MSI NX6600-TD256E review

Price when reviewed

MSI’s NX6600-TD256E is based around the GeForce 6600 GPU and boasts 256MB of DDR memory – an identical configuration to Leadtek’s GeForce 6600. The only subtle difference is the memory frequency, which is 50MHz faster than the Leadtek’s at 550MHz.

MSI NX6600-TD256E review

A copper heatsink is cooled by a small 40mm fan, which, not surprisingly, has a fairly high-pitched whine. Memory is all mounted on the top of the card, but has no extra cooling. Outputs comprise DVI, D-SUB and S-Video (which also supports component video).

In the box is a comprehensive selection of software, including a six-channel version of InterVideo WinDVD and some useful utilities. Three games add to the appeal, as does the S-Video and component splitter cable.

With the faster memory, it was no surprise to see the MSI edge ahead of the Leadtek by a frame or two per second in each test. Unfortunately, this didn’t help the NX6600 break the 30fps barrier in any more tests – once again, only Half-Life 2 at 1,024 x 768 was playable. In Far Cry and Doom 3, scores of around 25fps mean you’ll have to turn off anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering to boost performance to playable levels.

Although the extra software will be welcomed by some, it’s increased the price of the MSI over the Leadtek, almost pushing it to 6600 GT levels. For an extra £14, you could buy the far superior Sparkle GeForce 6600 GT, which will happily produce 30fps and more at 1,280 x 1,024 in all three of our test games.

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