MSI N9800GT ReviewPropane - October 13, 2008
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As with all hardware, for the operating system to be able to communicate with it with the best efficiency it can, a driver will have to be used. Drivers for video cards are often updated so they should be downloaded from the GPU manufacturer's website (in this case, nvidia.com), however the card manufacturer should have included a driver on the included CD, and that is the case with the MSI.
Inserting MSI's included CD into your computer will autorun a launcher, giving you several choices of what to do. MSI chose to go with a tabbed layout for this launcher interface. The tabs are along the top and take you to various subpages such as driver, utility, website, maunal, and Cyberlink. The driver tab allows you to install the nVidia driver, the utility tab allows you to install MSI Utility, the website tab provides you with several links to various helpful pages on the web, the manual tab has a few different pages to with helpful information, and finally, the Cyberlink tab lets you install the bundled PowerDVD program.
The nVidia control panel, a front end to the driver, gets installed with the driver and allows you to adjust many different settings on your video card including performance vs quality ratios, clock speeds, and several other very handy settings.
The utility that MSI includes to assist you in overclocking their N9800GT is called DualCoreCenter. DualCoreCenter is a small app that can hold several different preset or user set profiles to run your video card under. Either this card didn't support all the features of DualCoreCenter, or DualCoreCenter is still in production though because some options were grayed out for me. The main screen gives you a quick overview of your settings and has an advanced mode button which you can use to unlock an option to take a look at a more detailed statistics dialogue.
You can also set up your user profiles which let you change all the settings to what you want them to be. These user profiles can be quickly switched on the fly depending on what situation you are in.