MSI NX7900GT-VT2D256E-HD (GeForce 7900 GT 256MB)

The MSI NX7900GT-VT2D256E-HD

The MSI NX7900GT-VT2D256E-HD

With one glance, you could tell that the MSI NX7900GT-VT2D256E-HD is special. Just from the bright red PCB (compared to NVIDIA's usual dull green) and yellow tipped DVI outputs, it is evident that it is no reference card clone. Coupled with a non-standard cooler, it is a rather eye catching graphics card on the exterior. The practice of jazzing up the special editions with LED lights and unusual PCB colors is old hat in this industry so given these cues, you know immediately that this is a different breed of card.

A change of PCB color and a larger cooler seems to be the superficial changes to MSI's new GeForce 7900 GT. You can't see it from here but there's also a Philips decoder chip onboard for video capturing.

The new heatsink covers all the memory modules completely and thermal pads are used to aid in heat dissipation. All these measures are probably necessary due to the higher clock speeds.

So what are the main differences between this and the standard MSI GeForce 7900 GT that we had seen before? Firstly, the clock speeds are more daring, as MSI has overclocked the NX7900GT-VT2D256E-HD by a decent amount, especially the memory chips. The core has increased by 50MHz to 500MHz, while the DDR3 memory has gone up to 1530MHz DDR from 1320MHz DDR. It may not be as extreme as some of the other competitors in the market but significant enough compared to the reference. To accommodate the increase in frequencies and the resulting higher thermals, the cooler is now a slightly larger model that encompasses the Samsung 1.4ns rated memory modules too. Fortunately, the noise generated was not too unseemly and to our ears, it was fairly typical of the GeForce 7900 GT. Hidden below the large heatsink is also a Philips SAA7115HL decoder chip that enables video capturing (VIVO) for the MSI NX7900GT-VT2D256E-HD. Together with the HDCP ready dual-link DVI outputs, we feel that MSI has covered both the input and output aspects more than adequately.

 The DVI outputs are dual link and more pertinently, are HDCP ready.

Finally, MSI has also assembled a very satisfying bundle that has something for everyone, as one might expect from a mainstream and popular manufacturer. Instead of focusing on one aspect, MSI has included a good compilation of DVD applications in the form of its Star DVD Family, a decent game with King Kong while its usual Multimedia disc include drivers and other tools that may be useful to some consumers. MSI's Dynamic Overclocking Technology (D.O.T) is also included for those who want more performance but require a bit of handholding. Below we have the complete list of items found in the package:

  • 2 x DVI-to-VGA adaptors
  • 9-pin mini-DIN to Component/S-Video dongle
  • S-Video extension cable
  • 6-pin PCIe to 4-pin Molex power plug converter
  • MSI Multimedia (Drivers & Utilities CD)
  • MSI Star DVD Family
  • Peter Jackson's King Kong (full game)

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