Graphics Cards Guide

MSI NX8800GT-T2D256E-OC (GeForce 8800 GT 256MB) review

MSI NX8800GT-T2D256E-OC (GeForce 8800 GT 256MB)

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It's just the beginning of a new year and already we have seen rumors about the new graphics products upcoming from the two big chipmakers. NVIDIA looks to consolidate an excellent 2007 by reinforcing its mainstream offerings with a GeForce 8800 GS, supposedly with an even more stripped down G92 core. With such heavy reliance on the G92 core, the Taiwanese fabs that NVIDIA is counting on to produce the chip better be working double and triple shifts to meet demand. Look out for our review on this new SKU in the coming weeks.

ATI meanwhile has promised its high-end dual GPU (RV670) R680 graphics card in the first quarter of the year and we really hope that this time, ATI will have a performer capable of giving NVIDIA's high-end cards some proper competition. If ATI's stocks arrive in time to the retailers, from what we've heard, it should be available next week. Both sides are also in the process of preparing their next generation products, though we expect few major architectural changes this time around. It looks like another typical year in graphics and with Intel not expected to enter the field at least until late 2008, it's shaping out to be another familiar two horse race.

So how do these developments relate to consumers now? Well, it's usually the case that the new cutting technologies slowly filter down to the mainstream segment and the recent 256MB version of the GeForce 8800 GT is probably a good example of this trend (while the GeForce 8800 GS mentioned earlier looks to be another upcoming example). In fact, for those with more modest budgets and requirements, a 256MB, DirectX 10 capable graphics card remains a very viable option and here to convince us today, we have the MSI's overclocked GeForce 8800 GT 256MB. With higher than usual clock speeds and a custom cooler, can this card win over the sub US$250 market and emulate the achievements of its more powerful 512MB compatriot?