While many of us are impressed with the features and performance promised by today's top of the line graphics cards, in reality, not too many of us have the budgets to afford one of these gaming powerhouses. Often times, the common user needs to keep things in monetary perspective and consider a more practical approach to their graphics card desires. The key is finding the best bang for the buck, where performance, price and other added features all converge to bring the consumer the best overall value for their dollar. One such product is NVIDIA's GeForce 7600GT series, which aims to take on ATI's closest competitor, the Radeon X1600 XT, while remaining a viable mid-range option for a larger audience of mainstream consumers.
Keeping along that train of thought, we're going to take a look at MSI's NX7600GT-VT2D256E. This card is based on NVIDIA's GeForce 7600GT series, but sports higher GPU and Memory speeds as well as an oversized custom cooler that begs us to overclock it. From the start, the card looks impressive, but just how will it stack up compared to ATI's Radeon X1600XT? On the pages ahead, we'll paint a clearer picture to see how the NX7600GT-VT2D256E compares in price, performance and features.
Microsoft Direct 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 Support
The standard for today's Purchase and next-generation consoles enables stunning and complex effects for cinematic realism. NVIDIA GPUs offer the most complete implementation of the Shader Model 3.0 feature set -- including vertex texture fetch (VTF) -- to ensure top-notch compatibility and performance for all DirectX9 applications.
True High Dynamic-Range (HDR) Rendering Support
The ultimate lighting effects bring environments to life for a truly immersive, ultra-realistic experience. Based on the OpenEXR technology from Industrial Light and Magic, NVIDIA's 64-bit texture implementation delivers state-of-the-art high dynamic-range (HDR) visual effects through floating point capabilities in shading, filtering, texturing, and blending.
NVIDIA CineFX 4.0 Engine
Delivers advanced visual effects at unimaginable speeds. Full support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 enables stunning and complex special effects. Next-generation shader architecture with new texture unit design streamlines texture processing for faster and smoother gameplay.
NVIDIA SLI Technology
Delivers up to 2x the performance of a single GPU speeds. Full support for Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 enables stunning and complex special effects. Next-generation shader architecture with new texture unit design streamlines texture processing for faster and smoother gameplay.
NVIDIA PureVideo Technology
The combination of high-definition video processors and decoder software delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for all video content to turn your PC into a high-end home theater.
High-Definition H.264, MPEG-2 and WMV Hardware Acceleration
Smoothly playback H.264, MPEG-2, and W MV video including WMV HD with minimal CPU usage so the PC is free to do other work.
Advanced Spatial Temporal De-Interlacing
Smoothes video and DVD playback on progressive displays to deliver a crisp, clear picture that rivals high-end home theater systems.
High-quality scaling technology delivers a clear, clean image at any window size, including full-screen HDTV resolutions up to 1080p.
Video Color Correction
Corrects differences in color characteristics of RGB monitors and TV monitors through NVIDIA PureVideo's ProcAmp Color Controls setting, such as PureVideo's ProcAmp Color Controls setting, such as ensures videos are not too dark, overly bright, or washed out regardless of the video format or display.
Integrated HDTV Encoder
Provides analog TV-output (Component/Composite/S-Video) up to 1080i resolution.
MSI Vivid Video Technology
MSI Vivid is an easy tool to enhance "image quality." It can help users to get better image quality in viewing "Digital photos, documents & games."
. Vivid brings the easiest way to optimize graphic quality.
. Colorize your vision when browsing digital photos!!!
. Sharpen characters edge!!!
. Enhance contrast when playing game
. 128-bit memory interface
. OpenGL 2.0 Optimizations and Support
. NVIDIA nView Multi-Display Technology
. NVIDIA Digital Vibrance Control 3.0 Technology
. Dual 400MHz RAMDACs
. Dual Dual-Link DVI Support
. 90nm Process Technology
. Built for Microsoft Windows Vista
. Intel Pentium IV (and above), AMD K8 (and above) or compatible with PCI Express slot
. Minimum 128MB of system memory
. Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
. Interactive Program guide requires Internet connection for listing updates
. Power supply of 400 watt(550W is recommended for SLI mode) is highly recommended for system stability.
3D Game Bundle
Prince of Persia - The Two Thrones
MSI developed software
. VGA Driver
. MSI Live Update Series ( Live VGA BIOS & Live VGA Driver)
- Automatically online download & update VGA BIOS & Drivers, reduce the risk of getting the wrong files, and never have the trouble on web site searching.
Automatically release the system memory space, reduce the risk of system hang-up.
- Instantly enter the data lock mode when you must leave your system for a while.
- Automatically list the detail system configuration, it helpful for engineering service people.
. MSI VIVID
- Vivid brings the easiest way to optimize graphic quality. Colorize your vision when browsing photos!!! Sharpen characters edge! Enhance contrast when playing game!
. MSI Live
- Including all real time life information you need, such as Live MSI Product News, Live Daily Information, Live Personal Schedule Manager, Live Search and more.
. MSI Secure DOC
. ThinSoft Be Twin
. Adobe Acrobat Reader
. Norton Internet Security 2005
. Microsoft DirectX 9.
The MSI NX7600GT VT2D256E is complemented by a decent retail bundle. On the hardware front, MSI includes two DVI-to-VGA adapters for using the NX7600GT VT2D256E in a single or dual analog monitor environment. Additionally, a VIVO adapter is provided which offers S-Video Inputs and Outputs, Composite Inputs as well as HDTV Outputs. Rounding out the hardware is an S-Video cable and an MSI case badge.
The printed documentation was a bit light with the NX7600GT VT2D256E, offering a 26 language Quick User's Guide along with an English Quick Installation Guide. MSI's Drivers and Utilities CD comes with MSI's custom drivers designed to work with D.O.T. Express (Dynamic Overclocking Technology) while also bringing a long list of other software, such as WMIInfo, GoodMem, LockBox, MSI Live VGA Driver and Live VGA BIOS. A second CD is also included titled Star DVD Family, which includes a healthy collection of Cyberlink software, such as PowerCinema, Power2Go and more, which we will spotlight in the pages ahead. Rounding out the bundle is a retail copy of Prince of Persia - The Two Thrones on DVD.