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Home > Hardware Reviews > Graphics Cards

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

1. Introduction

Gaming is something that most users sooner or later get involved with. Most of use like to test and play all the latest games available, which often requires hardware updates if we're going to enjoy the game. This happened to me recently, and after installing the latest games, I realized I had to upgrade my VGA card with something faster, but at the same time affordable. Personally, I don't want to spend a fortune on high end cards, regardless of the fact that they provide superb gaming experience.

After searching around for a while, I decided to purchase the an NVidia 7600GT card, the MSI NX7600GT-T2D256EZ. This is the top card in the 7600GT series with 256MB of DDR3 memory and at the same time, passive cooling, a neat feature to keep noise levels down. How this card will perform under the various benchmark software and of course games, will be unveiled later on in our review. For the time being, lets see my new VGA card and all its features.

- MSI NX7600GT-T2D256EZ

MSI offers various solutions based on the NVidia 7600GT series, but they all use the same chipset (Nvidia G73). The main differences, concerns the cooling method (passive or fan), the chipset/memory clocks, and if the card supports HDCP (VT2D256E-HD).

Below are the various logos which also show card's main features:

GeForce 7 Series GPUs Model Comparison

GeForce 7950 Models
GeForce 7900 Models
GeForce 7800 Models
GeForce 7600 Models
GeForce 7300 Models
Graphics Bus Technology
PCI Express
PCI Express
AGP 8X/PCI Express
AGP 8X/PCI Express
PCI Express
Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0
NVIDIA® Intellisample™ Technology
NVIDIA® SLI™ Technology
High Dynamic-Range (HDR) Support
NVIDIA® TurboCache™ Technology
Effective Memory Interface
0.09 µ
0.09 µ
0.11 µ
0.09 µ
0.09 µ

MSI Vivid Video Technology

MSI Vivid is a nice tool that can enhance "image quality". It can help users get better image quality in viewing " Digital photos, document & games ". As MSI explains:

  • Vivid brings the easiest way to optimize graphic quality.
  • Colorize your vision when browsing digital photos!!!
  • Sharpen characters edge!!!
  • Enhance contrast when playing game!!!
  • For more information about MSI Vivid, refer to MSI's website.

    Geforce 7600GT Chipset Features

    Full Microsoft® Direct® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 Support
    The standard for today's purchase and next-generation consoles, enables stunning and complex effects for cinematic realism. NVIDIA® GPUs offer the most complete implementation of the Shader Model 3.0 feature set -- including vertex texture fetch (VTF) -- to ensure top-notch compatibility and performance for all DirectX9 applications.

    Ture High Dynamic-Range (HDR) Rendering Support
    The ultimate lighting effects bring environments to life for a truly immersive, ultrareailstic
    experience. Based on the OpenEXR technology from Industrial Light and Magic, NVIDIA's 64-bit texture implementation delivers state-of-the-art high dynamic-range (HDR) visual effects through floating point capabilities in shading, filtering, texturing, and blending.

    NVIDIA® CineFX® 4.0 Engine

    Delivers advanced visual effects at unimaginable speeds. Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 enables stunning and complex special effects. Next-generation shader architecture with new texture unit design streamlines texture processing for faster and smoother gameplay.

    NVIDIA® SLI Technology
    Delivers up to 2x the performance of a single GPU speeds. Full support for Microsoft® DirectX® 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 enables stunning and complex special effects. Next-generation shader architecture with new texture unit design streamlines texture processing for faster and smoother gameplay.

    NVIDIA® PureVideo Technology
    The combination of high-definition video processors and decoder software delivers unprecedented picture clarity, smooth video, accurate color, and precise image scaling for all video content to turn your PC into a high-end home theater.

    Adaptable Programmable Video Processor
    PureVideo's programmable technology adapts to new video encoding formats as they are developed to provide a future-proof video solution.

    High-Definition H.264, MPEG-2 and WMV Hardware Acceleration
    Smoothly playback H.264, MPEG-2, and W MV video including WMV HD with minimal CPU usage so the PC is free to do other work.

    Advanced Spatial Temporal De-Interlacing
    Smoothes video and DVD playback on progressive displays to deliver a crisp, clear picture that rivals high-end home theater systems.

    High-Quality Scaling
    High-quality scaling technology delivers a clear, clean image at any window size, including full-screen HDTV resolutions up to 1080p.

    Video Color Correction
    Corrects differences in color characteristics of RGB monitors and TV monitors through NVIDIA PureVideo's ProcAmp Color Controls setting, such as PureVideo s ProcAmp Color Controls setting, such as ensures videos are not too dark, overly bright, or washed out regardless of the video format or display.

    Integrated HDTV Encoder
    Provides analog TV-output (Component/Composite/S-Video) up to 1080i resolution.

    128-Bit Memory Interface
    Delivers more memory bandwidth and efficiency to power the latest games and applications at blazing speeds.

    NVIDIA® UltraShadow II Technology
    Enhances the performance of bleeding-edge games, like id Software's DOOM 3, that feature complex scenes with multiple light sources and objects.

    Full-Speed 32-Bit Color Precision
    Delivers increased image quality with no performance compromise.

    NVIDIA® ForceWare® Technology
    Delivers a proven record of compatibility, reliability, and stability with the widest range of games and applications. ForceWare ensures the best out-of-box experience for every user and delivers continuous performance and feature updates over the life of NVIDIA GeForce GPUs.

    Before buying such high end cards, users should be aware of the system requirements:

    Intel Pentium IV (and above), AMD K8 (and above) or compatible with PCI Express slot
    Minimum 128MB of system memory
    Installation software requires CD-ROM drive
    Interactive Program guide requires Internet connection for listing updates
    400 watt Power supply (550W is recommended for SLI mode), is highly recommended for system stability.

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