Since the card isn't really of final specification, we won't give it a rating. But we have to admit that the Hybrid Freezer technology MSI has on offer is looking pretty impressive. The cooler alone looks very cool and the design on a whole seems excellent. Hopefully it's something we see more of in the MSI design.
Before we ramble on about all the great features of the card, the choice to currently restrict the cooler to the 1GB model is a bit disappointing. While it's good the option is there at all, the decision to place it on the 512MB model will represent better value for money. The 9600GT is an excellent performing card, but in all fairness it really isn't up there with the likes of some of the higher end models that are actually able to make use of the extra memory on board.
With that said though, we can understand why MSI has the cooler on the 1GB model. It doesn't matter that the performance increase is really non-existent, people just like to say that they have 1GB of graphics card memory on hand.
The main thing I can't get over however is the look of the cooler; it's simply awesome with everything looking great, from the mesh over the fan to the plastic that covers the fins. We would have liked to have heard the fan spin up just to see what its noise levels are like, but we're not exactly going to complain about the fact that under all the benchmarks we threw at it the fan didn't once have the need to spin up.
Now we just have to hope that MSI go for a decent overclock, which we're sure they will if past experience is anything to go by. The current crop of 9600GT OC cards from MSI come with a 700MHz core and 1900MHz DDR memory clock. Hopefully we see at least 2000MHz DDR on the memory clock with this new model, and maybe another 20MHz on the core to really make the card stand out.
Hopefully we see more cards in the MSI family pick up on the Hybrid Freezer technology soon, because it really has the ability to impress.