NX8600GT Twin Turbo videocard is another example of MSI "thinking outside the
box". When PCSTATS was shown this videocard in Shanghai this fall, we liked what
we saw, and having benchmarked it for ourselves we continue to like the
concept of shader overclocking. MSI's implementation of the Twin Turbo button
relies on different BIOS versions being loaded when the PC boots up, and this
proves less convenient than an instantaneous software triggered set up.
To change modes, you either have to power your system
off or do a complete reboot.
Twin turbo overclocks the shader core speed from 1458MHz
to 1512MHz, giving novice users a quick and easy way to squeeze a little more
from their graphics card. It's a great concept, it just needs to be implemented
via software. Heck, while MSI's engineers are figuring that out allow the
end user to overclock shaders independently of the GPU speed!
Overclocking has become big business and the MSI
NX8600GT Twin Turbo is one of the more unique videocards on the market. The card
is based on nVIDIA's GeForce 8600GT core and comes backed up with 256MB of GDDR3
memory. It includes MSI's Mazarine DVI ports which allow both video and
audio signals to be output through the DVI port for DVI-to-HDMI converters. It's
not good as AMD's solution, but anything that allows one HDMI cable to carry
audio and video to a TV is good in my books. Oddly, both the Mazarine
DVI-to-HDMI converter or SPDIF jumper cable are optional extras. Neither are
The Twin Turbo button does away with the "scary" world
of overclocking for novice computer users, but I think most computer enthusiasts
will just leave it engaged and go about overclocking the normal way.
In PCSTATS's tests the MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo videocard
performed slightly faster than a regular GeForce 8600GT videocard. It
is pre-overclocked by default so this is not surprising. Manually
overclocking the NX8600GT Twin Turbo is possible, and in our case the review
sample reached a nice 712 MHz core and 1752 MHz memory.
We don't have a retail price for the MSI NX8600GT Twin
Turbo just yet, but I expect it to run $140 CDN ($144 US, £70GBP). The NX8600GT Twin Turbo is
an innovative way to bring shader overclocking to newbies, and as a first
kick at the can it delivers well. For a Geforce 8600GT videocard, the
MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo stands at the front of its class.
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