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6 mixed video cards - Conclusion

It's time for a summary of the latest twelve pages now, and we begin with the retail cards.

Gainward FX PowerPack! 960

+ The fastest 5700 Ultra on the market
+ Relatively quite
+ Dual DVI

- Principally non-existent overclocking
- Relatively expensive

Albatron GeForce FX 5600 Ultra
+ Very good overclocking potential
+ Genuine software package

- Not worth its price

Albatron GeForce FX 5900 PV

+ Good over clocking potential
+ Relatively quite
+ Video In
+ Genuine software package

No obvious disadvantages

Albatron GeForce FX 5900 Turbo

+ Relatively quite
+ Video In
+ Genuine software package

- Pretty expensive

Gainward has a pretty decent card based on the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra. With impressive clock frequencies it must be the fastest mass produced 5700 Ultra-card. As we see, it is fighting against Radeon 9600 XT and wins a few times, prominent too. However, on the whole the cards are pretty similar and then we come to the details. The crucial factors are thus the price level and the accessory package. From this point of view the Radeon 9600 XT is a lot more attractive since it'll cost only around 140 Euro (excluding VAT) (more than 40 Euro cheaper than Gainward's card) and then you also get Half Life 2 bundled. The Gainward card only included DVD-software.

The FX 5600 Ultra-based card from Gainward doesn't impress at all. The price is too high compared to the a lot better performing Radeon 9600 XT and besides Albatron's own 5700 Ultra will come in the nearest future and it will be launched in the same price level. Shortly said we are a bit late out with our review because as for today it feels like this card is everything else then interesting.

Albatron also assisted with two GeForce FX 5900's. Despite the two models' similarities we give them very different markings. 5900 PV is a pleasant investment since the card got Video In, decent software and it also overclocks quite good. The card certainly get a keen competition against the Radeon 9800 Pro which is in the same price level but with keeping the software package and its Video In in mind, Albatron 5900 PV still feels like a relatively attractive alternative.
5900 Turbo has a harder situation since it is a lot more expensive than the 5900 PV. The card doesn't overclock as good either which in the end makes us happier to recommend a Radeon 9800 Pro 256 MB or a "real" GeForce FX 5900 Ultra for example.

Well, that was the retail cards; last but not least we take a look on the two Radeon 9600-based cards from ATi.

Radeon 9600 XT impress principally of three reasons: 1. Hardly beaten price/performance-ratio, 2. Extremely good overclocking potential and finally, 3. Half Life 2 is included. Right now there are also wild rumours going around that FX 5700 Ultra surprised ATi and that ATi are thinking of heating their 9600 XT up before it reaches the retailers with higher clock frequencies. Even if we disregards that, the Radeon 9600 XT is still a worthy follow-up to earlier price worthy cards like the GeForce4 Ti4200 and the Radeon 9500 Pro. If there is something to whine about, it is the memory frequencies that we don't like that they haven't raised.

All In Wonder Radeon 9600 Pro is also a pleasant card with performance between the Radeon 9600 Pro and the Radeon 9600 XT with a bit dragging to the first mentioned. The upgraded functionality with support for dual monitors, radio tuner and CD/DVD-burning are awesome improvements over what already was a market leading multimedia solution. The price would have to sink a bit before it becomes an obvious buy, but it sure looks promising.

GeForce FX 5700 Ultra and the Radeon 9600 XT are this review's newcomers and both of them impress. In the tests we've done we haven't noticed that the 5700 Ultra would be a "9600 XT-killer" but rather that those two cards are quite similar, however, over all the 9600 XT has a slight bit of advantage. Principally the two cards are equally valuable which really makes it interesting since we know, for example, that Albatron will launch a 5700 Ultra in the same price level as the Radeon 9600 XT.
My personal thought about this is that this is the first time we've seen that nVidia for real can challenge ATi in the same price level for over a year now, a really positive phenomena.

However, this is not the end of this year's cards from ATi and nVidia. nVidia has at least two, maybe three, cards to launch before the end of this year. One of those are the GeForce FX 5900 XT, of the other two we have confidential information about one of them but about the other one we haven't heard anything apart from that it probably is a low end card. Furthermore nVidia also newly launched the low budget card GeForce FX 5600 XT which we hopefully will have a closer look at soon.
If ATi has time to launch the card we are thinking about before the Christmas trade is still very unsure, but that they have at least one more card based on their Radeon 9x00-series remains clear to us.

Thanks to Gainward, Network Komponent and ATi that made this review possible!

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