The GeForce FX 5200’s main competition in the sub $ 100 market will come from ATI’s Radeon 9100 and 9200 graphics cards, but unfortunately we were not able to get samples in time for review so we’ll be comparing the MSI FX5200 TDR128’sperformance to its GeForce 4 budget and performance mainstream oriented relatives. So how will the MSI FX5200 TDR128 fare? Let’s take a look.

Introduction :

The GeForce FX product line is probably
the most criticized of NVIDIA’s past few graphic
card product families, not criticized only for taking
so long to reach consumers, but also for the infamous
"dustbuster" better known as the GeForce
FX 5800 Ultra. With NVIDIA telling their partners
to concentrate on the mid and and value sectors
while NV35 is being prepared, companies have started
to create their own unique renditions of the first
GeForce FX card to hit the market in full force,
the GeForce FX 5200 based on the NV34 GPU.

MSI, being the "world’s #1 video
card manufacturer" has not abandoned NVIDIA,
or at least not yet, contrary to what was rumored
a few months ago, and has come out with a feature
packed version of the GeForce FX 5200 graphics card,
the MSI FX5200 TDR128. For those unfamiliar with
the GeForce FX 5200, it is the incarnation of
NVIDIA’s
promised "Direct X 9.0 compliant card priced
under $ 100." Therefore, it is definitely a
budget oriented graphics card, that is here to appeal
more towards the mainstream than the enthusiast
market, all the while providing hardware support
for Microsoft’s latest Direct X version, even though
we’ve yet to see games supporting it.

The GeForce FX 5200’s main competition
in the sub $ 100 market will come from ATI’s Radeon
9100 and 9200 graphics cards, but unfortunately
we were not able to get samples in time for review
so we’ll be comparing the MSI FX5200 TDR128’sperformance
to its GeForce 4 budget and performance mainstream
oriented relatives. So how will the MSI FX5200 TDR128
fare? Let’s take a look.

Specifications:


Process Technology
0.15 micron

AGP Interface
AGP 2x/4x/8x

Core Engine


NVIDIA® GeForce4 FX5200

Core Clock
250Mhz

Memory Type/Size
128MB Samsung
4ns BGA DDR
SDRAM

Memory Clock

400Mhz DDR

Memory Bandwidth

6.4GB/s (128-bit)

RAMDAC
400Mhz

Max Resolution


2048 X 1536 @ 85Hz

Output Options

DVI-I Output / TV Output / VGA Output

CineFX Shading
Architecture

• Support for DX
9.0 Pixel/Vertex Shader 2.0+
• Very long pixel programs up to 1024 instructions
• Very long vertex programs with up to 256 static
instructions and up to 65536 instructions executed
before termination
• Looping and subroutines with up to 256 loops per
vertex program
• Subroutines in shader programs
• Dynamic flow control

• Conditional write masking
• Conditional execution
• Procedural shading
• Full instruction set for vertex and pixel
programs
• Z-correct bump-mapping
• Hardware-accelerated shadow effects with shadow
buffers

• Two-sided stencil
• Programmable matrix palette skinning
• Keyframe animation
• Custom lens effects: fish eye, wide angle,
fresnel effects, water refraction

High-Performance, High-Precision, 3D Rendering
Engine

• 8 pixels per
clock rendering engine
• 128-bit, studio-quality floating point precision
through the entire graphics pipeline
• Native support for 128-bit floating point,
64-bit floating point and 32-bit integer rendering
modes
• Up to 16 textures per pass
• Support for sRGB texture format for gamma
textures
• DirectX and S3TC texture compression

High-Performance 2D Rendering Engine

• Optimized for
32-, 24-, 16-, 15- and 8-bpp modes
• True-color, 64×64 hardware cursor with alpha
• Multi-buffering (double, triple or quad) for
smooth animation and video playback
• True-color, 64×64 hardware cursor with alpha

 

Package Contents:

  • Instruction Manual
  • MSI Media Center Remote
  • 2x AAA batteries
  • S-Video Cable
  • S-Video Dongle
  • DVI to VGA Adapter
  • Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (full version)
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon (full version)
  • Duke Nukem Manhattan Project (full version)
  • 6 in 1 Games Collection
  • Drivers Disk
  • MSI Media Center
  • VirtualDrive / RestoreIT! Professional
  • Intervideo WinDVD 5.1
  • MSI 3D Desktop

The MSI FX5200 TDR128 uses the same
package contents we saw with the NV28 graphics cards
released late last year, with the exception of the
MSI Media Center remote control and software package.
The MSI Media Center is much like the ATI All-In-Wonder
software bundle, in that you can watch DVD’s, play
movies, and perform various multi-media tasks within
the software suite. The MSI Media Center has already
been incorporated in many HP and Gateway systems,
as much of MSI’s video card sales are OEM based.