New and upcoming Graphics Cards on show
Now, for those of you that have been waiting for the graphics cards, you are in for a treat, as MSI showed its entire range of Radeon HD 2x00 cards. First up is a pair of Radeon HD 2400 Pro cards, one full size, passively cooled, 256MB card and one half-height, actively cooled, 128MB card. Both cards use DDR2 memory, but sadly no clock speeds were given for either card. Both cards had a DVI connector and TV-out, while the half height card only offered a D-Sub as a wired option.
Next we have the MSI RX2600XT-T2D256E, which as it happens, is a Radeon HD 2600XT with dual-DVI, TV-out and 256MB of GDDR4 memory. Again a total lack of clock speeds, but the interesting thing here is that it is an MSI design and it is using a black PCB. The cooler actually looks quite similar to that of the Radeon X1950XTX, but without the heat pipe. The card features internal Crossfire connectors and there was space on the back of the card for additional memory for a 512MB version. Interestingly, this card did not feature the extra power connector that we expected it to have, although there is space for a power connector at the top of the PCB.
Finally we have the card that you have all been waiting for, the RX2900XT OC Liquid. OK, yes we know, the name is not exactly going to make you go "ooh, aaah" but hey, it is the first water cooled Radeon HD 2900XT to be shown by anyone, so do not knock it! MSI has made a rather interesting design here. For starters, the small pump is powered directly from the card, as it is connected to one of the two fan headers. Then there are the two waterblocks attached to the massive heatsink that is covering almost the entire card. Presumably the first of the two waterblocks is cooling the GPU, while the second smaller waterblock is cooling the digital MOSFETs for the power regulation. It is a shame that the two waterblocks are connected with such a long piece of tubing, as this is not a pretty solution. The radiator is cooled by a 120mm fan, however, we are curious where you are going to fit this, unless you have got a massive case in which you can fit the radiator on the side panel.
But let us not forget about Nvidia, as MSI makes Nvidia based graphics cards as well. Two interesting designs were on display, both based on the GeForce 8600GTS. The first one was a passively cooled version of the standard MSI design with dual-DVI ports and TV-out, great for those that want decent gaming performance without the fan noise. But the part that really stood out was the NX8600GTS Diamond Plus, as this card featured a dual-slot fan cooler - although we are not sure why it was dual-slot - but more importantly this is the first 8600GTS card with HDMI to appear from one of Nvidia's partners. The card also has one DVI port and TV-out. Strangely enough this card uses a standard four-pin Molex connector for power instead of the standard six-pin PCIe power connector.
That is all for today folks, but make sure you check back with us soon for an update on MSI's Santa Rosa based notebooks with the new Nvidia 8-series mobile graphics cards.