Apogee AA5700U Videocard Review
utterly frank for a moment, the AGP slot's days are numbered. That being the
case, there are still many millions of AGP motherboards in the world, while
virtually no computers in the hands of consumers use PCI express yet. It may be
some time before the balance swings in favour of PCI Express, so videocard
manufacturers are continuing to produce their products for consumers looking to upgrade older
machines. After all, it is all about playing the games we like at
the best possible visual quality isn't it?
Mainstream graphics cards are often talked
about in publications, and while the industry slang is an accurate
depiction of the FX57000 videocard, I'm sure most consumers are really only
interested in improving the FPS and appearance of
their game, for the most economical outlay of cash. In that respect, the nVIDIA
GeForceFX 5700 and GeForceFX 5900XT class videocards bode well.
Chaintech, while better known for their motherboards, have been
selling nVIDIA videocards for quite some time now, and now have found GPUs worthy
of the high-end Apogee brandname. When you first look at the Chaintech Apogee AA5700U, you
get a feeling that the card really is something special; the AA5700U is definitely one of
the best looking videocards on the market.
Chaintech bundle plenty of goodies with
the AA5700U videocard, including a full version of Commandos 3, a five game demo CD, WinDVD, WinCreator, WinRip and WinProducer
software. Because the supports TV-Output as well, Chaintech include a S-Video-to-S-Video cable
as well as a S-Video-to-Composite converter. Lastly we cannot forget the little green
DVI to analog converter.
Other than a
different coloured PCB and
a custom cooling solution, it should be clear that Chaintech have based the Apogee AA5700U
on the nVIDIA reference GeForceFX 5700 Ultra reference design. Instead of
using one large noisy fan however, Chaintech equip the Apogee AA5700U with two
smaller 40mm blue LED fans which are much
quieter. Those of you who are sensitive to noise will be happy to know that the
AA5700U is near silent during operation, even in 3D mode!
say that the copper GPU HSF will keep the core up to eleven degrees cooler than a card equipped with the
reference HSF (when the card is running at full
load). That's quite a claim, and from our tests the AA5700U did seem to run
a bit cooler, not eleven degrees... but four to five degrees Celsius cooler when
the card is under full load. The rear of the AA5700U
videocard is covered by a large passive heat spreader designed to cool the memory.