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MSI MX440 8x - Graphics on a Budget

By: Cameron Johnson | Editorials in Video Cards | Posted: Jan 21, 2003 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 6.0%Manufacturer: MSI

Features of the MX440 8x


Package and Contents



MSI have been going after the hardcore market for some time now, and it shows with the box that MSI have produced. This number is designed to be placed on the retailers' shelf and to catch your eye. This number is not an OEM job; it goes the whole nine yards - so to speak.


Once you open the box, you would swear it was a high cost unit with what MSI have packed in. You get your standard video card, user manual and cable set and 10 CD's with games and utilities - take a deep breath, because this is going to take a bit:


You get Virtual Drive Professional, RestoreIT Professional, Duke Nukem Manhattan Project, WinDVD 5.1, Ghost Recon, Morrowind (2 CD Set) Winproducer, WinCoder for video capture, a games collection CD with over 5 game demos and finally 3D Desktop, which turns your desktop into a 3D Interactive menu system - which is very cool indeed.


With all these inclusions, you would expect the price to be super high. In actual fact, the MSI MX440 8x sells for the same price as most MX440 cards.


The Card



Like most of MSI's new products to-date, this one is based on the attractive red PCB design. This proves good if you have a windowed computer case enabling you to show off the video card inside your system.


The size of the PCB is that of a standard reference MX440 video card. Size wise, it will fit into any motherboard that has space restrictions around the DIMM slots without (in theory) blocking them.


The Chipset



The nVidia GeForce 4 MX 440 with AGP 8x support powers the MSI MX440 8x video card. nVidia hopes that the inclusion of AGP 8x support will be a big selling point and possibly give it a boost over ATI and SiS products. The core and memory speeds have been increased also in order to gain a performance boost. While this might all seem good, there is no Hardware Pixel or Vertex Shaders on this card unlike the ATI Radeon competitor which has both Pixel and Vertex and the SiS Xabre which has Hardware Pixel and Software emulation for Vertex.


Cooled with a larger than normal cooling fan, this allows the unit to achieve some very good overclocking scores, MSI has put its efforts into the hardcore market to give you what you want like usual.


VIVO, now standard



Only two years ago it was an honour and a rarity to get a video card with support for TV output, let alone input. Today it is just another part of a must have for video cards. MSI have used the Phillips SAA7114H video unit chip for this procedure. This single chip solution allows for the video card to output its display to a television with a resolution up to 1024x768. The chip also includes TV Input capabilities, so you can hook your video camera, VCR or DVD into this port to display external video sources through your PC monitor. The Phillips SAA7114H chip is used in many TV tuner cards, and is a quality chip for all your VIVO needs.


MSI includes a multimedia box unit for the VIVO functions that plugs into the back of the video cards VIVO port, located in the middle of the CRT and DVI ports. This box has two S-Video ports and two RCA ports. Single RCA and S-Video ports are for output to television, the other is input from VCR, camcorder or other video sources. This eliminates needing so many converters and eliminates messy cabling.


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