MSI N9800GT ReviewPropane -
Category: Video Cards
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It used to be that if you needed a new video card there were only a few choices to choose from. There would be the ultra high end card, the mid range card, and the card for people who want to save money. While these same categories exist today, there are many more cards that fit into each category. This is great for the consumer because now we can weigh what features we want and have a smooth gradient of options to choose from, anywhere from the inexpensive cards to the 600 dollar cards that double as a room heater.
The MSI N9800GT is one card that fits into the mid range category, even though it has a high end name. The N9800GT has all the features of a 9000 series card and is based on the G92b chipset which is made on a 55nm fab. This card will support DirectX 10, however it is not entirely DirectX 10.1 compliant. With a core clock speed of 600MHz and a memory clock speed of 900MHz, this card is already pretty fast. It has 754million transistors which eat up 105watts of power, enough to run a normal house lightbulb. The question that this review will answer is whether or not that 105watts of power is worth it or if it is better spent on other hardware.
The N9800GT comes in pretty standard video card packaging, and the box has a lot of attractive designs on it. The front shows that it is a MSI N9800GT with 512MB DDR3 RAM, that it is hybrid power ready, as well as Phys-X ready. The nVidia PureVideo HD and the nVidia GeForce logo are also present. The back of the box lists a lot of specifications and features and lists the entire product name (N9800GT T20512).
Opening up the box reveals the video card in a protective pocket in a piece of foam as well as in a protective anti static bag. The cardboard pouch contains all of the accessories which we will take a look at on the next page.
The MSI N9800GT comes with a wide plethora of accessories that can be used for various purposes. Three cables are included which provide the ability to use the video card along with a television or computer monitor with component / s-video inputs.
Also, two adapters come with the N9800GT. One is the now standard DVI to VGA while the other is a rather new DVI to HDMI that I, personally, have not seen before, but am glad to see start coming out.
The last of the accessories are the documentation and software CD. Two quick start guides are included and the CD contains a nVidia driver. There isn't a lot special about these but they are still worth mentioning.
Now let's take a closer look at the actual card.