IntroductionMSI RX700PRO-TD256E 256MB Review
I'm sure you'd just love to have a new ATI Radeon X800 XT Platinum Edition video card. I know I would. You also wouldn't see me turning away a GeForce 6800 Ultra card. The trouble I face, and I'm sure you do too, is a price tag on the wrong side of £300 and limited availability that now beggars belief. However, the benefit of having cutting-edge cards from both graphics card giants is the inevitable trickle-down technology effect on cards lower in the range. These cheaper cards often retain a large portion of what makes the best cards tick, such that previous generation's midrange cards are left wanting in both specification and performance.
Tricking down from the X800 R423 part is ATI's new midrange PCI-Express offering, the RV410 or X700. The name might not be so different from the present X600 but nearly everything internally is, including a native PCI-Express design. NVIDIA has already launched its all-new NV43 midrange part to general acclaim, so it's important that ATI does the same. Having excellence in the very premium sector is nice, but having the best range of cards in the crucial £150 category is more than nice, it's absolutely necessary.
ATI's RV410, as we shall see, boasts some impressive specs. on paper. That's why, perhaps, the firm's partners are keen to get retail examples out into the marketplace as quickly as possible. One of the first to step up to the plate is none other than MSI - a company fabled for ostentatious packages and decent value. I've been intrigued by RV410 since Ryszard first took a look at it. MSI's X700 PRO is under investigation today, so let's see if both ATI and MSI can deliver a killer package.