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CPU MOTHERBOARD TECH VIDEO REVIEWS

GALAXY ZEUS GEFORCE 5500

"In this article we review the video card the Galaxy GeForce 5500, featured software includes Doom3, Quake3, Tribes Vengeance, Unreal Tournament 2004 and X2 The Threat."

GALAXY ZEUS GEFORCE 5500

KEY FEATURES OF THE GALAZY ZEUS GEFORCE 5500

* NVIDIA CineFX engine: Delivers film-quality effects and studio-quality color for every application.
* 128-bit studio-quality color: The industry's best image quality for the most demanding applications.
* DirectX 9.0 optimizations and support: Delivers best-in-class compatibility and performance.
* OpenGL 1.4 optimizations and support: Ensures the best application compatibility and performance.
* AGP 8X: Utilizes the latest technology to deliver the industry-leading performance you expect from NVIDIA.
* NVIDIA nView multi-display technology: Connect and control multiple displays for the ultimate in viewing flexibility.
* Integrated TV encoder: Provides best-of-class TV-out functionality with resolutions up to 1024x768.
* Integrated full hardware MPEG-2 decoder: Delivers full-frame, full-screen MPEG-2 video on your desktop.
* 64-phase video scaler: Highest quality for scaling DVD and other video to full-screen HDTV resolutions.
* DVI support: Able to drive the industry's highest resolution flat-panel displays with resolutions including 1600x1200.
* NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control (DVC)3.0: Allows the user to adjust color controls digitally.
* NVIDIA Unified Driver Architecture (UDA): Industry-renowned driver architecture ensures rock-solid compatibility.
* 350MHz RAMDACs: Supports QXGA displays with ergonomic refresh rates up to 2048x1536@75Hz.
* Architected for Cg: Ensures that the newest, cutting-edge special effects in applications will run flawlessly.
* Package content GeForce Graphic Card, Installation driver CD and TV-out cable.
* Drivers and Operating Systems Windows XP, 2000, 98, 95, ME, NT4.0 display drivers.
NAME CHIPSET GPU SPEED MEMORY UK PRICE US PRICE
GALAXY ZEUS 5500 NV34 270MHZ 128MB 400MHZ DDR 39 $68
NAME CHIPSET GPU SPEED MEMORY UK PRICE US PRICE

GENERAL SYSTEM INFORMATION

PROCESSOR AMD ATHLON XP 3200
VIDEO CARD GALAXY ZEUS 5500
NVIDIA DRIVER FORCEWARE v61.77
MOTHERBOARD ASROCK K7S8XE+
MEMORY 2x512MB OCZ GOLD XTC PC3200 DDR
OPERATING SYSTEM WINDOWS XP
DIRECTX VERSION v9.0c

3DMARK BENCHMARKS

3DMARK 2001 SE

GALAXY ZEUS 55007795

3DMARK 2003

GALAXY ZEUS 55001555

GALAXY ZEUS 5500

COMMENT "The Galaxy Zeus 5500 puts in a fairly strong performance with 3dmark 2001 SE, it's score of 7795 puts it roughly between a GeForce 5200 and a GeForce 5600 which is where it should be. It's the same story with 3dmark 2003, it's score of 1555 is fairly good for a budget video card and only 500 points lower than the Nvidia GeForce 5600."
BENCHMARK SETTINGS

3DMARK 2001 SE

1024x768 Resolution
32Bit color
D3D Hardware T&L
Antialiasing Disabled
Double Frame Buffer
Compressed Texture Format
24Bit Z-Buffer Depth

3DMARK 2003

1024x768 Resolution
No Pixel Processing
Optimal Texture Filtering
4x Max Anisotropy
Optimal Vertex Shaders
No Repeat Tests
No Fixed Framerate

GAME BENCHMARK

CALL OF DUTY

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)64

COLIN MCRAE RALLY 2005

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)19
GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (MQ)40

COMANCHE4

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)33

CONFLICT VIETNAM

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)23
GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (MQ)34

DESERT RATS vs AFRIKA CORPS

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)47

DOOM 3

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)22
GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (MQ)31

FARCRY

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)30

GROUND CONTROL 2

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)11
GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (MQ)27

PAINKILLER

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)48

RALLY TROPHY

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)58

SCRAPLAND

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)15
GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (MQ)48

UNREAL 2

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)33

WARHAMMER 40K DAWN OF WAR

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)30

X2 THE THREAT

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)45

XPAND RALLY

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ)12
GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (MQ)47

GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (HQ) GALAXY ZEUS 5500 (MQ)

COMMENT "Due to the large number of games used in this section we decided to limit the testing. We first tested at 1024x768 which is a resolution we felt the Galaxy Zeus 5500 could handle with most games, to really stress the video card we then decided to use the highest quality settings in each game. If a game did not deliver atleast 30fps then we retested the game using medium quality settings and at a resolution of 800x600. It was found that the Galaxy Zeus 5500 that by reducing the resolution to 800x600 and using medium settings the Galaxy Zeus 5500 delivered a big performance increase which resulted in the demanding games being playable again. Colin Mcrae Rally 2005 was unplayable using high quality settings so we reduced the resolution to 800x600 and used medium quality settings. This increased performance by 40% delivering a very playable frame rate of 40fps. Conflict Vietname was another game the Galaxy Zeus 5500 could only deliver 23fps using high quality settings, once again by using medium quality settings we got an extra 34% performance and a playble 33fps. Doom3 is a very demanding game so we didn't expect the Galaxy Zeus 5500 to offer amazing performance so 23fps using high quality settings was understandable. using medium settings enabled Doom3 to be much more playble at 31fps which was a 30% increase in performance. The Galaxy Zeus 5500 had major problems running Ground Control 2 at high quality settings, 11fps is no where near playable. When using medium settings the Galaxy Zeus 5500 managed to increase it's performance by 60%, however that was still only 27fps. If Ground Control 2 was a fast action game then 27fps would not be playble but Ground Control 2 is a strategy game so 27fps is almost playable. Scrapland is a game which has amazing graphics so it was no surprise that the Galaxy Zeus 5500 could only manage 15fps using high quality settings. Just by using medium settings the Galaxy Zeus 5500 managed an increase of 69% which increased it's performance from 15fps to 48fps which is very playable. Xpand Rally is a racing game so 12fps was unplayable, once again just by using medium settings the Galaxy Zeus 5500 was able to increase it's performance by a very impressive 75%. This increased it's performance from 12fps to 47fps which is very playable."

CONCLUSION "We found that the Galaxy Zeus 5500 delivered better performance than expected when you consider it's a budget video card. With modern demanding software we had to reduce settings however with most software we were able to use even high quality settings. This is the first time we have tested a video card from Galaxy and we have only good things to say about the Galaxy Zeus 5500. The build quality was excellent, it had a quiet fan and it's small size of only 14cm x 8cm will mean it can fit in even a small case. The video card delivered a crisp 2D display which was a joy to use during testing."

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