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MSI NX6600GT-V2TD128E Diamond (GeForce 6600 GT PCIe)
By Vincent Chang
Category : Graphics
Published by Vijay Anand on Monday, 4th July, 2005
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars   (Most Innovative Product Award)


Overclocking for Beginners

It used to be that overclocking was the exclusive domain of hobbyists and enthusiasts who would pepper their discussions with arcane terms like 'multiplier locks' and 'front-side bus frequency'. Chip manufacturers like Intel and AMD would publicly discourage the practice by warning of the potential pitfalls involved. On the other hand, motherboard makers were complicit in the efforts of the overclockers, adding more BIOS options that supported overclocking. The same scenario is in recent times being mirrored in the graphics card arena too.

In order to gain 'street cred' among enthusiasts, vendors have added more overclocking-friendly features to their products, from factory overclocked cards that comes with higher than normal frequencies, to custom cooling solutions that aid overclocking, to software tools that make overclocking almost trivial with its simplicity. Preset overclocking profiles from vendors like MSI's Dynamic Overclocking Technology (DoT) and HIS iTurbo Mode is a no-brainer and consumers are even covered by the manufacturer for any damages sustained during use.

While it is debatable whether the mainstream consumers that purchase these cards actually try out the overclocking features included, the fact is that overclocking is now available for the masses with a click of the mouse. And this is about to be extended even further with MSI's latest GeForce 6600 GT, the NX6600GT-VT2D128E Diamond Edition.

MSI's latest innovation: the NX6600GT-V2TD128E Diamond.

Some of you may remember that we once did a review of MSI's Diamond edition GeForce 6600 here . That premium card featured an overclocked core and memory out of the box, and that is not including the fact that users could try to squeeze even more with MSI's bundled DoT utility. Now, MSI has gone one step further with their Diamond edition GeForce 6600 GT. The GeForce 6600 GT version does not have an overclocked core or memory as it operates at a rather typical frequency of 500MHz for the GPU and 1000MHz DDR for the frame buffer. However what it has is built-in voltage modifications that allow for greater overclocking by enabling increased voltage to the card when it is needed. MSI claims that it is the first graphics card in the world to simplify voltage overclocking and we detail how it works in this review. Here are the rest of its technical specifications:

MSI NX6600GT-V2TD128E Diamond Technical Specifications
Graphics Engine
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT GPU
    • Stock 2D GPU clock = 300MHz
    • Stock 3D GPU clock = 500MHz
    • 8 pixel rendering pipelines
    • 3 vertex pipelines (geometry engines)
    • 128-bit DDR3 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
  • 128MB Graphic DDR3 SDRAM
  • Default memory clock = 1000MHz DDR
  • 128-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
  • 2 x DVI-I connector
  • 1 x 9-pin mini-DIN connector
Drivers & Software
  • Driver support for Windows  98 / Me / 2000 / XP
  • CyberLink PowerDirector
  • CyberLink PowerCinema
  • CyberLink Power2Go
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
Other Information
  • PCI Express x16 expansion slot required
  • 4-pin Floppy Drive power cable required

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