MSI NX7600GS-T2D256EH (GeForce 7600 GS 256MB)

The MSI NX7600GS-T2D256EH

The MSI NX7600GS-T2D256EH

The plain dark passive cooler found on the MSI card and probably on all reference GeForce 7600 GS cards receives a flowery MSI makeover. The company's logo has been reproduced in a rather baroque style and attached to the heatsink. It is quite a change from the common practice of pasting the vendor's logo over the default NVIDIA cooler though that would not have been possible with the heatsink for the GeForce 7600 GS.
Red PCB is also a bright and welcome change from the staid green preferred by NVIDIA and frankly, we were expecting green again, since this being the first batch of GeForce 7600 GS cards. So, the MSI NX7600GS-T2D256EH has certainly surprised us with its unique looks.

A passive cooler makes the NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS an attractive option for media center PCs, especially when you factor in its PureVideo support for H.264 decoding.

A bit of flair from MSI in its addition of the baroque, raised stencils to the cooler. As you might have guessed, they spell out what else but 'MSI'.

So what exactly lies behind that giant heatsink that covers almost the entire card? We proceeded to satisfy our curiosity and removed the heatsink to reveal the small die of the G73 and the eight 2.5ns rated DDR2 memory chips. The presence of DDR2 memory for the card certainly seems to hint at its status as the budget member of the 7600 series. Recall that the newer iteration of the GeForce 6600 uses DDR2 memory while even the GeForce 6600 GT is outfitted with the faster DDR3 variant. So while the decision to use cheaper DDR2 is probably cost-related, it also seems to point to the GeForce 7600 GS as the logical heir to the GeForce 6600. Of course, it could all be mere speculation on our part and NVIDIA may have other aces up its sleeves.

Removing the cooler, we find the 90nm GPU surrounded by a legion of memory chips.

Hynix's 2.5ns memory chips are used. These can get rather warm as the passive cooler is not actually in contact with them and hence does nothing. It may even be a hindrance as its bulk blocks the memory chips from any cool air currents circulating in the casing.

An internal copper heat pipe embedded within the heatsink distributes the heat from the GPU.

Besides the PureVideo support for H.264 that we have mentioned earlier, all GeForce 7600 GS, like the GeForce 7600 GT, come with a single dual-link DVI connector, meaning that it has the capacity to power those pixel hungry, ultra high resolution 24 or 30-inch LCD monitors. This may not be new to those from the ATI camp but it is a tangible improvement over the GeForce 6 series and another reason to consider the GeForce 7600 GS.

This looks like the standard I/O setup but all GeForce 7600 GS cards have one dual link DVI port that enables them to power those behemoth 30-inch LCD monitors should you wish to own one. You will need a dual link DVI connection not because of the monitor size, but because of its ultra high native resolution of 2560 x 1600 which a standard DVI connection will not support.

As the MSI NX7600GS-T2D256EH can be considered a lower-middle range graphics card, we didn't expect too much from the bundle. That turned out to be the right approach, else we could have been disappointed. Instead, the resultant software and accessories included are quite decent for its budget status and there is even a complete game, unlike the GeForce 7600 GT from ASUS that we saw recently � it only had a single playable demo. Here then are the items that you would find in the package:

  • 2 x DVI-to-VGA adaptors
  • S-Video extension cable
  • 9-pin mini-DIN to Component dongle
  • User Manual
  • Quick Installation Guide
  • Driver CD
  • Brothers in Arms (game)

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