Page 1- A Gigi Introduction
I've said it before and will say it again, what a huge growth and impact Albatron has build up in the past two years. Can you imagine that this company is only around such a short time-period ? I feel like they have been among us for years. It makes sense though, a lot of design techniques integrated into their products actually originated from Gigabyte. The CEO retired from Gigabyte and then a year or so later started up Albatron. With strategic partners like nVIDIA, Intel and VIA combined with an excellent R&D department, good customer service and a marketing crew that rocks they are slowly getting among names like ASUS and Gigabyte.
As stated above, one of the strategic partners for Albatron is NVIDIA. With the GeForce FX release Albatron decided to bring out that entire range of graphics cards. If we look really quickly at the 'main' line-up of the product range we'll see this:
- GeForce FX 5200 - Low budget cards, Directx9 available for 75-90 USD
- GeForce FX 5600 - Mid-range cards for decent performance DirectX9 games in the 200 USD range
- GeForce FX 5900 - High-end graphics cards, expensive, DirectX 9 compatible for the enthusiast gamer. Prices ranging from 450 to 650 USD.
Within this line-up there even are more sub-models namely pro and Ultra versions. In this review we'll take a look at two of their products in the GiGI graphics cards series, the low budget GeForce FX 5200 and mid-range GeForce FX 5600 Turbo.
To clear up things, in the Albatron 5200 series you can choose from no less than 3 models. We picked the cheapest one. In the mid-range 5600 series from Albatron you can choose from six models. In this case we picked the more expensive one, the 5600 Turbo.
Both cards are equipped with 128 MB memory, of course with difference specifications.
The Geforce FX 5200 (model FX5200 EP) we test is passively cooled, this means no active fan on it. The main reason why this product is "slow" originates throgh the fact that it has a cut-down 4 pixel rendering pipeline and a severely 'castrated' 64-Bit memory bus. The core of this graphics card runs at 250 MHz. As will see this card has budget written all over it. I'm surprised it even has 128 Mb DDR memory. No active fan, only a graphics processor heatsink and no ramsinks. Hey you want cheap .. you'll get it ;) If you have a bit more money to spare then you might want to check out the Ultra model though. These puppies will sell great in the OEM market and "in-the-box" PC's. Why ? Cause the box will say "GeForce FX, 128 MB, DDR" that stuff sells, fair and square.
The GeForce FX 5600 (model: FX 5600P Turbo) is as stated a bit more expensive, it's equipped with Albatron's active cooling solution, faster memory and a core at 325 MHz. Basically this is a GeForce FX 5900 with two essential changes, firstly 128-bit memory and secondly a cut-down 4 pixel pipelines (8 pipes on the 5900).
So you see, the feature wise all GeForce FX models are the same, it's in the specifications and performance only. Produced around a GPU that is profiled as Cinematic GPU as it is capable of bringing cinematic visual effects on your PC with the combination of some brutal power and an excellent feature set. The CineFX GPU is of course a capable of utilizing DirectX9 Pixel Shaders 2.0+, Vertex Shader 2.0+ and OpenGL.
I bet you are all getting a little curious, in the next few pages we'll walk you through the cards with some high resolution photo's. Then we'll do a series of benchmarks and an overclocking session after which we'll round things up in a nice conclusion. Have fun ;)