It's not all about the high-end stuff
If you thought the high-end of the graphics market was the only part in which competition was fierce, think again. The budget segment of the market is competitive and it's getting more so as we progress towards the launch of Vista.
Vista's Aero Glass GUI can only be enjoyed with sufficient 3D acceleration from a GPU (and there must be enough framebuffer, too). It's not just Vista that utilises 3D acceleration either; XGL, a 3d accelerated version of the X server - the graphics server used on Linux and other OSes - needs OpenGL acceleration to function. Then, of course, there's video playback; HDTV, H.264 and so on... we all want it, cheap.
Gone are the days when only games and fancy rendering apps used 3D acceleration. Now, even our desktops use it.
So, it's key for system integrators be able to put together budget systems that can still provide the fully-fledged interfaces of the likes of Vista, without having to fork out for a high-end card. That's quite possible with the help of today's generation of budget cards, like MSI's NX7300GS-TD256E, which we're reviewing here today.
Of course, while cards like this can do the aforementioned things, their budget nature can mean they take their time in games, though they'll give it their best shot. So let's see just how much the NX7300GS can offer, shall we?