A Thing of Beauty
Tired of hearing about MSI’s latest video cards? Me neither! It seems we have been on a roll lately with the latest and greatest from MSI, but happily that will soon change. In the meantime, we do have another MSI card to go over. This one is probably the most interesting of the group so far. It also is very, very expensive for a single GPU product. This card is obviously not for everyone, but there is a market for such high end parts still.
The N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition is the latest entry to the high end, single GPU market. This is an area that MSI has been really leading the way in terms of features and performance. Their Lightning series, since the NVIDIA GTX 2x0 days, has been redefining that particular market with unique designs that offer tangible benefits over reference based cards. MSI initially released the N580GTX Lightning to high accolades, but with this card they have added a few significant features.
Continuing reading our review of the MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition!!
Subject: Editorial, Motherboards | July 29, 2011 - 02:03 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: z68, pcie 3.0, msi
Just Delivered is a section of PC Perspective where we share some of the goodies that pass through our labs that may or may not see a review, but are pretty cool none the less.
As we gear up for the PC Perspective Hardware Workshop at Quakecon 2011 next weekend, August 6th, we are starting to get in some very interesting products. The coolest part? All of this is going to be GIVEN AWAY to attendees!!
MSI is supplying us with a pair of new motherboards for our system build contest that will be held during the workshop - faster person to get a system up and running will get some killer prizes. Even better, these are some of the FIRST Z68A-GD65 G3 boards in the US - the very same ones we saw at Computex in June sporting the world's first PCIe 3.0 implementation.
Sporting an LGA1155 socket and the new Z68 chipset, you get all the features associated with it including SSD caching and integrated graphics support.
The classic features from MSI continue to exist here with the Military Class II components as well as the always well-received OC Genie button.
It sports a total of 4 USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, DVI and VGA outputs and a lot more.
One thing to note: this motherboard will ONLY support PCIE 3.0 speeds once the Ivy Bridge processors are released later this year so unless you have some unreleased hardware (and please do share!) then you aren't going to be seeing the advantages of this tech quite yet.
Still, future proofing is good news!!
Thanks to MSI for these boards and if you are coming to our workshop be prepared for your chance to win one before the rest of the worlds gets their hands on them!
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Mobile | July 25, 2011 - 02:58 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: msi, Android
Are you a hardcore PC user who likes to tweak your computer? Naturally there is an app for you. MSI has launched an application for the Android Marketplace this morning to allow users wishing to monitor and overclock their computers the ability to use their Android-powered smartphone or tablet for that purpose through their wireless network. This version allows you to monitor temperature, voltage, fan speed and adjust clock rates, voltages, and fan speeds.
Let's hope Angry Birds doesn't see this: Some systems' power consumptions are pigs!
MSI Afterburner APP has relatively modest requirements: a tablet or smartphone device running Android 1.6 or higher, a system running Windows XP or later with a discrete graphics card, access to a network with wireless access for the Android device to link into, and Afterburner 2.1.0 or later installed on the PC. Setting up your PC is relatively simple once you have Afterburner installed as you just need to run, not even install, an application “Remote Server” that you can download from the MSI website linked to from the Android Marketplace link. While this application is too new to be rated, it is free and thus there is little reason to not simply try it out yourself.
Subject: Editorial, Shows and Expos | July 16, 2011 - 12:51 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: sli, sapphire, pdxlan, pdx, nvidia, msi, amd
If you are a PC gaming and live near or around the Portland, OR area you are familiar with the concept of PDXLAN - one of the most popular (but still cool and underground) LAN events in the country. The primary event is going on this weekend and I am here to both game and take a look at what the sponsors are showing off.
MSI has a lot of stuff going on including a look at the latest version of the Afterburner overclocking tool, the 3GB version of the GTX 580 Lightning (that Josh is currently working on a review of) and even a NVIDIA Surround based Dirt 3 sim seat.
Gaming laptops are still taking off here in the US and MSI has a couple on display including a HUGE 18-in mode (on the right) with a keyboard that lights up with various colors of LEDs, configurable.
