This 8600GT from MSI is a curious looking thing. On the front is their “normal” shield and fin style cooler.
Coming from the top of the front heatsink are two copper heatpipes (to read about heatpipes check our glossary entry here) that follow round to the large fins that sit on the back of the card. This is where it gets interesting though, the cooler is not mounted in the traditional manner, it’s mounted at quite a steep angle.
Not the coolest looking fins either
I am very curious as to why MSI decided to stick on a cooler that leans in such a way; surely simple horizontal fins would have been fine? Sticking the heatsink fins on the back of the card may mean there are no problems with clearance at the front of the card, but I hope that upon installing the card we don’t run into problems of clearance with the chipset.
Having a look elsewhere on the card we can see that plenty of solid capacitors are used with this card which is usually a good sign of stability.
At the rear of the card there are the standard twin DVI ports for dual monitor awesomeness.
The leaning cooler on the back is held on by a thin mounting plate that is just visible beneath it on the back of the card.
Size wise the 8600GT is exactly the same size as previous x600s.
On top, the 8600GT. Beneath, a 6600GT mounted with a aftermarket Jetart cooler
Before installing this card I thought I would take a quick look at the core. So here she is, the G84 naked as a newborn; young readers may wish to look away.
Phew. After all that excitement it was on to the installation. So back on went the cooler and in went the card…sort of.