The first thing one notices when looking at this card is the red PCB and the Top-Tech cooling solution that has been implemented on this card. We found this Copper/Aluminum combination to work really well on all the other MSI NV28 video card solutions. On the back side of the card you can see that MSI implemented an aluminum heat spreader that is used to cool the memory chips on the rear.
When looking closer at the TOP-Tech cooling solution we find a nice sized aluminum heat sink with a 50mm fan located over the GPU (Graphical Processing Unit). The coiled fins are made out of copper and are designed to help pull heat away from the core. The air is taken in from the sidefan and is blown across the copper fins and out the top of the heat sink. We have found this design to cool better than NVIDIA’s reference cooling solution on the NV28 series video cards. We found quality 3.6ns Hynix memory modules hiding under the cooling soulution.
The above picture shows the side of the card where you can see the standard VGA, DVI, and TV-Out/Video-in connector. The video codec that MSI uses for the VIVO is the ever common Philips SAA7108 video codec which can work up to 800 x 600 and outputs PAL (50 Hz) or NTSC (60 Hz) video signals. The 7108AE offers full VIVO (Video In Video Out) functions and not just TV out, and MSI makes life easier with the adapter shown below.
If you have a sharp eye you will notice that the MSI Ti4800SE-VTD8X is on a full sized PCB. We will see if this improves or hurts performance when compared to the smaller Gainward Ti4800SE. The last feature covered is the TV-out/Video-in connector. This adapter is easy to use when doing ViVo activities. This connector is shown below and is truly a “link to the future”.
Now that you have a pretty good understanding of the card, we can go ahead and see how it performs!