In this review, we look at the MSI NX7800GS - TD256 video card. Although NVIDIA's major focus these days is on PCI-Express video cards, the recently released NX7800GS AGP proves there is still hope for all you AGP users still out there looking for one more generation before finally making the leap. Already have a 6800-based card and not sure if the upgrade is going to be worth it? Read on to find out just how well the MSI NX7800GS performs in some of today's most demanding benchmarks and games!
Micro-Star International Co., Ltd (MSI) has been around the computer industry since 1986 and is considered one of the leading hardware manufacturing companies in the world. MSI brings great customer service, leading edge technologies and high quality of product to the computer industry. MSI is a Taiwan based company servicing most European, North American and Asian countries.
The NX7800GS card is based on the GeForce 7800 GS chipset and utilizes CineFX 4.0, DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0. The card supports current MPEG-2/DVD standards as well as the new Microsoft Media HD Video.
The NX7800GS at a glance...
NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GS AGP
256MB GDDR3 (1200MHz)
16 Pixel/6 Vertex
2048x1536 @ 85Hz
Dual DVI ports, S-Video, VGA and DVI connections
Included with the video card was an owner's manual, quick reference guide, Driver Installation CD, CyberLink CD (Power Cinema / Power2Go), Atari GT Legends Game, DVI / VGA adapter, S-Video / Component Video Cable and an S-Video cable. The video card was wrapped in a tight fitting foam cutout to support the card in shipment. I found the quick reference guide to be the most helpful of the documents included.
I was asked to review the NX7800GS card primarily because I still run an AGP motherboard. Being that I built my computer in 2004, I realize that it may be time for an upgrade; but with new processors from both Intel and AMD, the G80 from NVIDIA and Windows Vista coming out later this year, I will stick with my rig until then.
I am an avid MMORPG and FPS player. Prior to putting in the 7800GS, I was running a 6800NU overclocked to 6800GT levels to handle the often-intense nature of these game styles, so there was little worry of my machine handling this NX7800GS. I am an avid MMORPG / FPS gamer and was not concerned with my system failing to handle this GeForce 7800GS.
FRAPS v2.5.5 build 4430 used for benchmarking in-game play and screen captures
I used 3DMark05 because it is still the standard by which cards are tested. The tests will give a solid baseline comparison of the video card at the various resolutions and video settings. To get the below results, the tests were run three times at each resolution and then averaged.
As the graphs show, I used three different resolutions – 800x600, 1024x768 and 1600x1200. These seemed to offer the overall best representation of what this card can do for all levels of gamers: those that want the absolute highest framerates regardless of screen size, and those that want the aboslute biggest picture, regardless of performance hit.
From the results, Game Test #3 had the highest frames per second (FPS) and Game Test #1 and #2 had the most consistent FPS. The 3DMark05 information is useful for baseline comparisons but these are rather synthetic benchmarks and do not always reflect real world performance. For that, in-game testing was needed to determine the true value of the NX7800GS.