When it comes to hardware, some people are pretty one-sided about their video card preference too, and I'm no exception. I entered the 3D gaming scene many years ago with 3dfx and naturally migrated to nVidia after that. As it happens to work out, I've only upgraded my graphics card every other generation, from Voodoo3 to GeForce2, Ti4200 to 6600, so advances in technology and the level of improvement over previous GPU's has always been significant. Following that progression it's clearly apparent that I'm about due for an 8000 series card, which leads us to this review of the MSI 8600GTS OC.
As we see from the box, this is the OC Edition, with the O and C represented as gauges going into overdrive. The OC stands for OverClock, and refers to an increase in clock speeds (700/2100) over the reference 8600GTS. (675/2000) In MSI's case this also warrants an improved heatsink and fan combination. Many manufacturers offer variations of "better-than-average" cards that give buyers a slight bump in performance right out of the box. I've owned two such cards in the past, a Gainward "Golden Sample" and one of MSI's "Diamond Edition" monikers.
The box also lists the card's other features, most notably 256Mb DDR3, dual link DVI and HD support. Inside we find the card well packaged, with a bundle of accessories including software CD, dual DVI-Analog adapters, S-video cable, component pigtail, PCIe power adapter and two very different looking Quick User Guides. The one is more of a product promotional pamphlet, the other is the real guide which details features, installation and setup. There are no bundled games included, which I thought strange considering this is supposed to be a more gamer-oriented OC Edition.
Continue as I take a closer look at the NX8600GTS OC.