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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)

What is CoreCell 3D?

The crux and success of the NX6600GT Diamond lies in its software utility, MSI's CoreCell 3D application. This program is only supported in Microsoft Windows, which will disappoint Linux users. Basically, the CoreCell 3D application is a graphical interface that displays useful information and settings of the graphics card and of course, for users to tweak these settings to their liking. Users will have to install the program and it can be found in the System Tray on startup as shown below:

MSI's CoreCell 3D program can be accessed through the System Tray, where the following preset 'profiles' can be activated.

The CoreCell 3D consists of 4 main sections:

CoreCell 3D Center – General monitoring of temperatures, voltages and GPU speeds.

CoreCell DOT Express – Here are the five preset options MSI has included for those who want fuss-free tweaking. The Silence option will reduce the clock speeds by a good degree and even turn off the GPU fan. This option is only recommended if your computer is idling or if you are performing very mundane office work. The Extreme option will only increase the GPU frequency to 550MHz. For even more extreme overclocking, users will have to enable the VX Tune utility.

Here are the various preset profiles and what they are recommended.

This is the main interface for the CoreCell 3D application which is divided into a few sections. Pertinent info like temperatures, GPU frequencies, are displayed in the CoreCell 3D Center while the VX Tune utility on the right allows users to overclock their graphics card with a click of the mouse. You can also choose from preset profiles like Silence, Quiet, Regular, Hyper and Extreme for overclocking or even underclocking using the DoT Express panel found at the lower left bottom. Finally, clicking the Fan Icon on the top right corner will show the Cool on Demand options that affect the GPU fan.

CoreCell 3D VX Tune – The main tweaking section of the application, where users can adjust the voltages and frequencies of the graphics card. This voltage modification options are turned off by default and users must physically toggle the dipswitch found on the card to enable it. While normal DOT tweaking is still covered under MSI's warranty policy, voltage tweaking isn't and this is clearly made known when you install the CoreCell 3D application. That means you are on your own while enabling voltage tweaks, so take precaution if you wish to experiment.

Here's a screenshot of our maximum overclocked settings using the VX Tune utility. The GPU fan speed is hovering at its maximum speed.

The Cool on Demand utility allows users to change the speed of the GPU fan manually or to enable the auto Smart Fan option. You can actually turn the fan off through this utility though we dont really recommend that. Clicking the Cyclone Icon at the top right corner will return the user to the VX Tune utility.

CoreCell Cool on Demand – To enter this section, users must first click on the Fan icon at the top right hand corner of the application. Here is where users can control the GPU fan. By default, the Smart Fan option is enabled and the program will automatically adjust the fan speed according to the GPU temperatures. However, users can also manually control the speed of the fan here.

On choosing the Smart Fan option, we can see the GPU fan slowing down to a more normal revolution speed.

Overall, the CoreCell 3D application is a handy utility that definitely adds value to the product. Even users who may not care about voltage overclocking will find the other information and settings available very useful. Although other vendors may also have their own overclocking and tweak utility, the CoreCell 3D utility feels more polished, slick and well integrated.

Finally, here is our overclocking experiment with the CoreCell 3D application. Using the VX Tune overclocking utility, we managed to increase the core and memory frequencies of the MSI NX6600GT-VT2D128E Diamond to a stable maximum of 560MHz and 1200MHz DDR respectively. The resultant 3DMark03 scores showed an improvement of between 12 and 14 percent compared to the default settings, which was quite significant. However, compared to our own unassisted overclocking, there was only a slight 40MHz increase in the memory frequency.

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