The MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD is one hefty
videocard, clocking in at 26.5cm long and weighing upwards of 750grams! The
videocard is cooled with a massive dual slot heatsink, employing a 65mm squirrel
cage fan, heatpipes, and externally directed airflow to keep hot air moving
outside the case rather than circulating around inside it. The fan is PWM
compatible, so it spins up and slows down based on processing need - this helps
to keep noise levels at a reasonable level. The MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD
videocard is identical to the nVidia reference design, except for a custom MSI
We'll get into the GeForce 8800 technology a bit later in the article, first a few details on what the MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD offers up.
At the top left hand corner of the videocard are two SLI bridge connectors, which means this card is Quad SLI compatible! You can still run standard SLI with two videocards by only connecting up a single extra videocard, and it doesn't matter which SLI connector you use.
Over on right edge of the card are two six pin PCI Express power connectors, at least one of these auxiliary power cables needs to be attached for the NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD to run properly.
MSI traditionally includes a large software bundle with its videocards, but the only software that comes with the NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD is a PowerDVD studio CD and Serious Sam II (the real second version). By not bundling a large software suite, MSI is able to keep the NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD price down I suppose... but we kind of wish that a killer DirectX10 game was tossed in, even if its just a trial version.
I guess high end enthusiasts know how to install
videocards but MSI should have included a printed copy of its user's manual,
rather than just the version on the driver CD. You're spending a lot on the
videocard, there's no excuse why one shouldn't be included. The Quick Install
Guide is rather thin in terms of information so novice users can get lost
High Definition Video
The MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD supports dual DVI outputs, but if you're using analog monitor/s, MSI
also includes two DVI-to-analog converters. MSI also bundles a component
(Y, Pb, Pr)/S-Video output cable with the videocard so you can hook your
computer up to your television for Standard or High Definition viewing.
HDCP support means you can watch copyrighted HD-DVD/Blu-Ray
movies at full resolution when using an HDMI connection through one the DVI
ports. For that, you will need to buy a DVI-to-HDMI cable.
Even though the MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD has two six pin
power connectors, only one is technically required for use. We tested the MSI
NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD with just one of the two power cables plugged in and
performance was the same as with two under stock load. If no auxiliary power cable is connected,
the MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E-HD videocard will cause the system to fail POST and an
audible alarm will ring from the videocard's speaker.
If your powersupply
doesn't have the 6-pin VGA power cable, the card does ship with two adaptors
which will use any free molex power connector for this purpose. Alternatively,
you have a look through PCSTATS recent power supply reviews for an Active Power
Factor Correction PSU with one or two of the auxiliary power cables as standard
- you might even find a PSU more energy efficient then the old PSU in your
Up next, PCSTATS
takes a real close look at the nVidia G80 GPU - a chip
that is the size of a coffee coaster!