The Sapphire guys are here as well and are showing off much of what AMD for gamers including Eyefinity configurations like the very popular 5x1 portrait mode. This is something that only AMD offers currently and in this demo we were looking at Dragon Age II. It was definitely grabbing some attention!
Showing that AMD's HD3D technology does indeed have legs Sapphire was showing off the new Samsung SyncMaster SA950 that has a nice external design. I am going to spend some more time with it today to see how it performs, so check back for more!
If you are here, you can also find me getting butt kicked at various games. This is the machine I'll be on, a Maingear built GTX 580 SLI right with an overclocked Intel Core i7 Sandy Bridge processor and 30-in display. I know, it sucks to be me, but someone has to sacrifice and play on it, right?
More from PDXLAN later today!
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 15, 2011 - 02:20 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: overclocking, N580GTX Lightning XE 3GB, msi, LN2
CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA – July 15, 2010 – Since releasing its Lightning series graphics cards, world-renowned mainboard and graphics card manufacturer MSI has received universal praise from media and gamers alike for their outstanding design, rich use of components, powerful performance, and infinite overclocking potential. With the release of the N580GTX Lightning that follows in the footsteps of previous generation Lightnings, graphics card world records were sure to fall. Overclocking enthusiasts from all over have been running the N580 GTX Lightning with LN2 for some extreme overclocking and once again broke 3DMark 11, 3DMark Vantage, and Unigine Heaven (DX11) single-card, single-core world record scores. These considerable achievements demonstrate once again that only a Lightning can outshine a Lightning!
The triple world record king－N580GTX Lightning
At the beginning of June, US overclocker Splave put the N580GTX Lightning under LN2 cooling and effortlessly set a Unigine Heaven (DX11) single-card, single-core world record with a high score of 2501.6. Then, he topped that score this week with a new world record score of 2562.51! Russia's overclocking ace Smoke also paired a N580GTX Lightning with LN2 for some extreme overclocking as well. In the past few days, with scores of 11,390 and 46,546 respectively, he broke both 3DMark 11 and 3DMark Vantage single card single core world records! This proves the superlative performance of the Lightning series is its best spokesman.
Most advanced design and Military Class II components create a king amongst record-breakers
The N580GTX Lightning, whether in terms of specifications or design, belongs in the highest class of products. The exclusive Power4 power supply architecture and triple overvoltage function strengthens overclocking stability and potential. Additionally, the Extreme OC Function, specifically designed for overclocking, ensures the graphics card can still function normally under extreme overclocking conditions. Adoption of materials has also undergone careful consideration. High quality, second generation Military Class components provide the most stable user experience and optimum durability. In all aspects, MSI Lightning graphics cards demonstrate design and development capability and infinite overclocking potential.
MSI has announced two notebook computers with optional Intel Core i7 quad core processors and supporting a slew of fast data transfer standards including Intel’s Wireless Display technology, HDMI, Bluetooth 3.0, and USB 3.0. The Intel Wireless Display technology is capable of transmitting 1080p in addition to 5.1 audio to HDTVs without wires, and is available on both new models. The X460 and X460DX chassis is constructed of a metal alloy with feather patterns and an aluminum palm rest as well as room for a second internal hard drive. The models comes equipped with batteries that MSI claims are capable of up to 8 hours of power. Both models also come equipped with either Windows 7 Home or Windows 7 Professional.
Dubbed the X460 and X460DX, the X-Slim series of notebook computers has received a fresh update. The X460 weighs in at 1.98 kg (~4.36 lbs), is less than 1” thick and bears a 14” form factor. MSI claims the notebook is the lightest Core i7 quad core packing computer currently out. Further the X460 is able to use Intel’s second gen “Sandy Bridge” Core i7 2630QM or the Core i5 2410M processors. The X460 sticks with the Intel processor graphics (HD 3000). The X460DX on the other hand comes with an Intel Core i5 2410M processor and a discrete NVIDIA GT540M with MSI’s GPU Boost graphics switching technology. To be more specific, the new models come with the following specifications.
