Recently, OCA took a look at both nVidia and ATI's best, with the R9800 Pro coming out on top. No doubt, it was GooSH!™ to see how these $400+ cards perform beside each other, but not many people plan on spending so much money on a graphics card. Instead, the rest of the "real world" looks toward either medium ranged (FX5600 and R9600) or budget accelerators. And so today, OCA compares nVidia's latest budget card, the FX5200, against ATI's latest budget card, the R9200, and hopefully any lingering questions as to which of these similarly priced cards is supreme will be finally silenced.
We will be comparing the MSI FX5200 128MB (with 128-bit memory interface) with the FIC R9200 64MB. Although this is certainly not a fair comparison due to the different sizes in video card ram, the differences should not be too big a deal considering these are "value" cards, and the amount processing power available to each is on the light side.
Our first contender is the MSI FX5200 VTD128. It currently costs $104, a bit more than the cheapest 128MB FX 5200 reported on Pricewatch, but it also comes with a whole pack of goodies, which if you don't mind, I'll pimp very quickly here. Some box pics first:
Very attractive, to say the least. Inside we have the card, DVI-VGA connector, 9pin-VIVO connector, MSI case sticker, manual, and a bunch of software CDs.
MSI, always up to its quality standards, uses a gold colored, actively cooled heat sink in contrast with the red PCB, deviating from reference design. A ton of thermal paste is used too.
Pictures of the core and memory
This MSI FX5200 in particular features a ton of extra features including fan speed monitoring and warning, GPU, memory I/O and memory core voltage monitoring and warning, Twin-BIOS technology (essentially a "backup bios"), VIVO, and lastly 11 CDs including 10 games (Ghost Recon, Morrowind, and Duke Nukem Manhattan Projectto name a few) and 20 utilities. That's INSANE, especially since this package only costs about $40 more than the cheapest 128MB FX5200 out there. Somewhat similar to the FX5900, using MSI's own software, the cooler on this card can run in four modes: Enhanced 3D, 3D, Enhanced 2D, and 2D, each with different fan RPM settings: 6500, 5000, 4200, 3000, respectively. This is definitely useful for overclocking, and prolonging the life of the card. The fan ranges from 8db to 26db, depending on the mode selected.
I am really impressed with what MSI has included in their FX5200 VTD128. For a lot more info, go to MSI's website.
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