4x+ANIS 16xQ 39,1 30,8 22,8
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xP GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x+ANIS 8x 32,7 43,1 47,1

Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, Grand Cathedral












The card tested Compared to: Performance difference, %
1024x768 1280x1024 1600x1200
Leadtek FX5600 U R9600 PRO -18,5 -24,6 -13,2
Leadtek FX5600 U GF FX 5600 10,5 12,3 14,5
Leadtek FX5600 U GF4 Ti 4600 -7,7 -13,8 -16,5
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x R9600 PRO AA 4x -22,0 -22,8 -15,0
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF FX 5600 AA 4x 16,4 21,8 26,2
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x 33,3 34,6 20,9
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ R9600 PRO AA 16xQ 10,2 19,2 31,6
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ GF FX 5600 ANIS 8xQ 10,2 11,9 13,5
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ GF4 Ti 4600 ANIS 8x 21,0 26,7 31,1
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP R9600 PRO ANIS 16xQ 22,6 31,6 48,0
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP GF FX 5600 ANIS 8xP 8,4 9,1 12,1
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP GF4 Ti 4600 ANIS 8x 34,6 39,9 47,4
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xQ R9600 PRO AA 4x+ANIS 16xQ 11,2 12,8 19,3
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xQ GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x+ANIS 8x 36,9 42,1 62,1
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xP R9600 PRO AA 4x+ANIS 16xQ 22,6 30,6 54,8
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xP GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x+ANIS 8x 50,9 64,6 110,3

Return to Castle Wolfenstein (Multiplayer), Checkpoint












The card tested Compared to: Performance difference, %
1024x768 1280x1024 1600x1200
Leadtek FX5600 U R9600 PRO 4,0 8,9 24,3
Leadtek FX5600 U GF FX 5600 4,8 14,9 21,1
Leadtek FX5600 U GF4 Ti 4600 -5,5 -9,3 -12,3
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x R9600 PRO AA 4x 9,4 3,0 -2,6
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF FX 5600 AA 4x 18,9 25,2 30,9
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x 21,1 29,2 30,2
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ R9600 PRO AA 16xQ 14,6 15,2 22,6
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ GF FX 5600 ANIS 8xQ 13,0 17,2 20,3
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ GF4 Ti 4600 ANIS 8x 8,1 12,4 17,4
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP R9600 PRO ANIS 16xQ 41,2 57,6 65,2
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP GF FX 5600 ANIS 8xP 5,1 14,7 20,0
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP GF4 Ti 4600 ANIS 8x 33,2 53,8 58,2
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xQ R9600 PRO AA 4x+ANIS 16xQ 18,1 10,1 2,2
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xQ GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x+ANIS 8x 20,3 29,3 23,0
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xP R9600 PRO AA 4x+ANIS 16xQ 50,1 28,9 22,8
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xP GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x+ANIS 8x 52,9 51,4 47,9

Code Creatures






The card tested Compared to: Performance difference, %
1024x768 1280x1024 1600x1200
Leadtek FX5600 U R9600 PRO -5,8 -9,7 -12,4
Leadtek FX5600 U GF FX 5600 19,6 16,7 27,0
Leadtek FX5600 U GF4 Ti 4600 -24,7 -29,4 -33,9
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x R9600 PRO AA 4x 17,3 6,3 16,4
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF FX 5600 AA 4x 19,7 25,5 37,1
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x -1,1 12,4 14,9

Unreal Tournament 2003 DEMO












The card tested Compared to: Performance difference, %
1024x768 1280x1024 1600x1200
Leadtek FX5600 U R9600 PRO 2,3 4,0 12,9
Leadtek FX5600 U GF FX 5600 12,8 14,1 14,8
Leadtek FX5600 U GF4 Ti 4600 -14,4 -13,2 -12,5
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x R9600 PRO AA 4x 4,7 -7,8 8,4
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF FX 5600 AA 4x 17,6 21,9 10,0
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x 38,9 44,4 5,5
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ R9600 PRO AA 16xQ 10,0 9,4 14,8
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ GF FX 5600 ANIS 8xQ 11,5 12,3 13,3
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ GF4 Ti 4600 ANIS 8x 76,6 82,5 87,3
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP R9600 PRO ANIS 16xQ 21,0 18,8 23,1
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP GF FX 5600 ANIS 8xP 11,6 12,2 13,1
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP GF4 Ti 4600 ANIS 8x 94,3 98,2 100,9
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xQ R9600 PRO AA 4x+ANIS 16xQ 11,5 -0,3 34,7
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xQ GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x+ANIS 8x 75,7 75,8 80,3
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xP R9600 PRO AA 4x+ANIS 16xQ 20,3 5,9 178,4
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xP GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x+ANIS 8x 89,8 86,5 272,5

