So, you want a Direct X 10 compatible video card that won't break the bank? You don't necessarily need an upper-range card to push pixels in all their
screaming goodness? How about a mid-ranged card at a mid-ranged price? There will come a time when DX9 is just not enough for the latest games. The
MSI NX8600GTS will allow budget gamers to break into the DX10 gaming era.
The version of the card that MSI sent is the NX8600GTS OC Edition. While still working with a 128-bit memory bus
and being able to pump up the clock
results in a solid card may not be for the hardcore gamer, but it is definitely a card for the rest of us. Stock 8600GTS cards have a 675MHz
Core Clock and a 1000MHz Memory Clock. The MSI NX8600GTS OC card runs stock at 700MHz Core Clock and 1050MHz Memory Clock.
GeForce 8600 Specifications
Installation of the card went without a hitch, as expected. When it came to the software drivers
though, I had other issues. I had old versions of the MSI drivers that wouldn't uninstall when I cleaned off the drivers. Installing the regular 158.19 drivers and rebooting, I was greeted with a
failure message. Those messages did not identify themselves (a message box that said 'Failed' with an OK button). It turns out they all had to do
with MSI D.O.T. drivers from my 7600GT's that I didn't even know were still installed. After
several frustrating hours, I finally got those
cleaned off and reinstalled the 158.19 drivers. Rebooting after that didn't throw the 'Failed' message box and I was able to test without the
Full Tower Case with Rosewill 550Watt Modular Power Supply
Gigabyte K8 Triton SLi Motherboard
AMD Athlon64 X2 4400+ Processor
2GB OCZ PC3200 DDR400 RAM
Western Digital 250GB SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Sound Blaster Audigy2 ZS Platinum
Microsoft Windows XP Pro with SP2 and DirectX 9.0c
The MSI 8600GTS OC turns in some pretty impressive 3DMark scores. It beats my previous 7900 GS by over 500 points. With an overclock from
700/1050 to 764/1204, the 8600GTS has an increase of 390 points, a 7.2% increase over stock.