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ASUS V9570 TD 256MB &
ASUS V9560XT/TD 128MB (64bit) Video Cards 
on NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700/5600XT

February 11, 2004








CONTENTS

  1. Video cards features
  2. Testbed, test tools, 2D quality
  3. Test results: Performance Comparison
  4. Conclusion

Today we will examine some more video cards and speak about PCB color. This subject is not that global or pressing but, still, it's very interesting.

But first of all have a look at the reviews covering NV3x aspects.

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

The year 2004 has kicked off. What's new in the video card sector? In the Low-End sector we have a big mishmash: there are old solutions, products released at the beginning of 2003 and cards that appeared in autumn.. NVIDIA: GeForce FX 5200 64bit, GeForce FX 5200 128bit, GeForceFX 5600XT 64bit, GeForce MX 4000, GeForce4 MX440, GeForce4 MX440-8x...

ATI: RADEON 9000, RADEON 9000 PRO, RADEON 9200, RADEON 9200SE, RADEON 9100, RADEON 9600SE...

Poor user.. it's not easy to find out what's better and what's worse. The branches in the forum concerning sub$100 cards are mushrooming. Today we will study one of such cards. The other belongs to the Middle-End market. This segment is quieter, though the situation is not that transparent either. Modern GeForce FX 5600/5700 do not offer much more features compared to the GeForce4 Ti 4200/4200-8x, especially accelerated models, though they are much more expensive. DirectX 9.0 is not realized in most products yet, and the 2002' products look much better in older games. The only features that helps FX is a more efficient optimized anisotropic filtering which almost hangs the older products.

Only the proper price policy allows making latest GeForces more popular. Besides, ATI competes very toughly. As to ASUSTeK, this company is very popular on our local market. In spite of sometimes imperfect quality and other weak points this brand remains matchless (frankly speaking, I'm surprised that other trade marks drag so far behind it). There is only Sapphire that tries to catch up with ASUS.

So, PCB color. You might remember that earlier the card makers produced cards of only two colors: yellow (light and dark) and green (light and dark). Gainward was first to change the board color and painted them red. It got a lot of followers, we tried to arrange color solutions but soon we gave up that idea as PCB colors were unpredictable. ASUS tried black, dark brown, lilac and green (it hadn't produced such cards before) colors, and currently it has blue cards. This color is one of the most popular today. Thanks to ATI, red boards are the most widespread today.

Today ASUS offers three colors: orange, blue and green. The first one is offered for all ATI based cards, and the others are for NVIDIA based ones. The blue color is used for Middle-End and High-End solutions while Low-End cards are green. In my opinion, Gigabyte who gave birth to sky-blue boards strictly keeps to its rules (except ATI based cards produced for a couple of years); and it wasn't worth for ASUS to make blue cards. There is a lot of other paints. But it's only my opinion.

So, today we have two ASUSTeK cards to test. 

Cards

 

ASUS V9570 TD 256MB


ASUS V9560XT/TD 128MB (64bit)


 
ASUS V9560XT/TD 128MB (64bit)
AGP x8/x4/x2, 128 MB DDR SDRAM  in 4 chips on both PCB sides.

Samsung 5ns memory chips (corresponds to 200 (400) MHz), memory clocked at 200 (400) MHz, GPU at 235 MHz. 64 bit memory bus (!)




ASUS V9570 TD 256MB
AGP x8/x4/x2, 256 MB DDR SDRAM  in 4 chips on both PCB sides.

Samsung 3.6ns memory chips (corresponds to 275 (550) MHz), memory clocked at 250 (500) MHz, GPU at 425 MHz. 128 bit memory bus. 





 
Comparison with the reference design, front view
ASUS V9570 TD 256MB Reference card NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600









ASUS V9560XT/TD 128MB (64bit)







 
Comparison with the reference design, back view
ASUS V9570 TD 256MB Reference card NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600






ASUS V9560XT/TD 128MB (64bit)




 

Both cards have similar designs based on the FX 5600. Only the power supply units and location of d-Sub and DVI connectors relative each other differ. 

The V9560XT has twice fewer memory chips, however ASUS doesn't mention that the memory bus is limited by 64 bits either on the box or in the documentation! THAT IS VERY IRRESPONSIBLE of such a famous company!

