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MSI GeForce GTX 780 OC Gaming 3GB (N780 TF 3GD5/OC)

After our review of the MSI GeForce GTX 760 OC Gaming the packaging of the new GeForce GTX 780 OC Gaming looks already familiar. It is a small and eye-catching cardboard box embellished with a picture of a silver dragon.

 

The product specs, system requirements and key features are listed on the back of the box.

Included with the card are two power adapters, a DVI->D-Sub adapter, a CD with drivers and a brief installation guide.

The card is manufactured in China and comes with a 3-year warranty. Its retail price is $670.

The new GeForce GTX 780 OC Gaming is almost no different visually from the MSI GeForce GTX 760 OC Gaming because its face side is covered with the same cooler.

The GeForce GTX 780 is just larger at 268x118x40 mm. All of its connectors have neat plastic caps. The card is equipped with dual-link DVI-I and DVI-D ports, one HDMI version 1.4a, and one DisplayPort version 1.2.

Compared to the MSI GeForce GTX 760 OC Gaming, the vent grid in the mounting bracket is larger. There are no differences about the SLI and power connectors:

 

The GeForce GTX 780 can be combined into SLI configurations consisting of up to four such cards and needs about 250 watts of power. A 600-watt or higher PSU is recommended for a computer with one GTX 780 inside. It is as inconvenient to detach the power cables from this card as from the MSI GeForce GTX 760 OC Gaming.

The cooling system is secured with four screws around the GPU. After removing it, we can see the PCB and a metallic plate on the power components:

The card uses the reference GeForce GTX 780 PCB design which in its turn is an exact copy of the GeForce GTX Titan.

The power system includes six phases for the GPU and three phases for the graphics memory and PLL.

The GPU voltage regulator is managed by an NCP4206 controller from ON Semiconductor.

The MSI card features premium Military Class IV components complying with the American military standard MIL-STD-810G. Like on the MSI GeForce GTX 760 OC Gaming, we can see here aluminum-core solid-state capacitors with ultra-low resistance and 10-year service life, economical 93% efficient Hi-c capacitors, and Super Ferrite Chokes with 20% higher energy efficiency and 30% higher current capacity compared to ordinary chokes.

The GK110 chip was manufactured in Taiwan on the 14th week of 2013 (the first week of April). It is revision A1.

Its base clock rate in 3D mode is 902 MHz (boostable to 954 MHz). Using MSI Gaming App we already told you about in an earlier review, you can raise the clock rates up to 954/1006 MHz with a single click. The reference GeForce GTX 780 from Nvidia works at 863/902 MHz, so MSI's factory overclocking amounts to a substantial 10.5%.

According to GPU-Z, the ASIC quality of the GPU is 70.5%.

The MSI card has 3 GB of GDDR5 memory in twelve K4G20325FD-FC03 chips from Samsung Semiconductor:

The memory chips are rated for 6000 MHz and that’s exactly the memory frequency of the MSI GeForce GTX 780 OC Gaming. Unfortunately, MSI still omits to overclock memory, so this model has the following specs:

The card is equipped with the exclusive Twin Frozr IV cooler. Although it is named exactly like cooler of the GeForce GTX 760 OC Gaming, the heatsink is somewhat different:

It has an additional 8mm heat pipe although its size hasn’t changed:

The heat pipes are soldered to the nickel-plated copper base as well as to the heatsink fins. The power components and memory chips are cooled by a steel plate with thermal pads:

The heatsink carries two 100mm Power Logic PLD10010S12HH fans:

With PWM-based regulation, their speed varies from 900 to 3000 RPM. The fans support Dust Removal technology (temporary backward rotation when shutting down to remove dust).

Hereinafter, to check out the cards temperatures we used five runs of the pretty resource-hungry Aliens vs. Predator (2010) benchmark at the highest visual quality settings, at a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels. We used 16x anisotropic filtering but no MSAA 4x:

We used MSI Afterburner 3.0.0 beta 11 and GPU-Z version 0.7.2 for monitoring of temperatures inside the closed system case, which configuration is discussed in detail in the corresponding chapter of the roundup. All tests were performed at 26°C room temperature.

We made sure of the high efficiency of the MSI Twin Frozr IV on a GeForce GTX 760 in our earlier review. Now let's see how this cooling system performs on the hotter GeForce GTX 780.


Automatic fan mode

Maximum fan speed

It is efficient indeed, as you can see. With the fans regulated automatically, their speed was no higher than 1450 RPM while the GPU was only 77°C hot. At the maximum speed of 2960 RPM the GPU was 64°C hot. We should remind you that these results were achieved on a GeForce GTX 780 overclocked to GPU frequencies of 954/1006 MHz. Moreover, according to the monitoring graphs, the clock rate of the GK110 chip would peak up to 1084 MHz on the MSI card. So again, the Twin Frozr IV is impressively efficient indeed.

The MSI card impressed us with its overclocking potential as well. Without any voltage or cooling modifications, we managed to increase its GPU frequency by 140 MHz and its memory frequency, by 1240 MHz.

Thus, the resulting clock rates were 1042/1094/7248 MHz.

The overclocked card didn’t present any problem to the Twin Frozr IV which kept the GPU temperature at 78°C in the automatic fan regulation mode (1640 RPM).

 

 
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