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MSI NX6600 Diamond (AGP & PCIe Combo Review)

MSI NX6600 Diamond (AGP & PCIe Combo Review)



MSI NX6600-VTD128 (AGP 8x) - Part 1

MSI NX6600-VTD128 (AGP 8x) - Part 1

The first product to be scrutinized in our lab was the AGP 8x variant and we found it to be uncannily similar to MSI's NX6600GT-VTD128 card, which utilizes the speedier GeForce 6600 GT GPU. If you had the chance to study both the cards (like we did), you would realize that that the similarities go right down to each and every individual component on the PCB. Why even the PCB model number on the NX6600-VTD128 Diamond matches that on the NX6600GT-VTD128. This brings about the question if both cards are actually the same product with lower clock speeds on the NX6600-VTD128 Diamond. We'll find that out soon enough.

Full copper heatsinks with a large 55mm diameter fan ensures the card's thermal levels are well in check, but since this cooler design was catered for the GeForce 6600 GT variant, you can guess that the NX6600-VTD128 Diamond operated at fairly cool temperature levels. Fan noise was virtually nonexistent no matter how heavily we loaded the graphics card, so the card chalks up further brownie points in this department too.

As seen from the photo shot of the card's front, the NVIDIA High Speed Interconnect (HSI) chip is also present since the GeForce 6600 series are designed for native PCIe x16 operation. The HSI is a bridging chip that converts PCIe signals to AGP signals and it is capable of the reverse too. It is because of this bridge chip that NVIDIA was able to renew the aging AGP market space quickly with the GeForce 6600/6200 series, giving them the superiority in mainstream AGP graphics card segment. More on the HSI Bridge chip is mentioned in this article.