The Current State of Graphics Cards, In a PhotoS

Meaningless numerical name? Check. Ostentatious styling added by a third party, completely unsuited for a component that you often can't see? Check. Bizarre, irrelevant marketing claims? Oh, check.

The MSI R4890 Cyclone SOC, which shares as much aesthetically with a motorcycle engine as it does a PC component, is a perfect example of everything that is confusing, irritating and unnecessarily obfuscated with graphics cards today.

There's a lot of impressive tech here—an overclocked 1GHz ATI Radeon HD 4890 GPU and 1GB of GDDR5 RAM— but instead of putting that into meaningful terms, MSI is content to just throw the numbers out there and brag about the card's "200-year lifespan" and "largest ever" fan. I'm sure this is fun for the hardest of the hardcore enthusiasts, but for the rest of us it's just a headache. The card should ship any day now, priced somewhere in the ballpark of $250. [Slashgear]