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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 2 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 3 Parrot Mambo Drone review
- 4 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 5 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung releases super-high-capacity 8GB DRAM
- Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti can give prebuilt PCs a big gaming boost
- Tested: Shadow Warrior 2 sees huge performance boosts from Nvidia's multi-res shading
- AMD quietly scuttles Gaming Evolved, the Radeon rival to GeForce Experience
- Why AMD FreeSync is beating Nvidia G-Sync on monitor selection and price
GGG Evaluation Team
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.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- TV buying guide: What to look for when buying a TV in 2016
- Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus plans: Optus vs Telstra vs Vodafone vs Virgin
- 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
- FTSOE ConsultantACT
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Web) 161011/AP/145Asia
- FTLinux Systems AdministratorNZ
- CC.Net DeveloperWA
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTOutbound TelesalesVIC
- CCIT Manager - ANZNSW
- CCOracle SOA DeveloperNSW
- CCLevel 3 Microsoft Resource EngineerVIC
- CCJava DeveloperNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle) 161031/AP/512Asia
- CCContract Junior Programmer (PC LAN Support) 161028/JP/203Asia
- CCProject AnalystVIC
- CCContract Programmer (Internet/Intranet) 161019/P/615Asia
- FTSenior Architect, Markets and ProductsNSW
- CCSenior Project ManagerACT
- CCTest Engineer - .NETNSW
- FTEmbedded Software EngineerSA
- FTProject ManagerSA
- FTLevel 2 Application SupportVIC
- CCFront End Developer (UI) - 12 Month ContractNSW
- CCQlikview DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Siebel DeveloperACT
- FTLevel 2 Service Desk AnalystVIC