MSI GeForce 3 Ti500 Pro-VTG (MS-8854)
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective’s website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.
MSI are well known for their motherboards, but they have also been in the video card business ever since the days of the RIVA TNT2 and are now Nvidia’s largest OEM customer. The G3Ti500 Pro-VTG is the flagship of their range and is basically the same as the GeForce 3 Ti500 reference card that I reviewed at the end of December last year, but with the added features like the VIVO (video in & video out) and the 3D Stereo2-Glasses that seem to be bundled with most high end cards these days. With so many manufacturers pumping out similar performing video cards, they need to make theirs stand out against the rest and the easiest way to do this is by bundling the card with novelty items like the stereo glasses and the odd game or two.
The MSI G3Ti500 Pro-VTG has a similar PCB layout as the reference card, the only real differences is the different ram sinks, larger HSF and the absence of the DVI connector; that is replaced by the added S Video in and the composite out.
The first thing that you notice about the G3Ti500 Pro-VTG is the bright red PCB that has become homonymous to MSI and their motherboards; the card looks very nice and would look sweet plugged into the K7T Pro2 RU which is the exact same color. I was going to do the review with the above combination but the motherboard is currently in use in my daughter’s computer, and if I were to use her box to do the review she would want to use mine while I did the review and I couldn’t have that, could I.
The card is bundled with the 3D stereo glasses as I mentioned earlier, and they work on the principle of blocking your view in your right eye when the picture on the screen is meant for the left and doing the same for the other eye as well; so the picture on the monitor screen looks as if you have a shadowing effect with an overlay of the picture slightly off to the side. Even though the principal is sound, they are a bit of a gimmick and at the moment with the technology as it is, they have no real practical use; I tried them by watching a DVD and I got double vision and when I got them working right by playing with the resolution and refresh rate it gave me a headache. One thing I would say about the 3D glasses is that they are comfortable and if they didn’t look like a mixture between blind mans and safety glasses I would most probably have given them more of a chance.
The glasses are plugged into a small card that fits nicely into the case just bellow the video card, the reason that MSI have done this is mainly because they couldn’t fit it on the main PCB and if they decided to have a raised daughter board they wouldn’t have room for the connector. By using a separate card for the 3D glasses MSI have added another connector for a second pair of glasses, which is a first, but due to the fact that the glasses are not that practical they could have left it off and saved some money. Also the power is taken from a small 4 pin connector on the top corner of the board, Unfortunately the connector is not polarized and only two of the pins are used, so it could be quite easy to put the connector upside down, this won’t harm the card but it will not work until you turn the connector over.
As usual MSI have paid allot of attention to the packaging and as you can see from my reflection on the box that it is completely glossy.
One of the features that I did like on the MS-8854 was the SafeBIOS, basically it’s like what you see on the Gigabyte motherboards, but instead of having two separate bios chips you have one big one that you can partition into two, so if you have a bad flash you can boot and fix the problem.
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Apart from the 3D glasses the card comes with a full package of software including a full version of Interplays Sacrifice, MSI DVD, MSI 3D Turbo, MSI 3D Theater and on another CD you get WinCoder and WinProducer.
Bellow is a list of the software bundled with the G3Ti500 Pro-VTG.
- WinProducer lets you combine your personal video, digital images and audio into exciting, professional-quality movies. Whether you are editing your first movie or looking for a program that will let you take your productions to the next level, WinProducer’s straightforward drag-and-drop editing style combined with its comprehensive editing capabilities will meet your needs today and tomorrow.
- WinCoder gives you the highest quality capture of digital audio and video for your PC. With this software video recorder, you can preview video from any analog or digital video source and encode it to MPEG1 or MPEG2 compressed video formats — all in real time. Perfect for archiving your tapes or transferring video to the PC for editing.
- MSI DVD
- MSI’s own software based DVD player.
- MSI 3D!Turbo™
- Powerful and user-friendly interface for MSI VGA family of video cards, it provides you with information on you video card, lets you overclock your card and has a hardware monitor that lets you monitor memory an core temperatures and the fan speed. It also provides control panel for colors, RGB adjustment
- VGA drivers for 95/98/200/NT(14.62 Detonator)
- Capture Driver.
- Stereoscopic driver.
- NEW MSI Live VGA BIOS™
- MSI SafeBIOS™ (Two BIOS In One Chip) technology
- Guaranteed Boot-Up!
- One-click, Live VGA BIOS detected & Auto-updated
- It ensures that your monitor displays 3D games with accurate lighting & shading exactly the way the creator intended.
- Interplays Sacrifice. (Full Game)