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MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo Shader Overclocking Geforce 8600GT Videocard Review
MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo Shader Overclocking Geforce 8600GT Videocard Review - PCSTATS
MSI's NX8600GT Twin Turbo videocard is especially interesting, it's got push-button shader overclocking! By default the videocard comes pre-overclocked with its core running at 600 MHz and memory at 1600 MHz (stock is 540/1400).
 86% Rating:   
Filed under: Video Cards Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: MSI Nov 07 2007   C. Sun  
Home > Reviews > Video Cards > MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo

MSI Twin Turbo Away!

Obviously the one aspect that really sets the MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo videocard apart from the competition is the "Twin Turbo" button on the back. Enabling or disabling the button has an affect on the videocard's core and shader clock speeds; shifting GPU speed from 600MHz to 620MHz, and shader frequency from 1458MHz to 1512MHz. The videocard memory remains at 1600MHz clock speed regardless of Twin Turbo being engaged or not. A unique feature, yet slightly cumbersome as MSI's Twin Turbo only kicks in after rebooting the computer.

The reason shader overclocking is not immediately enabled by Twin Tubro has to do with how it's implemented here. The MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo has two BIOS', one operating the nVidia G84 core at 600 MHz and Shader at 1458 MHz. The other BIOS, the one enabled with Twin Turbo, sets the clock speed to 620MHz / 1512 MHz core/shader respectively. To switch between the two, one simply presses the "TT" button on the back of the MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo videocard in or out.

The Twin Turbo button on the MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo videocard toggles between two BIOS settings, one with overclocked shader and GPU clock speeds.

With the Twin Turbo feature turned off, the MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo videocard is already pretty heavily pre-overclocked from the factory. A standard GeForce 8600GT videocard operates with a GPU speed of 540 MHz, memory speed of 1400MHz and shader clock speed of 1188 MHz.

To use the Twin Turbo feature, you'll need to restart your PC after selecting a mode. That forces the videocard to use the alternate BIOS with the Twin Turbo settings. If you press the "TT" button while the computer is on, the world ends. Okay no, nothing bad happens; Windows doesn't crash and the videocard is not harmed. Yet the crux of the situation is that you still need to restart your PC to use TT.... so if you're in the middle of a game and need "just a little more speed" you'll unfortunately have to stop, reboot the computer and let the new BIOS initialize the new clock speed settings.

The TwinTurbo button shown disengaged. When engaged, it lights up red. Next to this in the PCI bracket shield is an SPDIF audio cable pass-through cable hole. That allows the Geforce 8600GT to be connected to an I/O situated SPDIF audio jack so audio can be integrated into the Mazarine DVI monitor jack below.

When the TT button is engaged the letters glow red, indicating the status (on/off) of the feature. If you decide half way through a game to turn the Twin Turbo feature off, you'll need to power down and restart the entire computer. Bah.

So there you have it. The MSI Twin Turbo feature is certainly unique, and that's what PCSTATS likes to see coming from graphics cards companies. Twin Turbo's implementation isn't as user friendly as it could be, and the shader clock speed isn't overclocked independently from the core or memory either. Still, we here at PCSTATS really like the concept.... and it will be pretty cool if MSI devises software to work in conjunction with the TT switch for future implementations so the change is instantaneous. What do you think? The need to reboot the computer between settings is too inconvenient, so just leave the Twin Turbo feature enabled right from the get go! Overclocking is up next, ready for some speed?

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Contents of Article: MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo
 Pg 1.  MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo Shader Overclocking Geforce 8600GT Videocard Review
 Pg 2.  — MSI Twin Turbo Away!
 Pg 3.  Overclocking the MSI NX8600GT Twin Turbo Videocard
 Pg 4.  Videocard Benchmarks: 3DMark05, 3DMark06
 Pg 5.  Videocard Benchmarks: FarCry
 Pg 6.  Videocard Benchmarks: Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
 Pg 7.  Videocard Benchmarks: Doom 3
 Pg 8.  Videocard Benchmarks: Quake 4
 Pg 9.  Videocard Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 10.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Call of Juarez
 Pg 11.  DX10 Videocard Benchmarks: Lost Planet
 Pg 12.  PCSTATS Maximum Videocard Overclocking Chart & Conclusions
 Pg 13.  Verdict on MSI's Twin Turbo?

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