Date Joined: 02/01/06
Pros: Fast (no benchmarks to report). Easy to tell is faster than my older Class 6 card. Needed more space; speed was a bonus. Ran it for extended time without failure.
Overall Review: I had to flash my Canon HD video camera with a newer firmware revision in order to accept a 32GB card. Be sure to understand the limitations of your hardware and the SD format differences when considering a card purchase. Some older/cheap devices just can't gain from the speed increase. Not a card problem.
Pros: + OC'd out of the box. Puts it on par with Radeon 6950 in many respects. Stock config plays high settings on BF3 @ 40-60 fps. Great for me. Should get good life out of the card.
+ Amazing cooling. Need to take more samples, but I could easily OC this. MSI software download lets you jump this.
+ Packaging was very nice. All needed cables were there. Note for multi-screen peeps: Only one VGA/DVI adapter and one mini hdmi to hdmi incl, and only one mini HDMI port available.
Cons: + Large. Cases with full hdd cages in the front might be hard-pressed to cable the card's dual 6-pin power. Little metal jut at the end protects these cables, yet extends length. My ATX board had a SATA port covered by this card's two-slot and long footprint (minor)
+ Loud. Two fans. Consider your airflow setup in your case or you will have pressure/vacuum and therefore heat problems, esp if this divides your case in half inside.
+ Hungry. Two 6-pin power. I didn't have two, so had to use the incl adapters, hogging 4 total 4-pin molex. Make sure to balance these across your PSU's 12v rails or assure a quality PSU if only one 12v rail.
Overall Review: + Heavy. This sucker weighs nearly 3 pounds.
+ Price. A slight premium for the cooling/OC. You jump ~$50 to get the next level of card, so consider how much you want to mess with OC vs just outright having shader power for moderate amount of dollars more. I was looking for a 6950, but this OC'd price made sense.
+ MSI support isn't the best. Most of the top video card makers' support is terrible. Maybe keep your old PCIE card around in case u have to RMA and wait for 2-3 weeks for the return.
+ Air. If you spend more than an Xbox console on your vid card: BLOW OUT YOUR COMPUTER WITH CANNED AIR on a regular basis. High performance device will fail with poor performance cleaning. The size/shape/cooling on this thing will need care.
Pros: Integrates with Windows Media Center. Has CUDA acceleration features. Sometimes even plays movies. One egg for playing DVDs fine, one egg for WMC integration in Win7.
Cons: Go buy a dedicated BD player or alternative software (I hear TMT5 is good). PDVD9 is Extremely buggy. Crashes during movie launches at times. Extremely picky about HDCP compliance, resulting in inability to play movies (its main purpose). There are too many hardware variables to write tight DRM-respecting software for. They need to loosen up a bit and be more forgiving on home theater setups. Having used other Cyberlink products and suffered similar bug issues, I've decided to abandon/boycott this company altogether.
Overall Review: I blame a *lot* of PowerDVD problems on BluRay as a platform, as it is a pile of DRM garbage. Everyone trying to buy their stuff legit is punished by this layer of prevention/protection on the content. While integration with Win7 MC is a chore in itself, this doesn't excuse the bugs (or the fact that another company is apparently doing that same chore well).