MSI NX7300GS TD256E
Taking a Closer Look
The NX7300GS TD256E is small video card by today's standards. It's about 8 inches long and only half height, so there shouldn't be any problems fitting it into any system, which is great if you're planning on throwing the NX7300GS TD256E into an HTPC setup. The aluminum cooler looks to be a bit much for this card, however MSI officially supports a limited level of overclocking, so it's just extra security against any kind of heat related damage.
The card sports 256MB of on-board Hynix memory, with two of the chips visible on the back, and the other two hidden by the cooler on the front. With a single VGA port and a single DVI port, the MSI NX7300GS has dual-monitor support and also features an S-Video port which can be hooked up to a TV or similar display.
The NX7300GS TD256E's stock clock speeds are 550MHz for the Core and 810MHz (DDR) for the memory. The clock speeds may seem high considering this is an entry-level card, but you have to keep in mind that it features only a 64-bit memory interface, 4 pixel pipelines, and 3 vertex shaders. With these specs, the NX7300GS TD256E is far more powerful than any integrated video solution, but more expensive mid-range and high-end cards will of course offer better performance.
The NX7300GS TD256E's bundle was decent, but not on the level of some of MSI's other video cards. In the box we found a quick start guide and a small user's manual to help users get things going. For accessories, MSI has provided a common but useful DVI to DB15 adaptor, and an S-Video cable. The packaged software is your basic drivers & utilities CD, and a racing game called "Juiced". Juiced is no Need For Speed, but it will give you a decent idea of what the NX7300GS TD256E is capable of. If we were reviewing a high-end graphics card, we'd expect a little more, but for around $80, you can't expect a plethora of up-to-date software to be throw in.