MSI Graphics Card Division Interview: Alex Chang Takes our Q's
Afterburner and Future Directions
What other extra features are you pursuing with the Afterburner utility for overclocking and monitoring?
At this time, it’s mostly just ensuring support for the latest GPUs being launched. MSI Afterburner is definitely the best overclocking utility on the market for video cards, and users love the intuitive and simple interface.
It should be noted that a recent GPU review on another site used MSI Afterburner to accomplish its impressive 30%+ overclocking feat, simply because the utility provided by that GPU maker did not support overvoltage. Afterburner does everything at no cost!
With a new generation of graphics chips hitting the streets this year, can you give a hint at anything really interesting or spectacular in the pipeline?
I can tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. Let’s just say, the first half of the year is very exciting, much like the last few months of 2010 leading into 2011…
Super-pipes vs. vapor chamber? Or is there room on one card for both units?
There’s possibly room for both, but if you use one then you really don’t need the other. Contrary to popular belief, a heatpipe actually is hollow inside and transfers heat by a liquid medium. So in reality, it functions as a mini vapor chamber. I know that’s not the most accurate description, but it’s how it works from a thermodynamics perspective.
Having said that, as long as you have enough heatpipes to cover the heatspreader on a chip, you will achieve the same (or better) cooling performance as a traditional vapor chamber. The most important aspects of a thermal solution design is how well the fans move air across the fins, dispersing heat in an efficient manner.
What was the first MSI graphics card product that truly impressed you/knocked your socks off?
The N260GTX Lightning Black Edition. Something that was clearly in a class of its own… the recently introduced N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition follows in the trail that was blazed by its predecessor, pushing the performance envelope above and beyond the competition.
What do you feel MSI offers that is unique compared to other competitors in the graphics card field?
Three things, actually. First, our component selection is top notch. Military Class components isn’t actually just a marketing name, we’ve taken the step of having the components tested to meet MIL-SPEC guidelines, ensuring that they are of the highest quality. Second, our thermal solutions, Twin Frozr and Cyclone, consistently rank as the best on the market. Don’t believe me? Go check out any GPU roundup with MSI in it. Third, our Afterburner overclocking software suite includes overclocking and monitoring of GPU, video capture functionality, a burn-in testing utility, and screenshot capture function. Oh, and it’s free.
Do you actually play any PC games? If so, then what are your current favorites?
Sort of. I’ve been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic for the last couple of months, but still have yet to actually hit level 50 with my character (Bounty Hunter). I haven’t really played many games lately, but am looking forward to the next installment of Half Life!
What video card is in your personal system and what features compelled you to choose that particular model?
It’s actually a reference NVIDIA GTX280. I don’t have any crazy setup at home, plus it works great even after 4+ years.
Any closing thoughts that you would like to express to our readers?
I’d like to first thank the Academy for giving me this honor. It was really nice to be voted to receive this…. Wait, sorry that was my Oscar acceptance speech.
There’s a lot of new and exciting products coming out in the next few months, hope everyone’s ready for them!
Many thanks Ryan & Josh at PC Perspective for all the hard work they’ve put in over the years. Been reading their site for a long time before working in this industry, and always a fan!
We would like to thank Alex for taking the time out of his busy release schedule to answer these questions.