Thursday, February 7, 2008

MSI NX8600GT-T2D256E Graphics Card Review

GeForce 8600 GT
GeForce 8600 GT is a mid-range video card in the new GeForce 8 family from nVidia. Usually this kind of model is the one that provides the best cost/feature ratio for the average user. In this review, we are going to check out the MSI NX8600GT-T2D256E which has the GeForce 8600GT chipset.

On the first encounter with this graphics card, it is not hard to see that the MSI NX8600GT-T2D256E come with a extra features not found in the usual GeForce 8600GT chipset. I would think that this is a highly tweaked mainstream graphics card that can perform better than the standard GeForce 8600 GT.

The standard GeForce 8600 GT runs at 540 MHz and accesses its 256 MB GDDR3 memory at 1.4 GHz through a 128-bit interface, so it can access its memory at a maximum transfer rate of 22.4 GB/s.

The MSI NX8600GT-T2D256E OC Video Card carries a factory overclocked GPU that runs at 580 MHz and can access its memory at 1.6 GHz, thereby giving a maximum memory transfer rate of 25.6 GB/s. From the statistics alone, it is not difficult to see that this video card has its GPU running 7.40% faster than the standard GeForce 8600 GT and accesses its memory 14.28% faster than the standard model.

In addition, if you install the drivers that come with this video card you will have access to D.O.T (Dynamic Overclocking Technology), where you can overclock your video card simply checking a box on the video properties.

If you like the idea of overclocking your video card, but do not want to go through the hassle of doing the task yourself, then this graphics card is definitely a suitable choice.

Unified Shader Architecture

With the release of DirectX 10, it is no surprise that nVidia included DirectX 10 API on all its GeForce 8 chipset. Instead of using separated shader units for each kind of shader processing, the GeForce 8600GT GPU uses a unified shader architecture that incorporates all the different shader engines together into one single engine (also known as the Stream Processor) . This resulted in more flexibility and efficiency in processing vertex, pixel and geometry shaders. The advantage of this unified shader architecture is that the Stream Processor can now make to run at two to three times higher than the clock speed of the GPU. The faster the Stream Processor runs, the better the shader performance.

The MSI NX8600GT has an overclocked shader speed of 1508MHz, which is 20% faster than the usual GeForce 8600GT model that runs at 1188MHz. The speed setting is configured in the factory and anyone who installed the graphics card can enjoy the speed boost immediately without having to do the overclocking manually.

PureVideo HD

With the PureVideo HD technology found in the GeForce 8600GT core, the MSI NX8600GT can now handle the entire decoding processor of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray movies with video playback with resolutions up to 1920x1080p. Instead of stressing the CPU for HD video decoding, 100% of high definition video decoding can now be off loaded onto the graphics card at speeds of up to 40Mb/s. If you are running two MSI NX8600GT graphics card in SLI, it can even offload onto the two GPUs for parallel processing which will further decrease CPU load.

Though not the best card around, it is no doubt that this MSI NX8600GT graphics card is a good choice for every gamers who want a mid range video card that can delivers.
Graphics Bus Technology
PCI Express
Core Clock (MHz)
Shader Clock (MHz) 
Memory Clock (MHz) 
Memory Amount
256 MB GDDR3
Memory Interface
128 bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/s) 
fill Rate (Billion pixels/sec) 

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