The need for good graphics is something that we keep mentioning whenever we review a product like this, but any video gamer worth his salt will know that excellent graphic performance can make the difference between a win and a loss in a game, whether against the computer or other players. This is one of the reasons why PC gamers are near-obssessive about upgrading. And graphic processor upgrades are arguably the most common type of improvements to be made to gamers’ computers. And even then, the elite are going to want a card that they can tweak for even more power.
But getting the right card can be tricky. They’re expensive as it is – finding the right product for your money is essential, to avoid disappointment and worse, bad performance.
MSI’s range of cards are a trusted product line the world over, with good reason. These cards deliver whisper-quiet performance, generally without a hitch. The
N480GTX M2D15 we tested, for example, performed beautifully on all counts. It packs an NVidia 480 GTX chip, which is supported by 1.5GB of GDDR5 graphic RAM.
It’s not the most RAM we’ve seen on a graphics card, but the powerful punch of the processor, combined with what is still a generous RAM, still makes for an excellent level of performance.
Extra performances comes from the fact that the card supports PCI Express 2.0, and those that want even more power can make use of its SLI ready status to add a second graphics card to their system.
Using the bundled MSI Afterburner Technology, the user can squeeze up to 15% extra performance out of the card, which is not bad at all. The card also incorporates PhysX technology, and is NVidia 3D Vision ready.
The card is wonderfully stable, with tantalum core Hi-C capacitors and aluminium core solid capacitors, as well as a solid-state choke stabilising power usage, performance, temperature and even noise (because ring chokes can vibrate when under strain.)
With two DVI ports and a mini-HDMI port, the N480GTX can handle a dual monitor setup beautifully.
The bundled software includes Live Update 4, an MSI package that automatically scans for BIOS, driver and utility updates, making the maintenance of the card’s related software a breeze. The addition of Afterburner also means that overclocking is simple and safe.
If you’re looking for a card that is stable, effective and easy to use, this is a great option. The price isn’t too pocket-friendly, but no high end graphics cards are cheap these days. It’s good value for money, none the less – this silent, heat-efficient card strides along at a great pace, making for flawless, effortless gaming. The fact that it is 3D ready is also a big plus, as it can easily be updated with NVidia’s 3D system. Also, when compared to some of the other cards on offer, the price is really rather reasonable…
MSI have yet to get ahead of themselves in terms of pricing. All in all, this offering from MSI is a solid product for NVidia 480 chipset fans.
At A Glance
A good performer for those who want excellent graphics.
Distributor: Pinnacle Africa
• NVidia 480 chipset
• 1536 MB RAM
• 342 bits memory bus
• SLI ready
• 3D ready
• 2 DVI outputs
• Mini HDMI output
• Good software bundle
• Heat efficient