Software Evaluation

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The software bundled with the MSI FX5600-VTDR128 is identical to that found in the MSI Ti4800SE-VTD8x package we reviewed a few weeks back. So instead of repeating the same evaluation here, please see that review for my thoughts on the bundled software. Any updated impressions I have I will mention below.

In terms of bundling, the only addition in the software included (as compared to the Ti4800SE bundle) is the addition of the MSI Media Center Deluxe II software CD to be used with the remote control. Otherwise everything else is identical, even the games.

MSI Media Center Deluxe II
As already stated in the evaluation of the remote control, the installation of the MSI Media Center was not that smooth. Going into the installation, I did not know that the software only ran on Windows XP (I was running Windows 2000). Nowhere on the box or included documentation was this fact mentioned. I only found it in the FAQ and Knowledge Base at the MSI website. So if you are planning on using the remote control and this software, make sure you own a license of Windows XP.

MSI's Media Center Deluxe II.
MSI’s Media Center Deluxe II. Used in conjuction with the remote control.

The Media Center itself is pretty simple. The intention is to provide a central interface for all your media files with the added bonus of being able to use the remote control. The software takes advantage of Windows XP’s “My Documents” folder and all its siblings/offspring folders (like “My Pictures”, “My Music” etc.) and using the Media Center interface, you can navigate your way through these folders visually using the remote control. There is also a DVD player built in which is pretty handy when used with the remote.

After playing around with this on and off for a day, I felt that the strongest point was the DVD playback when used with the remote. However, beyond DVD playback there isn’t much other practical use unless you find yourself wanting to show pictures using a remote often. The best setting will be in a living room where the computer is attached to a TV. Just be warned that I found the software is prone to crash if you try to execute too many actions at once using the remote control.


WinProducer without any importing ability.
WinProducer’s importing/digitizing ability is missing.

As an update to my experience with the bundled WinProducer software, once again the software does not work (as seen in the previous MSI Ti4800SE-VTD8x review). WinProducer still does not have a valid “Import” function for digitizing video and the patch available online still gives me a “Severe” error when installing. So if you are looking to digitize your own videos, be sure to have a back-up plan (i.e. 3rd party software) in case WinProducer does not work for you.

Error when trying to patch WinProducer.
“Severe” error when trying to patch WinProducer.

Warranty & Support
For those of you buying retail boxes, often you are looking for something more than just what is inside – you are also looking for customer support, warranty, and service. I had a chance to sample some of these aspects in reviewing this video card and hopefully answer some of your questions.

If you take a look on MSI’s packaging, manuals, CD, and even their website, you will not find any of the warranty information disclosed. The immediate impact of this is that for a customer, at time of purchasing the product, they will have no idea of what is covered and for how long. Does anyone find this unusual?

I personally had to post a question in our MSI forum to see if anyone knew. A visiting MSI rep told me that I would have to contact MSI directly to get anything in writing. It took less than 1 business day to get a response and the needed documentation. Having looked over the terms, I now know what is covered in their warranty. To quote directly:

“MSI VGA Products are warranted for 3 year limited warranty (Two (2) years Parts & Labor, and the third Year Parts ONLY).”

2 years parts and labor warranty is pretty good and will be sufficient for most of you since computer upgrades come every 1-2 years these days. For comparison, some manufacturers only offer 1 year, whereas some offer 3 years.

MSI Forums
The MSI forums are very active and staffed by knowledgeable individuals. I have posted there previously about issues with the MSI Ti4800SE and MSI motherboards and I was helped promptly and efficiently. Before looking to the MSI forums for help, it is best to know as much information about your system and your situation as possible. Otherwise a lot of time will be wasted establishing basic background information while that time can be better spent helping you with your issue.

The MSI forums.
MSI’s electronic support forums – a good place to start.

MSI FAQs and Knowledge Base
The online FAQ and Knowledge Base at (MSI’s International website) provide the same information since both options use the same solution database. So don’t think you’re missing something by choosing one over the other (Tip: Use the FAQ, it’s quicker than the Knowledge Base). The FAQ and Knowledge Base are fairly sparse for MSI video cards. At time of publishing this, there are only 6 graphics related items in their database, which is pretty meager.

The MSI FAQ list.
MSI’s FAQs contain scant information on VGA products.

However, if you go to the MSI America website at, you get a different set of items in their FAQ. So if you can’t find what you’re looking for at one MSI website, try a different one as their FAQ databases seem to be independent of each other.

My Support Recommendation
It is my recommendation that customers take advantage of the MSI forums or any other electronic forum (like the ones we have here). Though there are options like MSI phone support and the online FAQs, forums are much more dynamic and you will get a more thorough response.

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