Package and Accessories
The packaging of MSI products seems to be the best you can see on the market. The box is small and fits easily into any bag, and also has a handle of its own. The box is decorated in MSI’s traditional style, but instead of robots, aliens or knights in shiny armor there is a picture of a cute lass here.
The text on the box informs you about the key technical features of the product. The GPU/Shader Performance sticker indicates that the card is pre-overclocked relative to the frequencies recommended by Nvidia.
Inside the wrapper there is the main cardboard box whose contents are protected with pieces of foam rubber and a transparent cover. The card is additionally wrapped into an antistatic pack which prevents it from damage during transportation or storage. Besides the card, the box contains the following:
- 2 x Molex→6-pin PCI Express power adapter;
- DVI-I→D-Sub adapter;
- S-Video→YPbPr/Composite/4-pin S-Video adapter;
- Brief user’s guide in English;
- Brief installation manual in 26 languages;
- CD disk with drivers and utilities.
The accessories are not numerous, yet quite satisfactory. Free games would not be much of a gift but would raise the retail price of the product, especially as the price of the OC-suffixed NX8800GT is going to be higher than that of the ordinary version anyway.
The only problem is about the documentation. The paper user manual is too brief while a full version is not available even on the CD. The system requirements listed in the manual do not mention the possible incompatibility with PCI Express 1.0/1.0a mainboards. There are a lot of such mainboards in use currently and their owners should be warned about the potential problem, we guess. Moreover, the manual mentions systems with Intel Pentium III and AMD K7 processors that cannot support PCI Express at all. MSI might have provided a more detailed and accurate manual.
The disc with the driver contains ForceWare 167.26 whereas the official WHQL driver for GeForce 8800 GT is currently ForceWare 169.02. The software bundle also contains MSI’s exclusive utilities such as Live Update 3 for updating the graphics card’s BIOS and driver. Most of gamers prefer to download the latest official driver directly from the GPU developer’s website, though.
So, the packaging of the MSI NX8800GT should be praised for its nice design and safety, but the accessories might be better. On the other hand, the box contains everything you need to use the card. The user manual should be more detailed and updated with features peculiar to PCI Express 2.0 graphics cards. And we guess a full version of the manual should be supplied as well, at least in electronic form.
That’s enough about the accessories, let’s now check out the graphics card itself.