MSI RX2600XT Diamond Plus - Up Close
The MSI RX2600XT Diamond Plus has a name that implies something extra, and that it has. There is both a MSI RX2600XT Diamond and MSI RX2600XT Diamond Plus, which are identical except for memory configuration. The MSI RX2600XT Diamond Plus comes with 512MB of GDDR4 memory, double that of its counterpart. With a 128-bit memory interface and GDDR4 clocked at 2300MHz DDR, the memory interface can deliver 36.8GB/s of bandwidth while the 850MHz RV630 based VPU delivers 120 Stream Processing Units and 8 Texture Units with a peak Fill Rate topping out at 6800MTexels/s. The rear of the card comes with two DVI connections as well as a port for component inputs/outputs.
To help keep the MSI RX2600XT Diamond Plus cool, MSI outfitted the card with a two slot cooler that is very quiet. Sadly, the two slot design means potentially sacrificing other available slots adjacent to the PCI-Express slot. We would have much rather seen an elegant single slot solution, much like we saw with our recent review of the Sapphire HD 2600 XT, which is of course clocked at a more modest 800MHz/2200MHz. The sink itself is a heat-pipe design while RAM-sinks are also applied separate from the main cooling assembly. We should note, however, that the way the VPU cooler is designed, no airflow passes across the RAM-sinks from the VPU fan itself, leaving the case fans to do the job alone. Another plus is the fact that the card does not need an external power supply but instead meets the standard PCI Express power budget drawn from the slot itself..