Prolink FX 5600 Ultimate Golden Limited Videocard Review
Based on DirectX 7 Hardware, the GeForce4 MX was
closer to a GeForce2 class card then the DirectX 8 GeForce4 Ti's
were. nVIDIA, being the smart company that they are, noticed this and you can bet
that there's no way they'll make the same mistake twice. Enter the GeForceFX
family of cards.
It's nice and refreshing to see that all GeForceFX's are DirectX 9 compatible, not
just the top of the line FX 5800/5900 class
That feature is probably the main reason why
so many retailers tell me even the budget FX 5200's are selling well. Today
we're going to be checking out not a budget FX 5200, rather Prolink's mainstream
GeForceFX 5600 Ultimate Golden Limited 256MB videocard.
fooled by the internal NV31 core
code name, the GeForceFX 5600 GPU is slower then that of the NV30 (FX
5800), but faster than the NV34 (FX 5200).
The Prolink GeForceFX 5600 Ultimate Golden Limited
is probably the fastest stock clocked GeForceFX 5600 on the market right now,
and comes equipped with a massive heatsink for looks. The speed comes thanks
mainly to the faster TSOP-II Samsung 3.3ns DDR RAM which the card uses.
5600 Ultimate Golden Limited|
can see the Prolink GeForceFX 5600 is a small videocard, and it is covered
by that massive heatsink. On the front, the GPU and four surrounding TSOP-II DRAM
modules share one large heatsink. There are smaller heatsinks on the rear four DRAM.
Of course there's more to the Prolink GeForceFX 5600 then big heatsinks (which make mediocre
contact with all DRAM points in question) and faster memory.
supports dual monitors and comes packaged with a DVI to
analog converter. For those of you who dabble in multimedia, the Prolink GeForceFX 5600 Ultimate
also includes a Philips 7114H VIVO chipset. To take advantage of
that, Prolink have been good enough to includ the necessary breakout box
which has S-Video in, S-Video Out, Composite In and Composite Out.
The software bundle that comes with the Prolink
GeForceFX 5600 is also pretty impressive with PowerDirector, WinDVD, Le Mans 24
Hours, Codename: Outbreak, Ballistics, two demo CD's and of course the driver
CD. The accompanying user manual is a bit on the "thin" side but it relays the
message quite clearly.
Even with all the above features the
Prolink GeForceFX 5600 Ultimate Golden Limited 256MB videocard retails for just $250
CDN ($185 US), placing it in the middle of the GeForceFX 5600 pack, and making it an awesome value
One Small Quirk...
a side note, we had a hard time getting the Prolink GeForceFX 5600 to work
well with our Granite Bay/P4 2.8 GHz processor test system. The driver would
install but we'd always get a "not enough resources" error in device manager. At
first we thought that the card was defective, but we saw the exact
same error with two other GeForceFX 5600's from different manufacturers.
After some frustrating troubleshooting, we
found that if DMA transfer mode on the HDD's was disabled the
videocards would work flawlessly. With it enabled and the videocard simply
refused to work properly.