MSI NX8600 GT
- Good DirectX 9 gaming performance, Doesn't require supplemental power, Inexpensive
- Struggled in the DirectX 10 game demonstration of Lost Planet, doesn't come with a DVI-HDMI adapter
The MSI NX8600GT is a decent and affordable mid-range graphics card that's suitable for playing today's games, but it might struggle to run DirectX 10-based games when they're released.
Price$ 209.00 (AUD)
At just over $200, this card represents good value for a Windows Vista-based system. It's based on NVIDIA's GeForce 8600 GT GPU (graphics processing unit), which isn't as fast as the GeForce 8600 GTS, but it can still be used for gaming and for processing high definition content.
The standard speeds of the GeForce 8600 GT are 540MHz for the GPU itself and 1.4GHz for its GDDR3 memory. On this model, MSI has included a 580MHz GPU and 256MB of 1.6GHz memory, which allow it to produce slightly better in-game performance than a standard 8600 GT GPU.
It won't provide super-fast frame rates, but it will allow you to play games with anti-aliasing enabled at resolutions of 1024x768 and 1280x1024. In the game F.E.A.R, the card averaged 54fps (frames per second) at 1024x768, which translates to smooth game play, while at 1280x960, it averaged 37fps. These results were recorded with 4x anti-aliasing and 16x anisotropic filtering enabled. While an average of 37fps isn't a guarantee for silky-smooth game play, this score indicates that the card should be able to adequately run many of today's taxing DirectX 9-based games at the native resolution of 17in and 19in LCD monitors (1280x1024), without compromising on image quality (thanks to anti-aliasing).
In DirectX 10-based games, the card might not fair very well at all. We tested it with the Lost Planet game demonstration, which has a built-in benchmark, and the results weren't smooth at all. Even at a resolution of 1024x768, with 4x anti-aliasing and with image quality set to medium, the card averaged 21fps. There's still a long way to go before DirectX 10 games hit prime-time, but the indications so far are that this card, and others based on the 8600 GT, probably won't be able to run them without dramatically reduced image quality.
Physically, the card takes up only a single slot in a PC and it has a heat sink and fan to cool the GPU. Its operation wasn't loud during our tests and the card was stable throughout. Unlike cards based on the 8600 GTS GPU, this one doesn't require supplemental power to be plugged in. It simply runs off the PCI Express bus, which means you won't need to give up any valuable power connectors in order to run it.
For connectivity, the card has two DVI ports and ships with two DVI-VGA adapters, a Component break-out cable and an S-Video cable. It's a pity the card doesn't come with a DVI-HDMI adapter, as the GPU has the ability to decode Blu-ray and HD-DVD content using NVIDIA's PureVideo HD technology, and an HDMI connection is the easiest way to connect a PC up to a high definition panel, as you won't have to fiddle with resolutions or video modes.
We used our own DVI-HDMI adapter to watch video on a large flat-panel screen, but audio couldn't be transferred via the same cable. With this solution we still had to use the sound card jacks.
All up, the MSI NX8600GT is a decent and affordable mid-range graphics card that's suitable for playing today's games, but it might struggle to run DirectX 10-based games when they're released.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- PC prices will continue to go up due to shortage of components
- Radeon Vega vs. GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? AMD, Nvidia announce dueling events at GDC 2017
- Toshiba's in chaos, but not quitting PCs -- yet
- Intel's 8th-gen 'Coffee Lake' chips reuse 14nm process as other Core CPUs ease into new tech
- Intel researches tech to prepare for a future beyond today's PCs
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCNetIQ Development & SupportNSW
- FTSenior Learning Specialist - Global OrganisationQLD
- TPBusiness Intelligence Program ManagerVIC
- FTSenior Network AdministratorNSW
- CCProject Support OfficerNSW
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorNSW
- FTService Desk AnalystNSW
- CCBusiness Test Lead - BRT/UATNSW
- CCServiceNOW DeveloperNSW
- TPProject Coordinator/Junior Project ManagerVIC
- FTBusiness Development Executive - Queensland Public SectorQLD
- CCSystems Engineer (Infra)NSW
- TPDigital Process Business Analyst - Digital Transformation**NSW
- CCData ArchitectNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- TPLead Change Manager - ERPVIC
- CCFirewall EngineerNSW
- TPOrganisational Change Manager - ICT Services TransformationQLD
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW
- CCUser Experience Designer - Part time - Short contractACT
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- CCMultiple System Engineers - Data Centre - TelcoVIC
- TPDatabase Integration SpecialistVIC
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW