|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II Golden Edition|
|Posted by Will Smith|
|Sunday, 17 April 2011 21:00|
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In the world of graphic cards ... it's a numbers game. The better the score, the faster the graphics card. Right now, the battle between Nvidia (Geforce) and AMD (Radeon) is heating up. Last month, both companies released their flagship graphics card featuring dual GPUs on a single PCB card. Both claimed to be the fastest on the planet, but as it turns out, many hardware review sites thought that the AMD Radeon HD 6990 (dual GPU card) was marginally better than Nvidia's Geforce GTX 590 (also a dual GPU card). Although these cards offered unprecedented graphics performance, there's one thing which I thought was absolutely crazy ... and that's the price! These flagship cards will cost you anything between USD $700 to $750 respectively, which is way too much for your average gamer.
Let's move on and talk little about MSI. I'm not sure whether or not you know this, but MSI are among the top producers of graphic cards in the world. They not only make their own MSI branded graphic cards, but they also produce OEM and reference designed graphic cards for other brands and manufacturers. So when it comes to graphic cards ... you can't dismiss MSI as another motherboard manufacturer making graphic card ... they've been this business longer than you could have imagined.
A few weeks ago, we reviewed 2 Geforce GTX 560 Ti graphic cards. One of them was the Zotac Geforce GTX 560 Ti, which used a non-overclocked, stock GPU with a default clock speed of 823Mhz ... while the other was the Gigabyte Geforce GTX 560 Ti OC, which featured an overclocked GPU running at 900Mhz Both cards produced very good results in all of our benchmarks, with the Gigabyte version pulling ahead thanks to its overclocked GPU. I've created a table below, which shows you the comparison between the GTX 570, 560 Ti and the 460. Bt the way, the numbers shown below are default clock speeds.
In this review, we'll be taking a look at the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II Golden Edition, which is based on the Geforce GTX 560 Ti GPU. It uses an overclocked GPU running at 900Mhz (default is 822Mhz) and comes with 1Gb of GDDR5 ram that's also slightly overclocked to 2100Mhz (4200Mhz effective). It features a total of 384 CUDA cores and uses a 256-bit memory interface, as well as Nividia's 3D technologies, which includes CUDA, DX11, OpenGL 4.2, PhysX, Nvidia's 3D Vision, support for 2-way SLI multi-GPU, and HD hardware video decode acceleration.
What makes the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II Golden Edition different from other Geforce GTX 560 Ti cards, is that it comes with MSI's innovative Twin Frozr II thermal solution. The Golden Edition features dual 8cm PWM Fans for 50% more airflow, and a unique all-copper cooling design (hence the name "Golden Edition"). The heatsink is completely made of copper and features MSI's SuperPipe technology. This includes a nickel-plated copper base and 4 large copper heatpipes, all of which can offers better dissipation and faster heat transfer.
As an added bonus, the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II Golden Edition is made using "Military Class" components. These include the SFC (Super Ferrite Choke), which offers higher current for better overclocking ability. The all solid capacitors give a longer lifespan., while the Hi-C capacitors allows more precise voltage tweaking.
For connectivity, the card comes with one mini-HDMI port and dual DVI ports, which is more than enough for most users. The sample we received was not in a retail box, so I couldn't tell you for sure whether you'll get all the other extras ... such as a DVI-to-VGA converter, spare PCI-E power cables, a mini-HDMI to standard HDMI adpator. Having said that, I'm 100% confident that MSI will include these extras.
The MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II Golden Edition should produce similar results to that of the Gigabyte Geforce GTX 560 Ti OC, as it uses the same GPU overclocked at the same speed of 900Mhz. What's more interesting is whether this Twin Frozr II cooling solution, with its all-copper design actually makes a difference in its cooling performance. Let's find out ...
We'll be testing the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II Golden Edition (1Gb GDDR5) on our test rig, which consists of the following ... Intel Core i5 - 2500K (LGA 1155), Gigabyte P67A-UD4 motherboard, 4Gb Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3-1600, Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 CPU cooler and a Adata HM 850W power supply. It's a different system to the one we've been using to test all our graphics card. But don't worry, we've also tested the Gigabyte Geforce GTX 560 Ti OC on the same test rig ... so as to give a fair comparison.