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Review of MSI™ GeForce FX5600-VTDR128 on PCPlus.com

Type: Media News
Latest Update: Wed, 10 Sep 2003


Despite the lack of the "Ultra" tag on this stripped-down variant of the NV30 chipset, the FX5600 is arguably a better-balanced card than the two-slot-hogging FX5800. The latter may have been the headline grabber, but the lower-specced and considerably more affordable FX5600 and FX5200 cards were always going to be the big sellers.

MSI™ is one of the first companies to ship the FX5600. The card is manufactured using the same 0.13-micron process as the FX5800. And like the FX5800, it's an AGP 8x card with a core clock speed of 325MHz, leaning heavily on 128MB of fast 550MHz DDR memory for its visual muscle.

The card itself consists of a deep red PCB, dominated by the heatsink, and a fan encased in translucent plastic. Slimmer than the FX5800, the FX5600 is also a one-slot solution, and is significantly quieter, even when processing heavy graphical workloads. The back plate includes a VGA out, DVI-out, and S-Video jack.

GeForcing the issue
Putting the card through its paces with 3DMark 2001SE, there seemed little difference between the FX5600 and the older Ti4200. Under default settings (1024x768x32) a score of 7,198 was just shy of the Ti4200's 7,370 and this parity remained in the higher 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 resolutions. With 3DMark 2003, however, the FX5600 was noticeably speedier, eclipsing the Ti4200ˇŚs score of 1,462 in the 1,024x768 resolution, with a rating of 2,671. The FX5600's DX9 support here is the crucial advantage over older cards.

You can't argue that the FX5600-VTDR128 is fantastic value for money. Trumping both the 9500 Pro and the Ti4200 in the tests that matter, this is a decent mid-range card that's worth considering for anybody currently running a GPU that lacks DX9 support. But remember: with NVIDIA's NV35-based cards waiting in the wings, it would be wise to wait that little bit longer before committing to an upgrade. You never know what will be left standing after the next ATI versus NVIDIA® battle.

VERDICT
You can't argue that the FX5600-VTDR128 is fantastic value for money. Trumping both the 9500 Pro and the Ti4200 in the tests that matter.

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(News Source From PCPlus.com)

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