Modern high end videocards can draw more power than the PCI Express
bus can provide, so it's often necessary for manufacturers to equip their graphics cards with an auxiliary power source. Generally
this is a six-pin 12V power socket at the top right hand corner of
the videocard PCB. This extra power connecter allows the videocard direct access to the power supply, and
in most situations this cable has to be connected for the videocard to operate.
According to MSI documentation, a powersupply of at
is recommended for use with the MSI RX1800XT-VT2D512E. Based
on PCSTATS experience, we would suggest that gamers equip their computers with a power
supply in the 450W+ range with at least 30+ amps available on the 12V line. Anything
less than that opens up the door to possible instability from an overloaded power supply.
As only recent power supplies feature the native six-pin power connector (or two if the PSU is SLI
rated), MSI has included a molex-to-six pin cable converter in the package.
For the purposes of this review, we selected the
510W PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI powersupply
to use with the MSI RX1800XT-VT2D512E-based test platform. It provides up to
34 amps on the 12V rail which will do nicely.
High Definition Output
Hidden under the rather large cooling solution is
an ATi Rage Theatre chip which gives the MSI RX1800XT-VT2D512E its VIVO
capabilities. The ATi Rage Theater supports high quality TV-output via Composite or S-Video
cables and supports NTSC/PAL display modes from 320x200 on up to 800x600. According
to ATi, the Video-In features include composite/S-Video analog inputs for NTSC,
PAL or SECAM formats which are converted into high quality, low noise digital videos for
a clear image.
The ATI Rage Theater also supports VBI services such
as Teletext, Closed Captioning and Intercast. As expected, MSI includes all the
cables a user will need to take advantage of the videocard's VIVO capabilities.
The break-out cables are in two separate groups, so users will be able to use
the component outputs or s-video/composite in/out feature, but not at
the same time.
The MSI RX1800XT-VT2D512E sports dual DVI outputs, which mean you can
connect up to two digital LCD's at the same time. Analog monitor users are
not out of luck, MSI bundles in a pair of DVI-to-analog converters within the package contents.
;-) Right in between the two DVI connectors is the circular video connector which
supports VIVO as mentioned earlier as well as component output break-out