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MSI Starforce 8816
Page 1 of 6
Author: dracon
Date of review: 26-June-2001
Type Of Review: Videocards

Introduction
I'm sure by now everyone knows about the GeForce2 MX chipset. And with the recent launch of the GeForce 3 on all fronts, it's not surprising to see sales of videocards based on older chipsets being phased out. Or is it not ?


First of all not everyone is willing to fork out $350 to $400 USD for the GeForce 3. And with most games not really pushing the chipset to the limit, you don't really get much more performance boost for something that is selling for about 3 times that of a card based on the older MX chipset.


The GeForce2 MX chipset is a stripped down version of the GeForce2, and is supposed to be nVidia's answer for the low-end market, the not-so-hardcore gamers. The GeForce series, from the first instalment to the latest third addition, has always targeted the high end users. The lower end and business market has been dominated by other chipsets such as the G400 and G450 from Matrox and the Radeon and Rage series from ATI. Basically, people who don't play games that often. The Radeon btw, is quite a performer at higher colour depths, and it comes strapped with an onboard hardware DVD. Matrox is well known for its crispness and sharpness of images, not to mention the dual head technology too.


How the MX compares technically with other cards.

The GeForce2 MX chipset also features a TwinView techonology that allows you to add one more monitor to your display, treading on Matrox's turf I'm sure. Unfortunately the videocard being reviewed here doesn't have the additional connection.


The dolphin endorsed package.

MSI's Starforce 816 is a 32MB AGP implementation of the Geforce2 MX chipset. If you have been observing all the MX cards out there, you would notice that they are all based on the same reference design by nVidia. Remember Canopus ? If I'm not mistaken, they were the only people that modified the reference design for the TNT chipset. Nowadays, to cut down on lead-time, not much innovation is being done. Oh well, it's not as if you can really squeeze out a significant amount of FPS.





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