MSI GeForce FX 5900 XT

The MSI GeForce FX 5900 XT - Page 2

The MSI GeForce FX5900XT-VTD128
A Value Priced Powerhouse...

By, Marco Chiappetta
March 25, 2004

The GeForce FX5900XT-VTD128 is built upon MSI's signature bright-red PCB.  Aside from the PCB color and ViVo functionality, however, the board itself adheres to NVIDIA's GeForce FX 5900 XT reference design.  With the XT, NVIDIA redesigned the original GeForce FX 5900 PCB slightly, which makes the them a bit more economical to reproduce.  The board is also slightly shorter than the original FX 5900...

The MSI GeForce FX5900XT-VTD128
Up Close & Personal




MSI's GeForce FX5900XT-VTD128, as the name implies, is equipped with 128MB of DDR RAM clocked at 350MHz (700MHz DDR), the core incidentally is clocked at 400MHz.  All eight of the Samsung K4D263238E-GC2A memory chips populating the board are mounted to the front of the PCB, without any heatsinks or specialized cooling.  The memory remained relatively cool throughout testing and overclocked fairly well though, so it seems specialized memory coolers are not a necessity in this case.  The GPU, however, is outfitted with a mid-sized copper heatsink / fan combo that, according to MSI, will keep to core up to 8°C cooler than NVIDIA's standard reference design.  MSI's heatsink / fan combo is also very quiet, producing 28db of noise or less - it was essentially inaudible when the fans on our CPU and in our power supply were spinning.  We removed the two clips holding the cooler in place, and found an adequate application of thermal paste had been applied to the GPU.  The rest of the board's attributes are standard fare, with a four-pin Molex power connector at its rear, and DVI, DB15 and Video-In/Out connectors located on the external plate.

Bundled Software: Intervideo WinDVD Creator
DVD Authoring


The MSI GeForce FX5900XT-VTD128 is equipped with a Philips IC that gives the card its Video-In / Video-Out (ViVo) capabilities.  Standard WDM drivers are used, so virtually any Windows video editing & capture program should work with the card.  However, to give users the ability to take advantage of the FX5900XT-VTD128's ViVo features without having to purchase new software, MSI included a few useful utilities and applications. The most notable of which is Intervideo's WinDVD creator. With WinDVD creator, users can Capture, Edit and Author video clips using a single, relatively simple interface. WinDVD creator also enables users to burn their movies directly to DVD. The screen shots above represent WinDVD Creator's "Capture", "Edit" and "Author" menus. As you can see, the interface is very straightforward, and should be manigable for anyone familiar to working with this type of timeline-driven video editing application.

In-Game Screenshots



We spent some quality time gaming with the MSI GeForce FX5900XT-VTD128 before putting it through the wringer with our suite of game benchmarks. The screen shots posted above are from Ubisoft's recently released tactical shooter, FarCry.  As you can see, the game looks great, except for a weird lighting problem with the trees off in the distance in the third shot.  There seems to be a bug in either NVIDIA's drivers, or the game itself that causes some trees to blend nicely into the fog, while others are too bright and stick out like a sore thumb.  We also did some gaming with Unreal Tournament 2004 and our enduring favorite NFS: Underground.  With the screen resolution set to 1024x768, we enabled 4X Anti-Aliasing with 8X Anisotropic filtering and enjoyed a few hours of gaming.  For the most part, frame rates were great, especially with UT2004 and NFSU, but FarCry was a bit too demanding.  With AA and Aniso enabled, FarCry would slow down significantly in some sections, so we'd recommend disabling those features with this game - at least until N40 and R420 arrive!

The Test System & Some Benchmarks

Tags:  MSI, GeForce, MS, force, fx, XT

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