Performance Summary and Conclusion
Performance Summary: Assessing the performance of MSI's NX7600GT-VT2D256E, we walked away quite impressed. When comparing it to a card such as ATI's Radeon X1600XT, the NX7600GT-VT2D256E took the ATI card to the mat in every one of our tests, except for Half-Life 2. The biggest performance differential we saw was with Quake 4, where the NX7600GT out shined the X1600XT by no less than a factor of 2.
Every once in a while a product is released that challenges all others in its class, setting itself apart from the pack. One such product is NVIDIA's GeForce 7600GT line, which brings major competition to ATI's closest alternative, the Radeon X1600XT. On paper, the two products are very close but MSI takes NVIDIA's reference GeForce 7600GT and adds a little flair and panache to its NX7600GT-VT2D256E. With an oversized, premium cooler that is both cool and quiet, as well as Memory and GPU speeds clocked higher than reference specification, the NX7600GT-VT2D256E is ready for leading-edge gaming and overclocking. Top off the deal with a decent retail bundle that offers a good balance of hardware and software extras and the NX7600GT-VT2D256E shapes up nicely for a mid-range graphics solution. The only drawback some may find is the oversized cooler, which is a two slot design that runs the entire length of the card. For those tight on space, you may want to opt for the NX7600GT-T2D256E, which comes with a standard cooling solution and runs at reference GPU and Memory clock speeds.
When we did some price comparisons with the Radeon X1600XT, the lowest price X1600XT we could find at the time of publication was $134, where the lowest 7600GT we could find was $165. When you compare the performance deltas of the two, even with the Radeon X1600XT weighing in $31 less, a reference GeForce 7600GT is a better deal. When we priced MSI's NX7600GT-VT2D256E, which comes clocked higher than NVIDIA's reference design and comes with oversized cooling, we found you'll have to spend roughly $184. Whether the additional performance gains of the MSI's NX7600GT-VT2D256E is worth the additional $50 compared to the Radeon X1600XT is up to you, but depending on the games you like to play, that $50 may be well worth it in the end.
We give the MSI NX7600GT-VT2D256E a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of...