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MSI StarForce 822 GeForce3 Review
By: Pakman - November 16, 2001

Overclocking

This is about the only real variable in GeForce3 cards performance abilities. The MSI 822 is reported to overclock as high as 255/568 and thus is reported to be a champ in this department. The heatsink uses a correctly applied thin even layer of thermal compound. The RAM heatsinks use thermal tape in their attachment. The variable in wafer samples can always throw a monkey wrench into the mix though. Such was the case with my review sample. The highest stable clock ratio which I was able to obtain was 220/525. That's not to bad though, considering that default is 200/460. Overclocked, this card was finally able to push the default 3DMark2001 test above 7,000 points. This was a first for me, here's a snap of the result:

 

Performance

Test System:

  • Gigabyte 7DXR AMD 761 motherboard

  • AMD Athlon XP 1800+ CPU

  • 512MB Crucial PC2100 DDR

  • WD 40GB  7,200rpm ATA-100 HD

  • Creative Audiogy sound card

  • Windows XP Pro OS (fresh installation)

All tests where performed at default clock settings for the card, 32 bit color depths and textures, with v-synch disabled. NVIDIA Beta Detonator XP 22.80 drivers where used as they work much better on Windows XP than the drivers provided with the card. MSI does offer a set of Beta Detonator XP drivers on their website, so you should be able to use all their DVD and Overclocking features with them. I however performed the test with the NVIDIA version, thus I will not go into an analysis of DVD performance in this review. I am sure that with the free DVD software provided with the card, it should play DVD's just fine though.

 
Quake 3

As you can see, I ran Quake 3 in the various FSAA modes. Remember, this in 32bit color and textures. You can see that at the two highest resolutions 4X FSAA failed, however Quincunx held up fine. I can remember when running Quake 3 in 16bit, no FSAA in 800x660 and getting a score of over 120fps was a big deal. With this card, I was able to use Quincunx FSAA and still score 127fps in 800x600 32bit color and textures, not bad!

3DMark2001

 

6748 in the default test is not a bad score at all. I went on to test not the FSAA settings, but rather the various anisotropic filtering settings instead. This is because it's a very popular thing to use now, and this may show you what kind of performance hit that the various anisotropic settings incur on your fps. My recommendation is to run at 2X FSAA with 32tap anisotropic filtering. Even at 32bit color, your games should run fine at these settings with this card. I was able to play most games at 32bit anisotropic filtering, Quincunx FSAA, 32bit colors at 1200x1024 resolution with this card, without noticing any huge hit in performance. 

 

 

Next Page: Conclusion

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Last Updated on November 16, 2001

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