VGA Card Buyer's Guide 07/2003

MSI FX5600-VTDR128 [Editor's Choice], Continued

MSI's Media Center Deluxe II is more than just a media center - it lets the user control his or her entire PC (program launching, videos, music, radio, picture viewer, TV (Video-In)). The big on-screen buttons and the large fonts make navigation especially easy when the PC is hooked up to a TV by TV-Out, or when using the infrared remote control that comes with this version of the card. Using the remote, the Media Center software can be completely remote-controlled. Unfortunately, the remote control feature does not extend to mouse support via IR. The IR receiver is connected to the TV-out adapter using a 90-cm long cable. Video files can be edited, cut and encoded using Intervideo's WinCoder and WinProducer (Professional User's Pack).

The games bundle is another highlight. The card ships with full versions of "Morrowind - The Elder Scrolls III" (2002), Tom Clancy's "Ghost Recon" (2001), "Duke Nukem - Manhattan Project" (2002), and an extra CD featuring seven game demos.

Conclusion: With its very good multimedia features, its huge software bundle and the solid 3D performance, we have no trouble recommending the MSI FX5600-VTDR128 wholeheartedly and giving it an Editor's Choice. If you don't need such a feature-rich card, though, there are faster alternatives available. Thanks to its very quiet fan (25 dB), the card is practically silent.

+ Practically silent fan! (25.0 dB)
+ Hardware monitoring
+ TV-In & TV-Out
+ Video cable included (S-VHS, 2 m)
+ Huge software bundle (see text for details)
+ MSI software tools
+ Media Center Deluxe II (control center for the PC, useful in combination with TV-Out)
+ Infrared remote control for Media Center Deluxe II
+ Good games bundle with current titles
+ TwinBios

MSI FX5600-VTDR128
Manufacturer MSI
3D Chip NVIDIA GeForceFX 5600
Memory 128 MB DDR (128bit), Samsung 3.6ns
Memory Specs Max. Clock Rate: 550 MHz (DDR)
Clock Rate (Chip/Memory) 325 / 550 MHz (DDR)
Hardware Features Video-In & Out
IR remote controll
Fan Noise 25.0 dB
Software MSI 3D! Turbo Experience
MSI Media Center II Deluxe
MSI Tool Sammlung
MSI 3D Desktop
E-Color 3Deep
TwinSoft BeTwin
PC-Cillin (Anti-Virus)
MediaRing Dialer
Farsatone VirtualDrive
Farstone RestoreIT!
WinDVD 5.1
Supreme Foreign Language L.M.
WinCoder / WinProducer
Ghost Recon
Duke Nukem Manhattan Project
Demo CD
  1. VGA Buyer's Guide 07/2003
  2. The Price Categories
  3. An Overview Of The Cards
  4. ATi's Current Product Family
  5. Radeon 9600
  6. Radeon 9800
  7. NVIDIA's Current Product Family
  8. GeForceFX 5600
  9. GeForceFX 5900
  10. Other Chip Companies
  11. Notes On Our Noise Level Tests
  12. Benchmarks
  13. UT2003
  14. UT2003 4xFSAA & 8x Aniso
  15. Quake 3 Team Arena
  16. Quake 3 Team Arena 4xFSAA & 8x Aniso
  17. Gunmetal 4xFSAA
  18. ABIT
  19. ABIT Siluro FX 5600 Ultra DT, Continued
  20. ASUS
  21. ASUS V9520/TD, Continued
  22. ASUS V9560 Video Suite
  23. ASUS V9560 Video Suite, Continued
  24. Performance
  25. ASUS V9950
  26. ASUS V9950, Continued
  27. BFG Technology
  28. BFG Asylum GeForceFX 5600 256 MB AGP, Continued
  29. Performance
  30. Gainward
  31. Gainward FX PowerPack! Pro/760XP 128 MB Golden Sample, Continued
  32. Performance
  33. Gainward FX PowerPack! Ultra/760XP 128 MB Golden Sample
  34. Gainward FX PowerPack! Ultra/760XP 128 MB Golden Sample, Continued
  35. Performance
  36. Gainward FX PowerPack! Ultra/1200XP 128 MB Golden Sample
  37. Gainward FX PowerPack! Ultra/1200XP 128 MB Golden Sample, Contined
  38. Performance
  39. Gigabyte
  40. Gigabyte Radeon 9800 PRO 128 MB (GV-R98P128D), Continued
  41. Gigabyte Radeon 9800 PRO 256 MB (GV-R98P256D)
  42. Gigabyte Radeon 9800 PRO 256 MB (GV-R98P256D), Continued
  43. Inno3D
  44. Inno3D Tornado GeForceFX 5200, Continued
  45. Inno3D Tornado GeForceFX 5600
  46. Inno3D Tornado GeForceFX 5600, Continued
  47. Inno3D Tornado GeForceFX 5800
  48. Inno3D Tornado GeForceFX 5800, Continued
  49. Leadtek
  50. Leadtek WinFast A340 TDH, Continued
  51. Leadtek WinFast A340 Ultra TD MyVIVO
  52. Leadtek WinFast A340 Ultra TD MyVIVO, Continued
  53. Leadtek WinFast A310 Ultra TD MyVIVO
  54. Leadtek WinFast A310 Ultra TD MyVIVO, Continued
  55. Leadtek WinFast A300 TD MyVIVO
  56. Leadtek WinFast A300 TD MyVIVO, Continued
  57. Leadtek WinFast A300 TD MyVIVO, Continued
  58. Leadtek WinFast A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO
  59. Leadtek WinFast A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO, Continued
  60. Leadtek WinFast A300 Ultra TD MyVIVO, Continued
  61. Leadtek WinFast A350 TD MyVIVO
  62. Leadtek WinFast A350 TD MyVIVO, Continued
  63. Leadtek WinFast A350 TD MyVIVO, Continued
  64. MSI
  65. MSI FX5200-VTD128, Continued
  66. MSI FX5200-VTD128, Continued
  67. MSI FX5200-TDR128
  68. MSI FX5200-TDR128, Continued
  69. MSI FX5200U-TD128
  70. MSI FX5200U-TD128, Continued
  71. MSI FX5600-VTDR128 [Editor's Choice]
  72. MSI FX5600-VTDR128 [Editor's Choice], Continued
  73. MSI FX5600-VTDR128 [Editor's Choice], Continued
  74. MSI FX5900-TD128
  75. MSI FX5900-TD128, Continued
  76. MSI FX5900-TD128, Continued
  77. PixelView
  78. PixelView GeForceFX 5600, Continued
  79. Performance
  80. PowerColor
  81. PowerColor Radeon 9800 PRO, Continued
  82. Sparkle
  83. Sparkle GeForceFX 5600 (SP8831DV/ 128 MB DDR), Continued
  84. Tyan
  85. Tyan Tachyon G9600 PRO, Continued
  86. Conclusion
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