Introduction, Specifications & Bundle
In the past few months we've seen numerous announcements for PCI Express equipped core logic chipsets, and we have already evaluated a few of them as well. We've previously looked at Intel's 900 Series of chipsets, NVIDIA's nForce 4 and ATi's RADEON XPRESS 200, and hope to get our hands on VIA's K8T890 and SiS' x56 chipsets very soon. All of the major graphics chip makers have also been touting PCI Express support in their new GPUs. In fact, ATi's and NVIDIA's newest graphics chips, the GeForce 6600 and Radeon X700, are native PCI Express parts, and have to be bridged in order to work with AGP. After what may have been considered a slow roll-out, it seems like the move to PCI Express is finally starting to ramp up. PCI Express is here to stay, and it's getting more popular everyday.
The latest PCI Express graphics card to arrive in the HotHardware lab comes by way of MSI. The RX800 (model number RX800XT-VTD256E) is a Radeon X800 XT powered graphics card, that's equipped with 256MB of high-speed GDDR3 memory and ATi's Rage Theater chip. MSI also includes a few other useful niceties to woo potential customers. Take a look...
3Dc Compression Technology
Smart Shader HD
•_Improved Anti Improved performance
•_Temporal Anti Aliasing
•_Centroid Sample Anti-Aliasing Mode
•_Programmable sparse sample patterns
•_High quality video processing & acceleration
•_Real time user programmable video effects
•_Video post processing and filtering
•_MPEG 1, 2, 4 encode and decode acceleration
•_FULLSTREAM Video Deblocking
•_WMV9 decode acceleration
•_High quality resolution scaling
•_Adaptive Per Pixel Deinterlacing
•_Noise removal filtering
MSI ships the RX800XT-VTD256E with one of, if not the best software and accessory bundles we have seen included with a video card to date. The only other companies that come close are Sapphire and Asus, with perhaps a slight edge going to Asus because of the webcam they've been including with some of their high-end cards. Included with the RX800 we found a standard 6-ft S-Video cable, a DVI-to-DB15 adapter, a splitter for connecting the card to an HD-TV's component inputs and another adapter cable equipped with S-Video and composite video inputs and outputs.
On the software front, there's a lot to mention. MSI included three full version games with the RX800, namely Uru, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and XIII. There is also a 14-in-1 game CD that contains some popular demos for games like Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising, Deus Ex, Splinter Cell and Black Hawk Down, among others. To compliments the card's ViVo capabilities, MSI included a copy of Intervideo WinDVD creator (more info here), and there a whole host of other software utilities included as well. Thankfully, MSI lists them all on this page, along with descriptions for each. Follow that link for the complete rundown; there is simply too much to list here...