ASUS Extreme AX600XT vs. MSI PCX 5750: Budget PCI-Express
Overclocking & Conclusion
As with most of our video card reviews, we like to see how much we can squeeze out of a video card once all the standard tests are run. Sometimes a modest card can be hiding a lot of extra muscle with a little tweaking here and there. Next, we've lined up both cards and have given them a go at overclocking. Let's see how each fared.
The MSI GeForce PCX 5750 proved to be a pretty good overclocker. The GPU managed to run up to 503MHz, 78MHz faster than the stock 425MHz. This ended up being a gain of more than 18% over stock speeds. The memory managed to hit 664MHz, 164MHz higher than the 500MHz default speed. This gain added up to just short of 33%. In the end, we realized an actual performance increase of 31%, pushing the PCX 5750 ahead of the ASUS model by 1.1FPS.
With the ASUS Extreme AX600XT, the overclocking was less impressive. The VPU managed to top an additional 22MHz over stock, resulting in a gain of 4.4%. With the memory, which was rated for 900MHz DDR by the manufacturer, the top speed was 802MHz, resulting in an 8.4% gain. In the end, this boost gave the ASUS card the chance to edge out the overclocked MSI card by a mere 0.2FPS, leaving the MSI GeForce PCX 5750 as the best overclocker by far of the two cards.
As we bring this review to a close, we are faced with a bit of a quandry. On the one hand, we have the ASUS Extreme AX600XT, which managed to win most of the tests by a large margin. On the other hand, we have the MSI GeForce PCX 5750, which had a great retail package with an excellent software collection and turned out to be a decent overclocker. Then, we have to factor in the GeForce 6600 and X700 releases, each of which offers the best overall performance to date out of any PCI-E value-class cards on the market today. So where does that leave us?
If you're in the market for a new value-class PCI-E card, you should seriously consider the timing of your purchase. You may want to wait to see if the prices of these two cards drop considerably after the newer 6600s and X700s hit store shelves. Currently, the MSI GeForce PCX5750 retails for $122, which is a good value when you add up the gaming titles included. The ASUS Extreme AX600XT retails for a pricier $166 and has HDTV output and better performance but offers a lot less software.
When we looked at the MSI PCX5750, we found a fair value-based video card with excellent overclocking potential. When we factor in the gaming bundle, we could easily spend the price of the card on just two or three of those titles on the retail market. So, while it wasn't the fastest card of the bunch, it is a good value overall. The price is low enough to justify buying it today if $200 for a 6600GT is out of your reach.
The MSI PCX 5750 scores a HotHardware Heat Meter Rating of 7.
The ASUS Extreme AX600XT is a little harder to justify at the moment because of the impending arrival of the 6600 and X700 at a similar price point. Even though it did have the best overall performance compared to the PCX 5750, it comes at a higher price and has a more conservative software bundle. When you factor in the fact that the GeForce 6600GT and X700 series are going to be offered for a mere $40 more, we think it is well worth waiting for the next-generation cards. That is, unless the ASUS X600's price takes a nose dive upon the retail release of either the Radeon X700 or GeForce 6600 series or cards.
The ASUS Extreme AX600XT scores a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of a 7.5.