MSI FX5700 Ultra-TD128 Videocard Review
looking for a new videocard, you're in luck because
it's a buyers market in the mainstream sector! A fierce competition between ATi
and nVIDIA has resulted in lower than average prices for some pretty decent
cards. nVIDIA has taken an aggressive two pronged stance against ATi's Radeon
9600XT; first there's the very capable GeForceFX 5700 Ultra, and then came the
quietly released the GeForceFX 5900XT to mop things up.
review we'll be examining the GeForceFX 5700 Ultra powered MSI
FX5700 Ultra-TD128 videocard. With 128MB
of memory on board, and nice little bundle of software in the box, this
should prove to be a pretty good deal for about
surprise, the MSI FX5700 Ultra-TD128 is based on nVidia's reference board
layout, with a few extra additions in terms of cooling. For starters, MSI have
added in a set of BGA memory heatsinks on the front and rear of the card to keep
the 2.2ns Samsung DDR-II BGA memory running within thermal spec. Or, at
least that's the idea. I always suggest you check to see if the manufacturer has
used thermal compound between the heatsink and memory DRAM, and if not, put a
dab here and there.
Users Manual, Driver CD, Morrowind, Ghost
Recon, Duke Nukem MP, Seven Game Demo CD,
VirtualDrive/RestoreIT! CD, WinDVD, WinDVD Creator, MSI
Utilities CDs, DVI to analog converter, S-Video Cable Molex
Power Cable, MSI Sticker.
instead of using the reference cooler on the NV36 core, MSI have used their own
engineered cooling solution called "Top Tech." The large sun-shapped heatsink is
made from copper-plated cast aluminum, and manages to cool the core without much
noise. In 2D situations you'd be hard pressed to hear anything. MSI's specs put
the sound output from this card at about 28dB, and they figure the heatsink keeps the
core as much as eight degrees Celsius cooler than the reference
heatsink would otherwise.
MSI fashion, after digging around inside the box we find
a pretty good software bundle which consists of full versions of Morrowind,
Ghost Recon, and Duke Nukem MP. To get the most out of the videocard,
MSI have also thrown in WinDVD, WinDVD Creator, Virtual Drive Pro and RestoreIT! Pro
software as well as several MSI utilities.
If you plan
on taking advantage of the S-Video output on the FX5700 Ultra-TD128, you'll
find the included S-Video cable handy. If dual monitors are on
the horizon, the DVI-to-analog converter is also there.