MSI NX8600GTS OC Video Card
Author: Zahn Funk
Editor: Shawn Knight
Date: 10-23-2007
Provided by: Micro-Star International
Discuss: View Comments
The Card

The first thing I noticed about the NX8600GTS OC is the color image imbedded in the GPU/Memory cooler. This has become fairly common on upper end video cards and is a practice I really don't care for. I much prefer function over design when it comes to heatsinks and coolers. The card is a double-slot design, using a vented second riser to exhaust air from the fan outside the case. The heatsink is not directly connected to the riser however to duct the air, it just aims it in that general direction.

The thick cooler is definitely going to take up some real estate in your case. It is offset quite a bit from the card so that the fan clears the capacitors and other components. The design uses an aluminum base plate which doubles as a memory cooler. Thermal pads are positioned to come in direct contact with the four chips above and to the right of the core. Rather than being one solid piece, the part that touches the GPU is a block of copper with a single heatpipe to transfer heat into the aluminum fins positioned to the far left of the card, near the vented riser. The whole affair is held in place by an X-shaped plastic bracket on the rear of the card using typical spring-loaded, screw-on caps to provide the proper tension. Prior to installing, I removed the cooler and cleaned off the GPU die of the gray paste applied from the factory, replacing it with Arctic Silver 5.

The card has a single 6-pin PCIe connector to provide additional +12v power. As we saw before, an adapter is included if your power supply does not have one of the PCIe connectors, however make sure the +12v output is capable of supporting the extra load from the video card. Like the 8600GT/GTS reference model, this card does have the SLI connector to enable running dual cards in parallel if your motherboard supports that. There is no SLI bridge included with the card however this piece typically comes with an SLI-ready board.

Let's move on to installation.

  Sponsors Links

  Sponsors Links