AquaMark












The card tested Compared to: Performance difference, %
1024x768 1280x1024 1600x1200
Leadtek FX5600 U R9600 PRO 1,7 4,9 19,2
Leadtek FX5600 U GF FX 5600 9,4 11,7 26,7
Leadtek FX5600 U GF4 Ti 4600 -20,4 -25,1 -17,8
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x R9600 PRO AA 4x -9,6 -10,8 -14,8
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF FX 5600 AA 4x 11,3 18,0 26,9
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x 20,7 24,5 0,8
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ R9600 PRO AA 16xQ 10,1 15,8 26,2
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ GF FX 5600 ANIS 8xQ 9,3 11,5 19,1
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ GF4 Ti 4600 ANIS 8x 122,5 140,0 220,8
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP R9600 PRO ANIS 16xQ 29,0 42,1 52,5
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP GF FX 5600 ANIS 8xP 9,0 15,0 17,2
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP GF4 Ti 4600 ANIS 8x 160,5 194,4 287,5
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xQ R9600 PRO AA 4x+ANIS 16xQ 2,7 17,2 5,2
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xQ GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x+ANIS 8x 111,6 137,0 148,8
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xP R9600 PRO AA 4x+ANIS 16xQ 8,0 24,2 23,7
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xP GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x+ANIS 8x 122,6 151,1 192,7

RightMark 3D












The card tested Compared to: Performance difference, %
1024x768 1280x1024 1600x1200
Leadtek FX5600 U R9600 PRO -43,9 -41,8 -38,2
Leadtek FX5600 U GF FX 5600 9,8 9,5 9,9
Leadtek FX5600 U GF4 Ti 4600 -39,4 -39,7 -39,8
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x R9600 PRO AA 4x -38,5 -37,5 -19,7
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF FX 5600 AA 4x 11,5 12,4 14,8
Leadtek FX5600 U AA 4x GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x -28,1 -22,8 -13,8
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ R9600 PRO AA 16xQ -42,7 -40,2 -37,4
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ GF FX 5600 ANIS 8xQ 10,3 11,4 11,8
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xQ GF4 Ti 4600 ANIS 8x -39,1 -36,5 -35,1
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP R9600 PRO ANIS 16xQ -33,3 -29,9 -29,2
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP GF FX 5600 ANIS 8xP 10,6 13,0 9,6
Leadtek FX5600 U ANIS 8xP GF4 Ti 4600 ANIS 8x -29,2 -25,6 -26,6
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xQ R9600 PRO AA 4x+ANIS 16xQ -27,7 -28,0 -14,6
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xQ GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x+ANIS 8x -21,1 -14,1 -9,4
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xP R9600 PRO AA 4x+ANIS 16xQ -26,6 -23,7 -0,6
Leadtek FX5600 U AA4x+ANIS8xP GF4 Ti 4600 AA 4x+ANIS 8x -20,0 -9,1 5,4

Well, the scores are lower as compared to the 400MHz card, but still, it performs quite well with the anisotropy and AA enabled. The tests with shaders used in quantity failed but by arrival of such games the 5600 Ultra cards must become cheap enough because by that time the NV4x family will replace the current middle-end class.

Remember once again that modern accelerators should be used with the quality improving modes of AA and anisotropy. In this respect the 5600 Ultra justifies the money users pay (over $200 for the middle of June). If you have a GeForce4 Ti and you are interested in AA and/or anisotropy it doesn't make sense to consider cards weaker than GeForce FX 5800 (or RADEON 9700 PRO).

As to the VIVO, its operation was partially discussed in the reviews listed above. Also, it will be highlighted in Aleksei Samsonov's review of the Philips 7114.

Conclusion

The Leadtek WinFast A310 Ultra MyVIVO can give you:

  1. a higher speed in AA and/or anisotropy than its competitors (RADEON 9600 Pro or GF4Ti 4600);
  2. potentially more technological solution with the DX9 support (such games are right around the corner already);
  3. VIVO support;
  4. pleasure from the high-quality product equipped with a rich retail package.

In our 3Digest you can find full comparison characteristics for video cards of this and other classes.

Again, remember that there are two types of the GeForce FX 5600 Ultra cards on the market - with the frequency of 350MHz and 400 MHz. Be careful!



Andrey Vorobiev (anvakams@ixbt.com)


Write a comment below. No registration needed!


Article navigation:



blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook


Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.