If you are hoping to get all the juicy details about NVIDIA's new GeForce 7950 GX2, you should start by reading our thoughts about it here first. As for the MSI version, you've guessed it: it's a reference card. This is inevitable considering that MSI shipped us this card way in advance before the actual launch of the GeForce 7950 GX2 on 5th June itself so one can't really ask for anything more. You can expect this from almost all the vendors selling GeForce 7950 GX2 cards now though we have seen overclocked versions for sale from the usual suspects like XFX.
The usual MSI packaging for the GeForce 7 series, featuring an anime-inspired angel, is more or less the same, with an emphasis on the '1GB DDR3' that the GeForce 7950 GX2 has. No doubt that should impress some potential buyers though the truth is that like any SLI setup, each GPU actually sees a frame buffer size of 512MB.
The card itself too is different from the reference model only in terms of the various MSI 'decorations' and logos on the cooler. The slim coolers are comparatively quiet when placed against a single GeForce 7900 GT, but of course it was more audible than NVIDIA's GeForce 7900 GTX. Again, this is not something new or unique to the MSI NX7950GX2-T2D1GE and you should have similar experiences with almost any GeForce 7950 GX2.
Clock speed wise, the dual G71 cores on the GeForce 7950 GX2 has been clocked at a respectable 500MHz, slightly faster than the GeForce 7900 GT but a distant second to the top dog GeForce 7900 GTX. This is reversed for the memory, with the GeForce 7900 GT having a faster clock compared to the GeForce 7950GX2. While on paper everything from pipelines to memory size is doubled, it's more like SLI Lite in practice.
The not-so-secret Dynamic Overclocking Technology also makes a comeback on this high-end part as has been on any other NVIDIA based graphics card from MSI. However, the card easily managed a lot higher than what D.O.T would allow and we'll have the results for you later in our usual section. Do note that with its peak power consumption of 143W, the GeForce 7950 GX2 is not exactly the coolest of graphics cards, so overclocking would probably raise both the temperature and your electricity bills even more.
Finally, we can't say that the software and accessories bundle impressed us too much. Obviously MSI did not intend to go back to some of its formerly extravagant bundles especially with prices expected to stay tight around the announced retail of US$599 for the near future. Nonetheless, the included full version of the King Kong game and MSI's collection of DVD utilities are decent value and there are always some consumers who dislike paying more for bloated bundles. Thus the bundle versus the package and price quotient was well balanced in this MSI product. There was however only one DVI-to-VGA adaptor, which did seem a bit miserly but overall, the package has enough meat to satisfy most people. Here are the list of items accompanying the MSI GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics card:-