MSI Brings Back the Turbo Button

Turbo buttons on the PCs went extinct after the 386/486-era. But now, according to TweakTown it appears that MSI will be trying to resurrect it for the button happy crowd with the MSI GeForce N9600 GT Diamond graphics card.

After some reconstructive surgery, MSI turned the sleek single-slot reference design of the GeForce 9600 GT into a honking dual-slot port-happy behemoth featuring an unmarked red button. The button located along side the plethora of output ports will allow users to overclock the GPU core, memory clock speeds, and increase the voltages.

However, MSI indicated that the turbo button currently does not support SLI mode. Meaning when two of these 9600 GTs are paired up, the shiny turbo button will be there for aesthetic reasons only — bummer. However, as with all new technology, MSI is continuing to improve support, and expects SLI support in the near future. MSI did not reveal however, that a SLI-compatible turbo button will be available by a simple firmware upgrade.

Details on clock speeds were not revealed, but the card will feature 2GB of GDDR3 memory, dual DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, SPDIF, and of course the turbo button. Enthusiasts nostalgic of the good-old days of turbo buttons can expect to pick up their GeForce N9600 GT by the end of June with an expected street price of $250 to $300. Reference 9600 GTs can be found at the rock bottom price of $99 during sales. A quick glance at Newegg puts the average price to be around $150. Quite a price premium for a turbo button that only works half the time. Only time will tell if turbo buttons will go the way of the Dodo again.

  • mfarlow
    Seems like a pretty useless feature. How many people are actually going to toggle between a fast graphics card, and a not so fast one.

    The reason the turbo button on the 386/486 went away was because no one ever switched off turbo.
  • nachowarrior
    i see what you're saying, not to mention the fact that most "turbo" functions are usually just a change in the bios of any given board. I still have a "turbo" function in my old socket A machine, but via the bios only. But I can see how this might be convenient for a card that doesn't scale it's clock speeds on memory and gpu or if a particular game doesn't like a full overclock. you can just mash the button on the fly. However, I highly doubt this product will do well for several reasons. First and foremost being the super high price. You can just get a wicked fast card for that price, or two standard 96gt's or 2 3870's for that matter. Secondly, i doubt 2gigs of gddr3 will be anything less than overkill for the gpu and will not likely give any huge performance gains over standard versions. 1/2 gig to 1 gig hardly makes a huge difference on higher end cards. These companies need to stop wasting money on ubercards that suck and just focus on getting faster, higher end , cards to a more marketable price. but why should they do that when they can make 250 dollars profit on one of these instead of just 50-100 bucks profit?
  • bgd73
    why even have a turbo button. turbo button says "I am too stupid to keep it at full speed." There is too many dynamics for a turbo button. One "turbos" thier way into as fast as it goes automatically nowadays. PS: I bought my last msi board. It was and is a good board. platinum, all intel... no crazy chips.Will hang onto it like an 87 subaru...Todays msi is like a boxer engine with 5 main bearings, leaving the 3 people who run computers in reality in this world to ask "Why?"
  • cryogenic
    Well, newsflash, turbo buttons have been replaced by technologies like Cool&Quiet, Power Now etc ...
  • LkS
    Isn't the idea so that you can turn it to not turbo when you are not playing all those games which require 'turbo' power and save some electricity?
  • velocityg4
    From what I remember of the turbo button I never noticed a difference in speed. Probably because I was running Win 3.1 and DOS 6 on a 33Mhz 486DX and only running basic office applications (and Star Trek 25th anniversary WOOH!). So I probably never taxed the computer enough to even use those 33Mhz.

    However I could see the use of this Turbo button since the GPU is gulping more energy overclocked. By the simple button click you could lower clock speeds and energy usage/heat generation when simply using Open Office or Firefox.

    I would love this if it switched between O'C for gaming then 1/4 speed energy usage for non-3D intensive uses.

    Currently by I am using Windows XP with Firefox, Thunderbird and iTunes Running and my GPU is just gulping down energy, belching out heat and spinning my fans for no good reason.
  • I love the turbo button just cause that means theres two bios chips on board. While its pretty much useless its comes in handy when you slightly over overclock your graphics card and cant see your screen anymore. Basically it just comes in handy to have the extra chip in case you mess up...
  • B-Unit
    2GB for a 9600GT?!?! Talk about a waste...
  • grieve
    Damn, a turbo enabled one with no button would be better. Who would buy this?

    So... you open your case move all them water cables to hit the button every time you want to go moderately faster, Ill pass.

    Ill place this with other stupid inventions… like a Pay toilet.
  • grieve
    - Black Highlighter
    - Ejector seat for helicopters
    - Waterproof cups
    - Braille TV guide
    - Turbo button on graphix card
    - Caffeine-free Diet Coke
    - Flashbulb tester
    - Inflatable dart boards