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MSI NX6800GS-TD256E (GeForce 6800 GS, PCIe)
By Vincent Chang
Category : Graphics
Published by Vijay Anand on Monday, 28th November, 2005
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  


Introduction

There have been constant speculations and rumors about a mid-range GeForce 7 series graphics card for some time now. Such talk has only intensified after NVIDIA's second card in the GeForce 7 series turned out to be the GeForce 7800 GT, which still fell into the high-end category. The company showed no indication of replacing its ageing high-end GeForce 6800 cards with a GeForce 7 series alternative though persistent rumors hinted at a GeForce 7800 GS that was supposed to be it. Instead, NVIDIA blindsided almost everyone with its introduction of the GeForce 6800 GS, a cheaper, short-term replacement for the existing GeForce 6800 and even the GeForce 6800 GT.

MSI's newest GeForce card is its take on the NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GS.

From the reference NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GS that we reviewed , this short-term SKU looks to be quite a bargain, thanks to its competitive performance and price ratio. The GeForce 6800 GS could match the GeForce 6800 GT in the benchmarks but its recommended retail price is significantly lower than the GeForce 6800 GT and thus also taking over the segment that the plain GeForce 6800 once occupied. NVIDIA has also managed to maintain its promise to have the card widely available at launch and this too, seems to have been fulfilled, judging from the quick response that we have had from vendors when it came to review units. First up, we have the MSI NX6800GS-TD256E, a standard GeForce 6800 GS from one of the largest graphics card vendors in the business – Micro-Star International. To refresh your memory about this SKU, here are its technical specifications:

MSI-NX6800GS-TD256E Technical Specifications
Graphics Engine
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GPU
    • Stock 3D GPU clock = 425MHz
    • Stock 2D GPU clock = 350MHz
    • 12 pixel rendering pipelines
    • 5 vertex pipelines (geometry engines)
    • 256-bit DDR memory controller
  • CineFX 3.0 Shading Engine
    • Vertex Shaders
      • Support for DX 9.0 Vertex Shader 3.0
      • Displacement Mapping
      • Vertex Frequency Stream Divider (Geometry Instancing)
      • Infinite length vertex programs (supported in hardware)
    • Pixel Shaders
      • Support for DX 9.0 Pixel Shader 3.0
      • Full pixel branching support
      • Multiple Render Targets (MRTs)
      • Infinite length pixel programs (supported in hardware)
    • Texturing Engine Features
      • Up to 16 textures per rendering pass
      • Support  for 16-bit and 32-bit floating point formats
      • Support for sRGB texture format for gamma textures
      • DirectX and S3TC texture compression
    • Full 128-bit FP Precision Graphics Pipeline
      • Native support for 32 / 64 / 128 bits per pixel rendering modes
  • UltraShadow II Technology (accelerates shadow computations)
  • Intellisample 3.0 Technology
    • 16x Anisotropic Filtering
    • Adaptive Texture Filtering
    • Rotated Grid Antialiasing
    • Fast antialiasing and compression performance
    • Loss-less Color, Texture and Z-Data Compression algorithms (in real time)
    • Fast Z-clear
    • High-resolution Compression Technology (HCT) increases performance at high resolutions.
  • Advanced Video and Display Functionality
    • Dedicated on-chip video processor
      • MPEG video encode and decode
      • WMV9 decode acceleration
      • Advanced adaptive de-interlacing
      • High quality video scaling and filtering
    • Integrated NTSC/PAL TV encoder support resolutions up to 1024x768 with built-in Macrovision copy protection
    • DVD and HDTV-ready MPEG-2 decoding up to 1920x1080i resolutions
    • Dual 400MHz RAMDACs that support resolutions of 2048x1536@85Hz
    • Dual DVO ports for interfacing external TMDS transmitters and external TV/HDTV encoder
    • Microsoft Video Mixing Renderer (VMR)
    • nView Multi-display Technology
  • Digital Vibrance Control (DVC) 3.0
  • NVIDIA High-Precision Dynamic-Range (HPDR) Technology
  • Advanced thermal monitoring and thermal management
Graphics Memory
  • 256MB Graphic DDR SDRAM
  • Default memory clock = 500MHz (1000MHz DDR)
  • 256-bit memory interface
RAMDAC
  • Dual integrated 10-bit per channel 400 MHz DACs that support resolutions of 2048x1536@85Hz
  • Integrated 165 MHz TMDS transmitter (DVI 1.0 compliant and HDCP ready)
Connectors
  • 1 x analog VGA connector
  • 1 x DVI-I connector
  • 1 x 9-pin mini-DIN connector
Drivers & Software
  • Driver support for Windows  98 / Me / 2000 / XP
  • Colin McRae Rally 2005
  • MSI Multimedia (Drivers & Utilities CD)
Other Information
  • 16-lane PCI Express expansion slot required
  • PCIe Molex power connector required

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