MSI packages the FX5900U-VTD256 in what is definitely the largest retail package we’ve seen for a graphics card. In fact, the packaging bests most motherboards. On the front MSI proudly proclaims its status as the world’s largest video card manufacturer by bulk, while the reverse side lists all the goodies (both software and hardware) that are shipped with each FX5900U-VTD256 card. The inside of the FX5900U’s packaging reads straight from NVIDIA promotional material, listing the capabilities of the GeForce FX 5900 Ultra core the FX5900U-VTD256 is based on.
Lots of goodies
The accessories within the packaging are very well laid out and include a DVI-to-VGA adapter, MSI case badge, a 4-pin Molex power adapter (in case your power supply is short on plugs), an S-Video cable, a small MSI notepad, and the aforementioned VIVO breakout box.
MSI includes a wealth of software with its graphics cards, and the FX5900U-VTD256 is no exception. For gamers, full retail versions of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, Morrowind: The Elder Scrolls III, and Duke Nukem Manhattan Project are included as well as a 7-in-1 game bundle CD that includes demo versions of The Sum of All Fears, IL-2 Sturmovik, Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, Rally Trophy, Beam Breakers, Zax: The Alien Hunter, and Bungie’s Oni are also offered. We’ve discussed this bundle at length in the past so we won’t rehash it too much again here, but to make a long story short what was once an excellent bundle is beginning to grow a bit old and played out.
Fortunately, as we discussed in the FX5900-TD128 review, MSI plans to replace this bundle very soon. A few months ago we were told that they were debating between Command and Conquer: Generals and Unreal 2 (we suggested that they go with U2 if they wanted graphical eye candy or Generals if they really cared about gameplay), it turns out that MSI has decided to include both titles as well as Battlefield 1942! Battlefield 1942 is one of the hottest online shooters right now, and was the game featured in season one of the FiringSquad Battlefield 1942 league, so you know we were pretty excited to hear of this development. MSI will also be including an 800dpi aluminum USB mouse with a fancy blue LED in the package.
Graphics cards with this bundle will fall under the NBox designation which will start shipping later this month. The NBox series will consist of the N5900 Ultra, N5900, N5600 Ultra, N5600, and N5200. This should land MSI the distinction of being the first graphics card manufacturer to score big as a result of the NVIDIA/EA promotional deal that was signed earlier this year and will place MSI miles ahead of its competition in this area.
The hardcore crowd will no doubt complain that enthusiasts already own Battlefield 1942 and/or Unreal 2, but we’d guess that there aren’t many gamers who own all three. It’s just too bad that the NBox bundle isn’t ready quite in time for the GeForce FX5900 Ultra launch.
Besides the games, MSI also includes its Media Center Deluxe II software (which we’ve already discussed in previous MSI VGA reviews) WinDVD 5.1, WinDVD Creator Plus, FarStone’s RestoreIT! Professional, and VirtualDrive Professional, and Adobe Photoshop AlbumSE and 3D Album on top of MSI’s driver and Live! series of utility software.