The NX6800GT is a lengthy card, built on red PCB, which is a hallmark of many of MSI's products. While many of today's higher-end cards can run extremely hot, requiring larger, louder heatsink/fan combos, the NX6800GT employs a single-slot copper heatsink that covers both the GPU and memory. As you can see, keeping with the "Game with MSI" motif, the fan and heatsink are both adorned with the same kind of catchy graphics we saw on the packaging. Along the top of the card is a small notch with a connector that's to be used for SLI. Generally speaking, it's preferable for two identical cards to be used, but in today's review we will be forgoing any kind of SLI testing, so we won't have to worry about that.
The memory consisted of 256MB of Samsung GDDR3 BGA DRAM, all of which is situated on the front of the card. This leaves the back of the card mostly nude, save for a bracket used to screw down the heavy copper cooler. There's really not much to comment on until you reach either end. On the far end is the PCI-Express 6-pin power connector and on the other we've got dual DVI connectors as well as a S-Video out port. According to the website, an S-Video cable was intended to be included in some packages, but we did not find one in ours.
The cooler is called CopperUltra by MSI, and they claim that it should cool off the core about 15-20 degrees better than nVidia's reference design. It's heavy to be sure, but it uses low-temperature soldering and di-oxidized technology to ensure the best cooling method while running nearly silent. In it's default mode, the UltraGear fan runs along at 2800rpm at 30db. Using a slider along the top of the cooler allows the user to put the card into Ultra Mode, which is 4000rpm, but with 33% more noise, now operating at 39db. It's a good idea to allow this kind of user interaction, but we have one small issue with this idea. Placed directly on the card, it requires opening the chassis to move the slider. It might have been better to have a switch placed on the outer edge of the card, or allow for software control. One final strip of copper was placed over the circuitry on the end of the board, providing further cooling and stability.