Sep 17, 2003
is a good idea buy a MSI FX5900 card now? i can't wait to
release of the next drivers to be sure about the performance
of the card.
Thanks in advance


Sep 7, 2003
It's not a good idea to buy an FX5900. Period. Don't buy any nVidia card beyond the Ti4200.
The evidence is overwhelming that the NV30 family GPUs will be mediocre players in the DX9 arena. They're extremely overpriced, and the FX5900 Ultra's price point is even worse, practically a joke. The performance in Half-Life 2 is miserable, and the Aquamark 3 benchmarks ain't so hot either. Someone recently said something along the lines of "I don't see how someone can objectively look at the shader performance and say that the 5900U is worth the money... even if it cost as much (as little) as the 9800 Pro, it would still be overpriced". That sums it up pretty well. John Carmack, in response to the topic of the HL2 benchmarks unveiled by Valve, added further fuel to the fire:

"Unfortunately, it will probably be representative of most DX9 games. Doom has a custom back end that uses the lower precisions on the GF-FX, but when you run it with standard fragment programs just like ATI, it is a lot slower. The precision doesn't really matter to Doom, but that won't be a reasonable option in future games designed around DX9 level hardware as a minimum spec."

Don't forget that Carmack has had plenty of time to tweak the FX drivers in Doom 3, and it should run fine on the FX cards, but as time goes on, as he is implying, most developers won't have the precious time and resources to sit around and try to get things to even run at acceptable speeds. I think that nVidia will learn from all of the mistakes in the NV30 design, and hopefully the NV40 will be a serious player, but for the consumer who is looking at the current crop of high-end graphics cards, the only choice is the 9700 Pro, 9800 Pro, or 9800 non-pro (NOT THE 9800 SE though!!!). The price-to-performance ratio, especially in the non-pro, is huge, DX9 performance is rock-solid, and the Catalyst drivers keep getting better.