Seven of NVIDIA's Latest and Greatest Cards Tested

MSI GeForce 6600 GT Diamond

The Diamond version of MSI's GeForce 6600 GT carries a fan lit by blue LEDs. The cooler uses a copper heatsink and covers both the GPU and the memory modules, while a neon-green breakout box offers TV-In and TV-Out connectivity. The Core Cell 3D driver extension is a peculiarity of the MSI card; it allows clock speeds to be lowered to the point where the fan can be stopped entirely, resulting in card that is passively cooled and, consequently, silent.

Feature Set

Foreground: Jack for graphics card, backround: break-out box with HDTV Components and S-Video Out

Rear of same break-out: S-Video In, Composite Video In and Composite Video Out

MSI's 3D accelerator does not require an external PCI Express power connection; instead, it uses the small connector usually used by floppy drives. Users who don't have a free power cable of this type can use the Y-adapter cable that ships with the card instead.

On the hardware side, video functionality is provided by the breakout box, which features an HDTV output as well as TV-In and TV-Out connectivity using S-Video and composite connectors. A CD with a collection of Cyberlink programs rounds of the video bundle on the software side. Users have the choice of either connecting two digital displays to the two DVI-I connectors or using the DVI-VGA adapter to attach an analog display.