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PNY Verto FX5200 Ultra

You won't be surprised to learn that the PNY Verto FX5200 Ultra has a great deal in common with the Verto FX5200, but thankfully there are some differences to highlight.

The most obvious visual difference is the DVI-I port in its right and proper place next to the VGA output. The second difference is the aluminium heatsink that extends over the memory chips, which is probably a sensible precaution as the FX5200 Ultra runs its core and memory faster than the plain FX5200. The core speed rises from 250MHz to 325MHz, while the memory speed goes from 400MHz to 650MHz.

As a result there is a third difference in the form of a Molex power connector on the board. Remember that FX5200 Ultra uses a 0.15 micron process and it's a power-hungry design.
In our tests the FX5200 Ultra scored at least 20 percent higher than its little brother and as the high quality settings were enabled the gap got larger and larger, until it was a 50 or 60 percent improvement.
Once again you need to take the benchmarks as a whole, rather than picking and choosing results, but we found the FX5200 Ultra was very nearly a match for the Radeon 9600.

PNY has included the same extras as it did with the FX5200, with the addition of a DVI to VGA adapter. The S-Video to coaxial adapter is a cable 200mm in length, which is easier to use than a short, rigid connector of the type used by Connect3D, and the S-Video extension cable is a decent 1.5metres in length. The software package is also the same, giving you Elder Scrolls III Morrowind, Tribunal and TES Construction kit.

That's all fine and well, but the Verto FX5200 Ultra costs £40 more than the Verto FX5200, and a price tag of £130 is too high for such a basic card. You could buy the Connect3D Radeon 9600 and save a decent amount of cash or you could buy the Leadtek A310TD My Vivo and get better performance and more features for the same price. No matter how you look at it, the PNY can't compete against those cards and the problem is one of price. Now if it was £90 or so, it may - just may – have been a different matter.

Verdict

If this was a budget card we would be quite happy with it, but at £130 the Verto FX5200 is far too expensive.

{table:pny5200ultra}

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