MSI NX6600GT TD128E PCIe - MSI 6600GT Up Close

Article Index
MSI NX6600GT TD128E PCIe
MSI 6600GT Up Close
Test Setup and Overclocking
Benchmarking the Budget
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

The Card:

When I first saw this card, I immediately thought back to the days of the Radeon 9700.  Back in those days, only ATi cards were red, and it still takes some getting used to companies making their own color of PCB's.


NX6600GT - Front View


NX6600GT - Back View



The back-plate is almost full.  It has one DVI, one standard VGA, and a multi-pin connector for the S-Video and component outputs.  It's nice to see component video supported on this mainstream card.  Also below is a picture of the heatsink removed from the card.  MSI uses a white thermal paste and does a pretty good job applying it evenly.  As you can see in the picture on the right, the HSF made contact with all of the BGA RAM chips, but not by much.  Before I took this picture, I looked to see what kind of contact the HSF was making and I did notice that it was a little high on the one chip.  After I applied Arctic Silver Ceramique, I reseated the HSF and noticed that it made better contact.  I pulled it off to look at the thermal paste and it was more even distributed for sure.

NX6600GT - DVI, D-Sub & More
 NX6600GT - DVI, D-Sub & More

NX6600GT - Stripped
 NX6600GT - Stripped

It's at this point that I'd like to comment about the HSF that MSI uses on their cards.  It appears to be copper, but doesn't have a very smooth finish.  You can see this by clicking on the thumbnail above.  Click the picture that pops up to view an even larger picture.  I know that the HSF is metallic as it is quite cool to the touch, when tapped with a screwdriver it sounds more like an aluminum/polymer alloy.  It does keep the GPU core running at a smooth 39°C when idle and just under 50°C when full load.

Below are a couple pictures of the core components up close - the GPU core and the DDR3.  I appologize for the fuzzy pics, but I had to take these free-hand in poor light as Nicao still hasn't returned my tripod. . . that's right, and I really want it back.  The Samsung GDDR3 from is clocked at 500MHz so I was interested to see what it was rated at and find out how much overclocking headroom we might have.

There are 4 - 32MB chips on this card.  The chips are marked as K4J55323QF-GC20 chips and are rated at 2ns.  Doing a quick bit of math, this equates to 500MHz or 1000MHz DDR which these chips are already clocked at.  So much for the massive RAM overclocks.

NX6600GT - A2 Core
 NX6600GT - A2 Core

NX6600GT - Samsung 1GHz DDR3
 NX6600GT - Samsung 1GHz DDR3

Now before we head on to the benchmarks we'll take a look at the test setup and some testing information on the next page.