Core i7 2630QM
Core i5 2410M
|Core i5 2410M|
|GPU||Intel HD Graphics 3000||
HD Graphics 3000
|RAM||DDR3 up to 8GB||DDR3 up to 8GB|
|Display||14" HD LED Backlit (1366 x 768)||14" HD LED Backlit (1366 x 768)|
|I/O and Ports||
|Dimensions||23.91 (W) x 33.9 (D) x 2.23 (H) cm||23.91 (W) x 33.9 (D) x 2.23 (H) cm|
|Weight||1.98 kg with 6 cell battery||2.00 kg with 6 cell battery|
No word yet on prices or availability; however, the brushed aluminum look never seems to get old and the specifications seem decent. What are your thoughts on the new models?
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. – July 07, 2011 – MSI Computer Corp., a leading manufacturer of computer hardware products and solutions, today announced the first North American shipment of the WindPad 110W. MSI worked closely with Microsoft and AMD (NYSE: AMD) to create a tablet that combines powerful processing and Microsoft Windows® 7 operating system designed for professionals, including business travelers, healthcare and education professionals.
"Bringing Windows 7 and AMD's newest generation processor together is a significant step forward for MSI's tablet line," noted Andy Tung, vice president of North American sales for MSI. "Our business customers want portability and multimedia entertainment on the go, and the new hardware and latest software gives us the ability to deliver that experience in a tablet form factor."
The MSI WindPad 110W combines security features with easy navigation tools to make using the tablet while away from a desk easy and secure.
"Microsoft is pleased to work with MSI to help bring their portable Windows-based tablet to market," said Nick Parker, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing in the OEM Division at Microsoft Corp. "Windows 7 is a great choice for commercial customers looking for a device that enables the productivity, mobility and security their businesses need to succeed."
The tablet also packs the new AMD Z-01 Accelerated Processing Unit (APU), offering powerful processing and display performance with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 32 GB solid state drive, 1280x800 screen resolution, a USB port and mini-HDMI port included.
"The MSI WindPad 110W tablet featuring the AMD Z-Series APU with unmatched AMD Radeon™ graphics is an exciting new product and a perfect fit for end users that want DirectX® 11 capability and vivid HD media experiences," said John Byrne, corporate vice president and general manager for Americas Mega Region, AMD. "In addition to its integration with operating systems like Microsoft Windows 7, the AMD 2011 HD Tablet Platform enables enterprise-level security and offers support for HTML 5 and external monitors, enabling crisp graphics for enhanced productivity, streaming video, gaming and other multimedia."
The MSI WindPad 110W highlights and features include:
- Trusted Platform Module (TPM): With the TPM, files and data are automatically encrypted for maximum security using the BitLocker functionality in Windows 7 Enterprise or Ultimate to provide encryption for the tablet and any removable HDD.
- Easy Face Software: MSI's Easy Face software allows you to log in without typing a password. Instead, show your face to the tablet's webcam, and you will automatically be logged in to the system. The software employs your unique facial features to remember your passwords, so you don't have to.
- Multi-control Navigation: The Smart Tracker provides smooth operation, so that you can grip both sides of the tablet and use small finger movements for navigation, an additional navigation control to using the touch screen. The SAS Hotkey performs the traditional role of the "Ctrl+Alt+Del" combination whenever needed.
- Smart O-Easy Application: The user-friendly application delivers full-control panel at your fingertips and allows you to manage and find the functions or programs that are most often used, including volume, webcam, wireless, mute, standby mode and screen brightness.
Subject: Motherboards | July 6, 2011 - 04:36 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: PCI-E 3.0, msi, graphics
MSI recently unveiled a new motherboard supporting the PCI-Express 3.0 standard. The Intel LGA 1155 CPU socket and Z68 chipset are also features of the upcoming motherboard, dubbed the Z68A-GD80 (G3).
