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Albatron GeForce FX 5200 Ultra

Manufacturer: Albatron
Supplied By: Albatron
Street Price: ~$130

by Brian Tiller (6/27/2003)


If we could all afford $400 bucks for a kick a** graphics card, that would be great but we all can't. The MX400 was NVidia's low cost solution for the GeForce 4 lineup but as we all remember, the MX400 left a bit to be desired. Here at the Overclocker Cafe', we try to take a look at not just the latest and greatest, but also put a spotlight on the budget models to see what you get when us average shmoes shell out what we can afford for a good card. The FX 5200 series of cards is touted as being a good budget DX9 compliant card and today, the good folks over at Albatron are giving us the chance to check out a GeForce FX 5200Ultra.

What you get

If we were to judge the card alone on it's packaging, I'd be saying A+ right now. Personally I thought this was one sharp looking box. Not to mention the hot looking elf-babe on the cover. NVidia's FX mascot, Dawn, has become something of a mainstay on the net lately, especially with everyone trying to find and run the nude version of her. And lately NVidia has expanded to include Dawn's twin, Dusk into the mix. But here we see that Alabatron calls theirs "GiGi"....ooh-la-la! Ok, enough of my rambling, what's in the box?? As you can see this is a pretty basic no frills mix with the VGA card, the requisite manual and driver CD TV-Out cables, also one of little case badge thingies if you really feel like using it. Also included is a copy of WinDVD Creator from InterVideo.



Someone out there keeps yelling for the white paper stuff, so here it is. But as a quick aside, Albatron produces three different FX5200 model VGA cards. The 5200EP, 5200P and the 5200 Ultra. The Ultra version, which we're lucky enough to have here, is the highest end of this series. Ok, on to the specs.

  • NVidia NV 34 GPU with a clock speed of 350MHz

  • GPU manufactured using the .15 micron

  • 128 MB DDR Memory clocked at 650MHz

  • 128 bit Bus Speed

  • AGP 4x/8x

  • Max Screen resolution of 2048x1536

  • nView Multi-display technology

  • 64 phase video scaler

  • DirectX 9 and OpenGL 1.4 support

  • Integrated TV encoder

  • Integrated MPEG-2 decoder

  • RAMDAC at 350MHz

Ok, you've seen the white paper stuff, is everybody happy now? No? Ok, then lets chat a bit about the GPU itself to give you a little background into engine before moving onto the card itself. As stated above the GPU is made using the .15 micron process instead of the faster .13 micron process of the NV30, 31, and 35 chips. The reasoning behind this is that the FX5200 series cards are designed for the mainstream, value market and as such by using the older .15 micron process, they can keep the cost down. However, this cost consciousness does come with a reduction in performance. One of the most notable performance issues is that while the FX 5900 Ultra has a bandwidth of 27GB/sec, the 5200Ultra is slated to only about 10.4GB/sec. Also lacking is the support for Z-compression which comes into play with anti-aliasing.

Ok, it's time to take a look at the card itself, so go grab a beer and turn the page.





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