PCB Design and Features
The card measures 264x130x40 mm. The face side of the PCB is covered by the cooler’s two 100mm fans and metal casing with a bright yellow stripe along the top.
There’s a decorative metal plate on the reverse side of the PCB. It has no contact with any of the PCB components. All of the card's connectors are neatly covered with plastic caps.
The MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK is equipped with four outputs: dual-link DVI-I and DVI-D connectors, an HDMI 1.4a, and a DisplayPort 1.2. There’s a vent grid in the mounting bracket to exhaust some of the hot air out of the computer case.
Like a regular GeForce GTX 760, the MSI card has two SLI connectors. The power connectors differ from the reference card’s, though:
Instead of two 6-pin power connectors, the MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK has two 8-pin ones, so we can expect it to have an improved power system and pre-overclocked frequencies. On the other hand, the peak power consumption of this card is specified to be 170 watts, just like with the reference GTX 760.
It was easy to take the massive cooler off because it was only secured with four screws around the GPU. Below it, we found a metal plate that was meant to cool the power transistors and memory chips.
Take note of the stiffness rib at the top of the PCB. It will block both SLI connectors if you use inflexible connecting bridges and prevent you from using the card in 3-way SLI configurations.
Taking both metal plates off, we can have a closer look at the PCB design and components:
The MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK features premium Military Class IV components complying with the American military standard MIL-STD-810G. We can see here aluminum-core solid-state capacitors with ultra-low resistance and 10-year service life, economical Hi-c capacitors, and Super Ferrite Chokes with 20% higher energy efficiency and 30% higher current capacity compared to ordinary chokes.
The GPU power system incorporates six phases managed by an NCP4206 controller from ON Semiconductor.
There are two more power phases for the graphics memory and PLL.
Besides the customized PCB, the HAWK features dual BIOS (with LN2 settings for extreme overclocking) and three pairs of check points for measuring GPU, memory and PLL voltage.
These features are customary on the MSI Lightning series which includes expensive products, so it is quite extraordinary that the MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK has them as well.
The 28nm GK104 GPU is revision A2. It was manufactured in Taiwan on the 47th week of 2012.
Its base clock rate is 1111 MHz in 3D mode and can be boosted to 1176 MHz (+13.4% to the reference card’s frequency). According to our monitoring data, the peak frequency was as high as 1254 MHz. The GPU clock rate is dropped to 135 MHz in 2D mode and the voltage is lowered from 1.175 to 0.863 volts.
The ASIC quality of our card’s GPU is 79%:
It is quite a high level of quality for a GK104 chip.
The MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK comes with 2 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory in eight FCBGA-packaged chips from Hynix (H5GQ2H24AFR R0C):
The memory chips are rated for 6000 MHz, and that’s exactly the memory frequency of the MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK. In 2D applications the memory frequency is lowered to 648 MHz.
Thus, the MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK has the following specifications by default: