Albatron GeForce FX 5200 Ultra Review



Albatron may seem like a new manufacturer, but they have actually been around for since 1984, under the name of Chun Yun Electronics in Taiwan. They primarily made wide-screen multimedia montirs and TVs. Almost a year ago, they started a new product line of PC products, primarily video cards using the GeForce series of chips. Albatron’s latest cards use the entire spectrum of nVidia’s latest chips, from the 5200FX to the 5900 Ultra.

Today we are reviewing the Albatron Gigi FX 5200 Ultra, but Albatron makes 2 other flavors of 5200 cards. Listed below is Albatron’s complete FX5200 lineup.

Product Memory interface Core clock
GeForceFX 5200EP 64-bit 250MHz
GeForceFX 5200P 128-bit 250MHz
GeForceFX 5200 Ultra 128-bit 325MHz

It was easy to distinguish between nVidia’s budget and perfomance products when they used the MX naming suffix, but the FX line chooses to obfuscate these differences. The NV34 chip that powers the FX5200 line uses a 0.15 micron fabricating process; making it cheaper than the NV30 (FX5800), NV31 (FX5600) and NV35 (FX5900), which use a newer 0.13 micron process. The NV34 is targeted for the value enthusiast, which is the largest audience. Any card using the NV34 chip is a value-based card, and is essentially equivilent to a GeForce4 MX.

What’s in the box
To keep costs down, Albatron has only bundled the essentials. The expected manual and drivers CD is included, as well as a copy of WinDVD creator. An S-video to RCA (composite) cable is included for those who have not joined us in the 21st century. Unfortunately, no DVI to VGA converter was not included, which would have been really nice. Most Vidiots will probably have a few of these lying around, anyway.

The manual is nicely written, and should be standard fare to any graphics card enthusiast. It has a handy list of features for Albatron’s entire product line, how to install the card, and even goes so far as to diagram what a VGA port looks like (hey some people might not know…). It has a complete step-by-step guide on how to install the drivers properly, and even a simple troubleshooting section. It is nice to see a physical paper manual, as many companies rely on an electronic copy included with the drivers.