The ASUS V9560XT/TD 128MB (64bit) has a standard GPU cooler often installed on such cards. The memory chips are covered with heatsinks installed in two rows under the angle of 90 degrees. Below you can see Leadtek's one.
 

ASUS V9570 TD 256MB
The cooler consists of a copper-colored heatsink made of aluminum alloy and a powerful fan. Such systems are also often installed on video cards. By the way, it looks very attractive.





ASUS V9560XT/TD 128MB
This is a similar device, though it's smaller. The fan has impellers which shine in UV rays.









What do we have under the coolers?
 

ASUS V9570 TD 256MB




ASUS V9560XT/TD 128MB




The chips have proper labels.

Both cards are equipped with external TV codecs; only the TV-out works through the GPU.

Accessory packs:
 

ASUS V9570 TD 256MB 
The accessory pack is abundant! Beside all possible adapters the card ships with a great deal of software!





ASUS V9560XT/TD 128MB (64bit)
This pack has only different games.





And here are the packages:
 

ASUS V9570 TD 256MB 
The box looks traditionally for ASUS. This time they use an image of some fantastic hero (thanks God it's not a devil or a ghost) for the box's front side.


ASUS V9560XT/TD 128MB (64bit)
The package has almost the same dimensions and style, like that of boxes of GeForce4 cards. Only the theme and colors change with time.


 

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 9.0b;
    • ViewSonic P810 (21") and ViewSonic P817 (21") monitors.
    • NVIDIA driver 53.03.

  • Athlon 64 3400+ based PC:
    • AMD Athlon 64 3400+ (2200 MHz = 220 MHz*10);
    • MSI K8T (VIA KT8); 
    • 1024 MB DDR400 SDRAM; 
    • Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 SATA 80GB; 
    • Windows XP SP1; DirectX 9.0b;
    • ViewSonic P810 (21") and ViewSonic P817 (21").
    • NVIDIA driver 53.03.

VSync off, S3TC off in applications. 

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 cards showed excellent quality at the following resolutions and clock speeds: 

ASUS V9570 TD 256MB  1600x1200x85Hz, 1280x1024x100Hz, 1024x768x100Hz
ASUS V9560XT/TD 128MB (64bit) 1600x1200x75Hz, 1280x1024x100Hz, 1024x768x100Hz
 

Test results: performance

Test application:

  • Unreal 2: The Awakening (Infogrames), DirectX 8.1, multitexturing, tested with Bench'emAll! 2.5beta.

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

  •  

    Test settings: pixel shaders 1.1, shadow buffers OFF.
     

  • Half-Life2 (Valve/Sierra) - DirectX 9.0, two different demos (ixbt07 and coast). Tested with anisotropic filtering enabled.

  •    

    Note! Since this is the leaked beta version, the test results can be just of conditional interest.
     

  • Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell v.1.2b (UbiSoft) - Direct3D, Vertex/Pixel Shaders 1.1/2.0, Hardware T&L, Very High quality; demo 1_1_2_Tbilisi. AA doesn't work in this game.

  •  
  • Call of Duty (MultiPlayer) (Infinity Ward/Activision) - OpenGL, multitexturing, ixbt1203demo, test settings - maximum, S3TC ON 

  •  
  • Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness v.49 (Core Design/Eldos Software) - DirectX 9.0, Paris5_4 demo, test settings are shown here

  •  

If you need the demo benchmarks please email me. 
 

Performance

Conclusion

  1. ASUS V9570 TD 256MB is a middle-level card in NVIDIA's row. 256MB memory size is just a marketing trick, but it's not clear why the clock speeds were brought down from 275 to 250 MHz (at 3.6ns!). It worsens the impression. However, the card's success depends a lot on the prices. Quality and stability of the card are excellent.

  2.  
  3. ASUS V9560XT/TD 128MB (64bit) is meant to be an input element into the Low-End market where the FX5600 should be put into. However I don't understand why to make a card which performs similarly to the FX5200 (128bit) but has a higher price. What's wrong with the FX 5200? How is it possible to separate price levels for FX 5200-64bit, FX5200-128bit and FX5600XT-64bit in such a small segment? It's not clear why to make so similar products (regarding speeds and features) changing only the names... Why to confuse users?.. The card itself has perfect quality and stability.

  4.  

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





 

Andrey Vorobiev (anvakams@ixbt.com)

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