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MSI Radeon HD R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC features MSI Twin Frozr III cooling system with five heatpipes, three of which are 6 mm in diameter, and the two heatpipes on the sides – 8 mm in diameter (SuperPipe technology).

The heatpipes are nickel-plated with thin aluminum fins soldered to them. The heatsink is cooled with two 80-mm fans:

The fans are fastened using two frames and can be easily removed:

This allows us to see that they indeed soldered the fins to the heatpipes. They also used soldering method for the heatpipes in the base:

The fans are made by Power Logic Tech. Inc. (PLD08010S12HH model with a slide bearing inside):

The unique shape of the fan blades designed using the “Propeller Blade” technology allows them to generate 20% higher airflow compared with the airflow generated by fans with conventional blades. At the same time, MSI Twin Frozr III cooler shouldn’t generate more than 30 dBA of noise at its maximum fan speed. The fans rotation speeds are automatically adjusted using PWM method in the interval between 1200 and 4400 RPM.

The memory chips and VRM components are cooled with a metal plate contacting them through a set of thermal pads:

We checked out the card’s temperature by running Aliens vs. Predator (2010) game five times at the highest image quality settings (2560x1440 resolution, with 16x anisotropic filtering and 4x MSAA antialiasing):

We used MSI Afterburner version 2.2.1 and GPU-Z version 0.6.2 for temperature and other parameters monitoring. All tests were performed in a closed system case at 25°C room temperature. The efficiency of the graphics cards cooling system was tested before we dismounted the cooler, i.e. with the default thermal interface. Here are the results obtained on the MSI graphics card:

Automatic fan speed mode

Maximum fan speed

The results of graphics card thermal mode tests turned out equally unsatisfactory during automatic fan speed control as well as at the maximum fan speed. The fans in both cases sped up to their maximum of 4430 RPM, but the GPU temperature still reached 92°C. Remembering that MSI Twin Frozr III cooler is in fact much more efficient than it performed this time, we took the card apart to ensure that there was proper contact maintained between the cooler base and the GPU die. The thermal paste imprint looked fine, only excessive amount of thermal paste squeezed to the sides indicated not very neat assembly. Nevertheless, we removed all traces of original thermal paste and applied a layer of Arctic MX-4. The result followed immediately:

Automatic fan speed mode

Maximum fan speed

Once we reassembled the graphics card and replaced the thermal interface in it, we ran the tests once again. This time the fans speed didn’t exceed 2590 RPM and the GPU temperature remained at 65°C. At the maximum fan speed of 4530 RPM the temperature remained as low as 59°C. Now, that’s what I am talking about!

During graphics card overclocking while maintaining nominal voltage, the GPU remained stable at 1175 MHz frequency. This is a pretty average result:

The memory conquered 5920 MHz frequency and the frequency mode of the overclocked graphics card has barely changed:

However, we didn’t stop here and continued to investigate the overclocking potential of our MSI Radeon HD R7870 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC with increased core voltage. It proved to be the time worth spent: at 1.28 V we reached absolute stability at 1260 MHz frequency:

At the same time, however, the heat dissipation of the overclocked graphics processor has also increased quite noticeably, that is why we were glad to have a highly efficient MSI Twin Frozr III cooler at our disposal. Under peak operational load, the GPU temperature rose to 76°C with both cooling fans rotating at 3900 RPM:

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