Authour: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: October 1st, 2010
Inside the box are the usual accessories. Alongside the driver/utility CD are output adapters to convert HDMI to DVI and DVI to VGA. A dual 4-pin molex to 6-pin PCI-Express power adapter is included, and a multi-lingual fold-out quick users guide, plus a second user guide to using the included MSI Software.
The card itself is quite attractive, with a chrome ring around the bezel edge of the fan. The heatsink features a small copper core to mount against the Redwood GPU, with thick aluminum fins to dissipate heat. The heatsink and fan are slightly taller than the card PCB itself, protruding slightly over the top about a half inch. All solid capacitors are used throughout the card, with both sides quite densely populated with surface mount components. The four memory chips on the front side of the card are covered but not touched by the heatsink, and the rear-mounted four memory chips are bare. MSI included a single Crossfire 'golden finger' connector, allowing two cards to operate simultaneously when the included (short) crossfire bridge is installed.
The rear of the card features all the display outputs in a single line, unlike the initial AMD reference design. MSI provides three outputs consisting of DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort. The included HDMI to DVI adapter is dual-link, and is a solid design. A cautionary note, we could not find a DVI cable with a small enough connector to connect to the onboard DVI output and use the HDMI to DVI output at the same time. You'll need to either use a flexible HDMI-DVI cable/adapter, or native HDMI display for your multi-monitor needs. The rear backplate has MSI's logo incorporated into the air exhaust slot design, oriented so that it's readable in a standard ATX case.
MSI adds some nice added value with their cards, in the form of Live Update, Afterburner and Kombuster. Live Update can help you keep updated with your mainboard and graphics card drivers and BIOS.
MSI Afterburner, Like EVGA Precision, is based on the ever-popular Rivatuner, and enhanced for MSI users. In fact, users of non-MSI brand cards can download and use it for free. Now in version 2.0.0, Afterburner offers voltage unlocking and adjustment, automatic profile loading, and fan speed profiling. Several skins are included in both full sized and compact version, to match your style of Windows theme.
Kombustor is an MSI variant of the furmark concept, using a fuzzy MSI logo to stress test your overclock in DirectX 9, 10 or 11. Afterburner includes a one-click shortcut for launching Kombuster from it's interface, allowing you to tweak and test within the MSI suite simply and easily.
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