Noise, Overclocking and 2D Quality
The cooler installed on the MSI NX6800GT proved to be rather quiet. Even at the maximum speed its noise remained in a comfortable range. This noise consisted mostly of a quiet hissing of the air while the fan was nearly noiseless. Unfortunately, when we set the speed controller to the minimum position, a distinct and irritating sound added to this noise. This sound may be the result of some flaw in the fan control circuit.
So, although the MSI engineers didn’t match the silence of the RADEON X800 XT/X850 XT, they did make a rather quiet device. Overclocking gave an indirect confirmation of the highest efficiency of the CopperUltra cooler. We easily overclocked the graphics processor to 435MHz (that is, above the default frequency of the GeForce 6800 Ultra). Alas, the 2.0ns memory wouldn’t speed up above 550 (1100DDR) MHz, but we think this is a good result nevertheless, considering we achieved it with the card’s standard cooling system with a not very good thermal interface. During our overclocking experiments we set a 120mm fan to blow at the card.
The card also supports MSI’s six-step dynamic overclocking technology called D.O.T., but it only works if you’ve installed the exclusive drivers from MSI.
The overclocking profiles increase the frequencies of the card by from 2% (Private) to 10% (Commander). You can also set the frequencies manually, without using CoolBits fix or third-party utilities like RivaTuner. Unfortunately, the exclusive MSI drivers coming with the card are based on an older version of NVIDIA’s ForceWare, so it would be wise to use MSI Live Update 3 to download the latest version of the driver from the company’s website right after the purchase. If that D.O.T. feature isn’t at all fascinating to you, you can just install a latest official version of NVIDIA’s ForceWare.
The NX6800GT delivered an excellent-quality picture in all resolutions up to 1600x1200@85Hz and 1800x1400@75Hz. So you can use this card for work in highest display modes supported by your monitor.