MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC
This product comes to market in the same box as the MSI R6870 Hawk we tested in an earlier review. It is painted mild violet colors.
The picture on the box shows the graphics card itself, putting the “Twin Frozr II” caption into the foreground. Of course, we see a number of marketing claims and slogans here. The manufacturer says the graphics card uses military-grade components and its GPU temperature is reduced by 20°C compared to the reference sample. The front flap can be opened to reveal a window through which you can see the graphics card. This also makes the place for the marketing slogans much larger. :)
There is a foam-rubber tray inside the box. The graphics card lies in one compartment of the tray while its accessories in the other:
- DVI-I → D-Sub adapter;
- Mini-HDMI → HDMI adapter;
- Two 2x4-pin PATA → 1x6-pin PCIe adapters;
- Brief installation guide;
- Brief user manual;
- 3DMark11 Advanced Edition coupon;
- CD disk with drivers and utilities.
The accessories are going to be sufficient for most users. If you are into overclocking, you may like that the manufacturer includes a copy of the 3DMark 11 benchmarking suite with this product.
The N560GTX-Ti resembles the R6870 Hawk but its fans are obviously different, their blades being shaped in a more conventional way.
The graphics card being so unmistakably targeted at enthusiasts, MSI just couldn’t use Nvidia’s reference design for its N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II. We can see that when the cooler is removed:
The PCB bears but a general resemblance to the reference one. Despite the rather modest power requirements of the GF114 chip, the GPU voltage regulator has been reinforced with two additional phases for a total of six phases. Like other MSI products of this class, the card features high-quality components, e.g. ferrite-core chokes which are not prone to produce high-frequency noise at high loads.
It is a uP6213 controller from uPI Semiconductor that manages the power circuit here. The memory voltage regulator is based on a uPI uP6101 chip which should be familiar to anyone who has ever tried to do any volt-modding with graphics cards. The PCB design provides for V-Check control points but the appropriate connectors are not soldered to the PCB. Like the reference sample from Nvidia, the card has two 6-pin PCI Express 1.0 power connectors.
There is a total of 1 gigabyte of GDDR5 memory on board this graphics card. These K4G10325FE-HC04 chips from Samsung Semiconductor have a capacity of 1 gigabit each (32 Mb x 32) and a rated frequency of 1250 (5000) MHz but their actual clock rate is 1050 (4200) MHz here, which is somewhat higher than the memory frequency of the reference card and leaves quite a lot of elbowroom for overclocking.
The markings on the GPU are implemented in a different way than before. It seems to be laser engraving. As a result, it is rather difficult to see the numbers and letters in the photograph. The information about the GPU model and revision is written in the old way, though, so you can see it clearly. So, we know that this GF114 chip was manufactured on the 51st week of 2010. It has the standard configuration with 384 shader processors, 64 texture-mapping units, and 32 raster operators. The clock rates are somewhat increased from the reference card’s 823/1645 MHz to 880/1760 MHz. There is no point in benchmarking this graphics card at its default frequencies, so we will try to overclock our N560GTX-Ti as hard as we can, like the rest of the cards in this review.
There is a cutout shaped like the company’s logo in the mounting bracket of the N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II but the selection of connectors is perfectly standard: two DVI-I ports and a mini-HDMI. More than two monitors are supported simultaneously in SLI mode only; there is a MIO connector to build SLI configurations. These are in fact the standard connectivity options for all midrange Nvidia-based products.
The Twin Frozr II cooling system is somewhat simpler than version III which cools the R6870 Hawk, yet it is still a rather impressive contraption with four heat pipes, a massive heatsink and a couple of 80mm fans.
We do not doubt the efficiency of this cooler. It is cleverly designed and properly assembled, but when you install an N560GTX-Ti into your computer, you must make sure that no expansion card blocks its cooling fans.