When we were overclocking this video card, we had a few issues. When I get ready to overclock a video card that has been on the market, I do a little research first. I looked around at other sites that have already reviewed this video card and I see what they were able to get this card up to just so I have an idea of the potential for this card. I found a site that claimed to get the core up to 386 mhz and the memory to 703. When I look at the specs of the memory (rated at 700mhz) and core (rated at 325 mhz), I believe that this is very possible.
The next thing I do when I overclock a video card is find the max of the core. I found the max at 395 mhz with the memory still at 650 mhz. I then reset the core to its default and find the max of the memory. I found the max of the memory at 705 mhz with the core still at 250 mhz. With my experience, usually you can still attain almost the same max speeds when you overclock both at the same time, but that is not the case with this card. When I went to overclock both the core at 395 and the memory at 705, I had major artifacts on the desktop that almost locked up the entire system. So I started lowering the core and memory speeds until I could find speeds that were stable and finally found that stable overclock with the core at 370 mhz and the memory at 665 mhz! This was disappointing to say the least. With the memory rated at 700 mhz, I expected a lot more than 665 mhz!
As I mentioned in my introduction, the performance of your video card is a big factor to the performance of your entire computer. Now it may not be as big of a factor to someone who just gets on the internet or uses word processing, but the majority of us out there play games on the computer whether it is 3D or 2D. So if you are a die-hard UT2003 gamer, you should know by now that this card is not for you.
The market that this card appeals to is the low-end / budget / student enthusiast. With a price tag of around US$140 this card is affordable for Mom and Dad to buy for their teenager who likes to game. If you have your own job and are saving up for a video card upgrade, I would probably recommend a little higher performance because you may be finding yourself wishing you hadn’t bought that FX5200 (Ultra or non-Ultra) about 6 months from now. Also don’t forget that the ATI Radeon 9600Pro and nVidia 5600 can be found for about $30 more than a 5200Ultra.