The new MSI board joins ASRock's announcement as one of the first PCI-Express 3.0 motherboards, and is loaded with tons of features. The Z68 chipset naturally supports Intel Sandy Bridge processors, PCI-E 3.0, a UEFI BIOS, OC Genie II, and their signature MIL-810STD military class components. The PCI-E 3.0 slots help AMD CrossFire X and NVIDIA SLI multi GPU solutions fed with plenty of bandwidth. Rear IO includes a PS/2 port, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, DVI, 7.1 audio, Dual Gigabit Ethernet, e-SATA, and firewire. On board IO includes 3 PCI-E 3.0 slots, 2 PCI slots, and two PCI-E x1 slots, the 1155 CPU socket, and 4 DDR3 DIMMs.
What do you think of the new board; are you ready for PCI-E 3.0?
Subject: Graphics Cards | July 4, 2011 - 06:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: N580GTX Lightning XE 3GB, MSI lightning, msi, GTX580
Lightning strikes twice in this review from [H]ard|OCP, a pair of MSI N580GTX Lightning XE 3GB cards in SLI are tested on a variety of games. Apart from showing off the capabilities of a system with a $1200+ graphics subsystem it demonstrates a very important example of scaling; the effect of doubling the GDDR5 available to the GTX580 GPU. They've tested the 1.5GB version previously and so can compare that performance as well as contrasting it with the HD 6970 in Crossfire. Their testing showed that the extra memory does help, as long as you are using multiple monitors. If you are using a single display, even a 2560x1600 30" display, you are wasting your money picking up the 3GB models, there simply isn't enough pixels to be pushed to need the 3GB per card. The AMD setup did come behind in performance somewhat, but since it costs about $500 less that does not make it a bad alternative. Head over to [H] and prepare to feel jealous.
"Two MSI N580GTX Lightning XE 3GB video cards in SLI! Tested in NV Surround. We are going to find out if these 3GB video cards hold an advantage over two GeForce GTX 580's and two Radeon HD 6970's. This is the most VRAM per video card we have ever gamed with. We test with seven games, including the new F.3.A.R."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- MSI N560GTX TI Twin Frozr @ XSReviews
- GIGABYTE GTX 560 OC @ Bjorn3D
- ASUS GTX570 DirectCU II Edition @ OCC
- ASUS RoG Matrix GTX 580 Graphics Card Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Gelid Icy Vision Graphics Card Cooler @ X-bit Labs
- Sapphire HD 6870 Toxic Edition Video Card Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Sapphire HD 6770 FleX Edition @ OCC
- MSI Radeon HD 6950 Twin Frozr III Review @ Techgage
- Sapphire HD 6950 DiRT 3 Edition Review @ Neoseeker
Subject: Motherboards | June 28, 2011 - 10:22 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: msi, llano, a75
Today MSI announced a new motherboard for AMD enthusiasts which brings support for AMD’s Llano APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) and the latest SATA III 6 Gbps and USB 3.0 IO standards. The new board in question has been dubbed in typical leftover scrabble pieces fashion as the A75MA-G55.
Utilizing the A75 chipset, the new A75MA-G55 is a Micro-ATX form factor that does not skimp on features with 4 DIMM slots for up to 32GB of DDR3 memory and 2 PCI-Express 2.0 slots for discrete graphics cards. Further, a PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slot and a legacy PCI slot are also included on the PCB. Rear IO includes a PS/2 port, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, HDMI, VGA, and DVI support along with 7.1 channel audio outputs.
The AMD APU that will be paired with this motherboard will features DirectX 11 graphics and a ‘Steady Video’ feature which utilizes the APU’s GPU to apply image stabilization to video to remove shaky images.
As other enthusiast class motherboards from MSI, the A75MA-G55 features Certified Military Class II components which amounts to solid state capacitors, and super ferrite chokes that seek to extend the longevity of the motherboard versus the old school non-solid capacitors that tended to “burst” after years of heavy use. As a mATX Llano board with lots of features, it is a motherboard that is sure to be right at home HTPC (home theater pc) and SFF (small form factor) enthusiasts.
In response to the Asus F1A75 series, it looks like MSI has a competitive offering on its hands. As always, stay tuned to PC Perspective for more Llano motherboard coverage. Which Llano motherboard are you most excited about?