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Good 3D Performance at a Middling Price: GeForce 6600 Shootout

Equipment

The design of the packaging of the MSI NX6600 VTD128 Diamond draws attention to the special games bundle. The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (5-CD Version) is a red-hot 3D shooter, based on the movie The Chronicles of Riddick. (The plot of the game, however, has nothing to do with the movie.) The graphics engine supports Shader Model 3.0, though given the performance of a GeForce 6600 card, playing in Shader Model 2.0 is more advisable.

Screenshots from the game "The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay".

The rest of the software is MSI standard, in the form of a large package with partially outdated programs. On the DVD you'll find "Star DVD Family," Cyberlink's DVD Solution Packet - it includes the programs StarCinema, Star2Go und StarProducer. In addition there are the tools RestoreIT! Professional 3.0 (current version 6.0) and VirtualDrive 7.0 (current 9.0) from the manufacturer FarStone. On the driver CD MSI has another whole series of utilities for dealing with PCs. But during the test the overclocking software MSI 3D Turbo Experience caused some problems, proving impossible to start.

The MSI utility 3D Turbo Experience looks very old fashioned and did not work with both cards.

When it comes to the video cables and DVI-to-VGA adapters, MSI has tried to go for color highlights - the bright yellow-green is a refreshing contrast to the standard cables in black or gray. The breakout box for the video connections has all important extension cards: S-video and composite in & out, and YPbPr connections for HDTV. In addition, MSI provided a gratifyingly long S-video connection cable - naturally also in bright green. MSI even thought of a Y-adapter cable for the AGP model for its power supply

Summary

NX6600 VTD128 Diamond

The MSI NX6600 VTD128 Diamond does not provide all of the 3D performance of a GeForce 6600 GT, but it is considerably faster than the conventional GeForce 6600 graphics cards. In combination with the good equipment and special game bundle the card represents a very interesting offer.

NX6600 VTD128E Diamond

The PCI Express version of the NX6600 Diamond only differs from the AGP model in terms of interface, thus the same conclusion applies to it.

Overview MSI
Product NameNX6600 VDT128DiamondNX6600 VDT128EDiamond
ManufacturerMSI
Graphics ProcessorNVIDIA GeForce 6600Codename NV43
Bus StandardAGP 4x/8xx16 PEG
Memory128 MB128 MB
Memory TypeGDDR3GDDR3
Core Clock Speed400 MHz400 MHz
Memory Clock Speed800 MHz800 MHz
Memory Buswidth128 bit128 bit
Memory Bandwidth12.8 GB/s12.8 GB/s
Pixel Pipelines88
Vertex Shader Units33
Outputs
VGA1x1x
DVI1x1x
TV-OutS-VideoCompositeS-VideoComposite
TV-Out HDTV Support++
Dual-Link DVI--
Inputs
Power Cable+-
Video-InS-VideoCompositeS-VideoComposite
TV-In (Tuner)--
Audio-In--
Equipment
CoolingCooling FanCooling Fan
Adjustable Fan-Speed--
Hardware-MonitoringTemperatureTemperature
DVI-I -> VGA Adaptor++
CablesS-VideoY-Power CableS-Video
(HDTV) YPrPb output++
Bundle
Software BundleStar DVD FamilyRestoreIT! Prof. 3.0Virtual Drive 7.0PC-CillinE-ColorBeTwin
Games BundleThe Chronicles of Riddick
Others/Specials-Blue LEDs