The GeForce FX is the newest graphics card in the GeForce line, from the manufacturer nVidia. The fastest model appears comparable to competitor ATI's Radeon 9800 Pro, which appeared a few months later.
It features DDR-II, a 0.13 micron fabrication process, and a wide swath of additional features, including the most robust vertex shading and pixel shading engines available. It is fully DirectX 9 compliant. Limited samples of the GeForce FX were sent to the press on November 18, 2002, and mass production was expected to begin in December 2002, with cards finally reaching the market by February, 2003.
These plans, however, did not come to fruition. The initial version of the Geforce FX, the 5800, was so large that it required two slots to accommodate it, required a massive heat sink and cooling fan arrangement, produced a great deal of noise from its fans, and did not rate well in competitive performance testing. After a late and low-key introduction, Nvidia withdrew it from the market pending design revisions.
The second iteration of the GeForce FX range, however, did much to redress the balance. Although Nvidia had ceded market leadership to ATI in the first half of 2003, advance press reviews of the mid-range GeForce FX 5600 (a GeForce 4MX replacement) and the high-end FX 5900 have been positive, and the new Nvidia cards are garnering a reasonable degree of buyer interest.
Today (December 2003) GeForce FX 5600 has been replaced by GeForce FX 5700 which is a cut-down version of GeForce FX 5900. There is also a chip which is faster than GeForce FX 5900 and its name is GeForce FX 5950 Ultra (there is no non-ultra version for this however). The cost of a GeForce FX 5950 Ultra based graphics card may extend $500 (December 2003).
|GeForce FX 5200
||0322 (non ultra)/ 0321 (Ultra edition)
||Replacement for GeForce4 MX. Slower than
the GeForce4 Ti 4200 at everything excluding DirectX 9 operations. Based
on GeForceFX 5600. 128-bit memory bus by default. Quadro FX 500 is based
on the GeForceFX 5200. Lacked IntelliSample technology
|GeForce FX 5600
||0311 (Ultra) / 0322 (non-Ultra)
||Midrange chip. Still slower than it's predecessor,
the GeForce4 Ti 4200 in some operations. No Quadro equivalent
|GeForce FX 5800
||0300 (Engineering samples), 0301 (Ultra),
|Production was troubled by migration to
0.13 micron processes at TSMC. Produced a lot of heat while running. Cooler
was nicknamed the 'Dustbuster' or 'Vacuum Cleaner' by some sites. It's Quadro
sibling, Quadro FX 2000 was somewhat more successful.
||0330 (Ultra), 0311 (non-Ultra)
||Swapped hardwired DirectX 7 T&L Units
+ DirectX 8 integer units for DirectX 9 Floating point units. Introduced
a new feature called 'UltraShadow', upgraded to CineFX 2.0 Specification.
Removed the noisy cooler, but still stole the PCI slot adjacent to the card
by default. Quadro equivalent was QuadroFX 3000
||Essentially a speed bumped GeForceFX 5900.
Several antialiasing and shader unit tweaks in hardware. Several users have
been able to 'soft-mod' their GeForce FX 5900 to a 5950.
|GeForceFX 5700 Ultra
||Essentially a modified NV38 chip. It has
had more success than it's parent, the GeForceFX 5950 at fighting ATI, beating
the Radeon 9600 in a lot of tests. Also used DDR-2 RAM
|GeForceFX 5900 XT
||A slower GeForceFX 5900, and priced just
above the GeForceFX 5700 Ultra