MSI NX7900GT-T2D256E (GeForce 7900 GT 256MB)

The MSI NX7900GT-T2D256E

The MSI NX7900GT-T2D256E

Virtually every GeForce 7900 GT card in the market now are, like the MSI NX7900GT-T2D256E, clones of the reference design. That's not a bad thing, since the GeForce 7900 GT possesses one of the better, if not the best price/performance ratio that we have seen from a high-end graphics card for a long while. The reference design opts for a small cooler bolstered by a copper heatsink with aluminum fins, making it a one-slot solution that should delight those intending to get two for a SLI setup.

The MSI decal is the only difference between this and any other reference card.

Nothing to see here as all the important components like memory chips are all located on the front side.

Of course, this minimal cooling is the result of NVIDIA's new 90nm, die-shrunk G71 core and the use of 1.4ns DDR3 memory chips from Samsung running at 1320MHz DDR, which sits comfortably below its specified maximum memory frequency of 1400MHz DDR. The lower power consumption of the GeForce 7900 GT also makes heat a less immediate issue compared to its GeForce 7800 series predecessors, so there is no reason not to get the newer cards.

These 1.4ns RAMs are underworked at its 1320MHz default. They are practically screaming to be overclocked.

The GeForce 7900 GT may consume less power than the GeForce 7800 GT but that doesn't mean that you don't need to plug in the separate power connector. You can actually start your system successfully without connecting it but your NVIDIA drivers would probably complain.

More so when you consider the extra vertex and pixel pipelines that the GeForce 7900 GT has over the GeForce 7800 GT. Not to mention the fact that the MSI NX7900GT-T2D256E when clocked at the default 450MHz for the core, is already 50MHz faster than the GeForce 7800 GT. MSI has also included its Dynamic Overclocking Technology (D.O.T) that aids in overclocking by providing a set of profiles ranging from 2% to 10% overclock. An added bonus is the fact that the end-user is covered for any damages by MSI for using D.O.T. Based on what we have seen, getting it to run at the maximum D.O.T of 10% should be a piece of cake and we have included some 3DMark05 figures later for your reference.

An improvement over the GeForce 7800 series is the presence of dual Dual-link DVI connectors. Ok, let's say that tongue twister again: dual Dual-link DVI.

For a high-end card like the MSI NX7900GT-T2D256E, we had expected the bundle to be of a certain standard to match its status. However, given the competitive pricing of the GeForce 7900 GT, we may have to revise these expectations. The bundle isn't as extravagant as some of MSI's older high-end cards, but there is a fairly decent selection of cables (nitpick: a second DVI-to-VGA adapter would have been welcome though) and the software covers all the bases. There is a rather comprehensive DVD playback and content creation software package from CyberLink made especially for MSI. Then there is the MSI Multimedia Utilities CD, which has a variety of tools and programs, though it's a mixed bag in terms of usefulness. Finally, the PC game King Kong makes its way into the bundle again. It is probably the nth time that we have seen this game in graphics card bundles this year. If you have lost count, here's the summary of items found:

  • DVI-to-VGA adapter
  • 9-pin mini-DIN to Composite/S-Video dongle
  • S-Video extension cable
  • 6-pin PCIe to 4-pin Molex power plug converter
  • Driver CD
  • Star DVD Family (PowerCinema, Power2Go, PowerProducer)
  • MSI Multimedia (including MSI Vivid, LiveUpdate, GoodMem, LockBox, etc)
  • Peter Jackson's King Kong

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