Built by ATI, the MSI RX1900XTX-VT2D512E (henceforth referred to simply as MSI Radeon X1900 XTX) is technically no different from any other Radeon X1900 XTX cards in the market now. Of course, MSI has added its own decal in a cursory attempt to mask ATI's own Ruby mascot but you can always peel the MSI sticker off if Ruby is your idol. The same red PCB that everyone has come to associate with ATI is used and the clock speeds are the standard ones and very fast – 650MHz for the core and 1550MHz DDR for its memory. These unprecedented clock speeds are what distinguishes the Radeon X1900 XTX over the Radeon X1900 XT and makes for the fastest ATI card at the moment.
The MSI Radeon X1900 XTX is a rather heavy card, thanks to its large two-slot cooler. While we had griped about the noise emitted by a similar cooler on the Radeon X1800 XT, we are glad that things have been improved slightly. Although the MSI Radeon X1900 XTX does start off with the usual loud whine when booting up, it tones down noticeably by the time the Windows loading screen appears. By default, the cooler spins at around 2000rpm and most people should be able to ignore it after a while. This of course changes if you plan to overclock the card and hence you may want to manually adjust the fan speed. Personally, once we got close to 4000rpm, it got much too loud for our liking.
All the high-tech acronyms are found in the MSI Radeon X1900 XTX 512MB, from ATI's latest Avivo technology to the more mundane but still useful VIVO (Video-In, Video-Out). And as ATI's marketing never fails to mention, HDR (High Dynamic Range) rendering is another much touted feature that the Radeon X1900 XTX excels at. There are also two DVI-I connectors like so many graphics cards now and while nominally, it is HDMI and HDCP ready, that may not be the case as this recent article reveals what the graphics cards manufacturers are not telling us.
MSI has updated its game bundle for the new year and just like the ASUS EAX1800XT TOP, Peter Jackson's King Kong is the preferred game. Released only in December last year, this is a definite improvement over MSI's previous offering. For those not into gaming, the Star DVD Family package of applications should cover the multimedia aspect more than adequately. The cables and accessories included are rather standard and similar to those found bundled with high-end graphics cards. Here is the entire list of goodies for your perusal: