MSI NX7800 GTX x 2: Retail SLI
Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: MSI's NX7800GTX cards performed at virtually the exact same level as a pair of NVIDIA's reference GeForce 7800 GTX cards, which was expected, considering they were clocked at the exact same core and memory frequencies. In a single card configuration, MSI's NX7800GTX card was the fastest single video card we tested; only a pair of GeForce 6800 Ultras could compete. And when running two MSI NX7800GTX cards in SLI mode, performance went up significantly in every benchmark we ran, except for those that were CPU bound, like Half Life 2 and FarCry, for example.
Going back through the benchmark results, its clear that MSI's NX7800GTX is a very high-performing video card; it is a GeForce 7800 GTX, after all. The MSI NX7800GTX also shares all of the other features we liked with regard to NVIDIA's Reference GeForce 7800 GTX, the quiet single-slot cooler, excellent anti-aliasing quality, the ability to run at high-resolutions with AA and ansiotropic filtering enabled, and the manageable power requirements. The MSI NX7800GTX also ships with a pretty good bundle, and its ViVo capabilities will be appreciated by many. Overall, there are no real problems with the MSI NX7800GTX in and of itself. Our concerns with the MSI NX7800GTX, however, have to do with its competition. Every retail GeForce 7800 GTX card we've tested thus far (EVGA & BFG), has had higher core and memory clock speeds. And some upcoming GTXs (Asus & Gigabyte) are also clocked higher. These higher-clocked cards will inevitably perform better, which makes them more appealing than MSI's offering in most circumstances. User's can opt for MSI's custom drivers which incorporate some pre-set overclocking options (D.O.T.), but hardcore gamers and enthusiasts tend to stay on the bleeding edge and prefer to use the most recent reference drivers when possible, which negates this possibility somewhat. The NX7800GTX's redeeming quality is its price though. At the moment, it is the least expensive GeForce 7800 GTX available. We've seen this card priced at $479, a full $120 below MSRP, which makes a pair of NX7800GTXs the cheapest way to get a 7800 GTX SLI configuration. Based on its high-performance, decent bundle, and excellent price (relatively speaking), we're giving the MSI NX7800GTX a solid 8 on the Heat Meter.
|•_One of the least expensive 7800 GTXs available
|•_Clocked Lower than most retail 7800 GTX cards
•_No "Stand-Out" Features