Gigabyte GV-NX57128D PCI-E Videocard Review
PCI-Express x16 video cards are upon us now, and AGP 8X is
on the way out, but that doesn't necessarily mean the old
video card architectures are being retired. After all, modern video cards haven't yet even been able to
use the available bandwidth of the AGP 8X interface (2.1 GB/s), so moving graphic cards to the PCI-E interface
which supports 8 GB/s bandwidth, isn't exactly
said, as an interm solution both ATi and nVIDIA have ported their AGP based GPUs
to the PCI Express platform. The companies have done this in essentially the
same way; ATi integrate an HSI (High Speed Interconnect) directly onto the core
of their GPU, while nVIDIA has taken the easy route and applied a stand alone
HSI bridge to do the job. The HSI bridge essentially translates AGP-to-PCI
Express, with no performance gain.
In the case
of the Gigabyte
GV-NX57128D video card, the bridging is tasked to an external HSI chip which is
located just below the GPU itself. A small heatsink is used to keep the HSI chip
cool, and apart from that, there isn't much different architecturally from its
older AGP brothers.
Gigabyte GV-NX57128D video card is a PCI Express x16 solution that is based on
the GeForcePCX 5750 GPU. The blue-PCB card is backed up by 128MB of TSOP-II
3.6ns Samsung DRAM, and it supports S-Video out, DVI and analog connections. The
card doesn't require any extra power connectors incidently.
customary Gigabyte fashion, the GV-NX57128D vide ocard comes bundled with an
S-Video-to-Composite converter, good for those of you who plan to hook up your
PC to the computer. Also included is a DVI-to-analog converter for those of you
who want to use dual monitors. As for software, it only comes with PowerDVD 5,
Spell Force and Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield.
the GPU it is built around, the GV-NX57128D is really best suited towards the
average user. However, the manufacturer has still included a fairly decent
software bundle; Raven Shield and Spell Force (while not new) should keep
someone happy for a weekend or two.
the blue PCB and custom cooling solution, the Gigabyte GV-NX57128D is pretty
much identical to any other GeForcePCX 5750 based solution.
Acoustically, the cooling solution it uses is pretty quiet,
and as the TSOP-II memory just runs warm, nothing special is required there. In
fact, according to a Fluke 61 infrared thermometer, memory temperatures were on
the order of 40 degrees Celsius.
|The AGP video card in the background is not backwards
compatible with the PCI-Express video card in the foreground. The
connectors are different lengths, and have different pin-counts. The
physically different connector interface precludes any possible insertion
mix-ups. Also note the HSI bridge chip on the PCI-Express