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Written by Bruce Normann   
Sunday, 30 January 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI N560GTX-Ti GeForce Video Card
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC Detailed Features
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti GPU Features
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Crysis
DX10: Just Cause 2
DX9 SSAO: Mafia II
DX11: Aliens vs. Predator
DX11: Battlefield: Bad Company 2
DX11: DiRT-2 Demo
DX11: H.A.W.X. 2
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: METRO 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC Conclusion

Closer Look: MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC

The MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC follows the same design spec of the original N460GTX Hawk video card that we reviewed back in September. The Twin Frozr II cooling system is a well proven package that kept the GF104 GPU quite cool, even during stress testing. It's quiet, it looks good, and it offers top-tier performance; MSI would have to be crazy to not capitalize on their prior good work here. It's probably overkill for the GF104/114 class of GPU, but when it comes to cooling, I genuinely like overkill. On my test rig, I run a 38mm Delta AFB1212SHE fan on a Prolimatech Megahalems, which should tell you everything....

MSI_N560GTX_Ti_Video_Card_top_power_34_01

The fan shroud is a very open design; there is not much chance that a big portion of the airflow is being directed to the rear outlet. After the air passes through the fin assembly, it hits the components mounted on the face of the card, at the two ends. The center section is taken up by a large copper mounting plate, and the four heat pipes. The two fans are identical, 80mm four-wire PWM types, and have an indicated maximum operating speed of 4400 RPM.

MSI_N560GTX_Ti_GeForce_Video_Card_One_Fan_01.jpg

With high-end video cards, the cooling system is an integral part of the performance envelope for the card. Make it run cooler, and you can make it run faster has been the byword for achieving gaming-class performance with all the latest and greatest GPUs. The MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC has a massive cooler device, compared to the reference design; the fin assembly is nearly the same size as the board itself. Although the NVIDIA design now offers three copper heatpipes, instead of only two on the GTX 460, two of the four heatpipes on the MSI Twin Frozr II are 8mm diameter, compared to the standard 6mm pipes on a lot of coolers. One feature that this card does without is the extended baseplate that acts as a heatsink/spreader on the reference design and covers all of the power circuitry and memory modules.

MSI_N560GTX_Ti_GeForce_Video_Card_HSF_Top_01.jpg

The layout of the various elements of the cooler design is a little easier to see in this straightforward view from the GPU's perspective. All GPUs produce a fair amount of heat, so make sure your chassis has plenty of airflow in the right direction, in order to move hot air out of the case. This cooler design is not particularly suited to multi-card SLI applications, but as the MSI Cyclone versions have shown, getting the heat out of the GPU and transferring it to the air is really the most important part of the job. Where that heat goes is something you definitely need to look at, as some PC gaming cases are much better at moving air through the VGA Zone than others.

MSI_N560GTX_TI_Video_Card_HSF_Full_Bot

The two 6mm and two 8mm diameter heatpipes are clamped between the thick nickel-plated copper mounting plate and the aluminum fin assembly, passing directly over the wider dimension of the GPU heat spreader. Once they exit from there, they spread to the outer reaches of the long aluminum fin assemblies. Considering the power density of modern GPU devices, it makes sense to contact every square millimeter of the top surface with the heatsink if you can. The GF114 chip, like most NVIDIA GPU packages has a very large heat spreader mounted to it, and the copper mounting plate covers it completely. The threaded standoffs are indirectly mounted to the plate, via brackets on each side, and they seemed very solid. The thermal interface material (TIM) was very evenly distributed by the factory, but was applied slightly thicker than necessary. One day, anxious manufacturing engineers are going to figure out that too little TIM is better than too much. For the rest of us who pay attention to these things, a thorough discussion of best practices for applying TIM is available here.

MSI_N560GTX_Ti_Video_Card_HSF_Plate_Clean_01

The power for the MSI N560GTX-Ti enters into two 6-pin PCI Express connector at the far end of the board, with the connectors facing out the back. This is not the preferred orientation for those trying to squeeze a powerful graphics card into a small chassis, but in a typical gaming case I like the cable routing better with this arrangement. On the back side of the board at this end, are six LEDs that show you the amount of power being drawn by the card. The main PWM controller for the GPU Voltage Regulator Modules (VRM) provides the signal to drive the LEDs.

In the next section, let's take a more detailed look at some of the components on this decidedly non-reference board. I did a quick tear-down, so we could see the highlights...



 

Comments 

 
# latest hardware ?no1 2011-01-31 05:02
before a harsh word let me tell u that i visit this site every day as its one of the best out there . thats why lack of hd6950 or hd 6970 in ur tests upsets me so much , especially cuz im about to take a plunge either directon - hd6950 crossfire or gtx560 sli ....
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# advicebee 2011-01-31 05:51
oh and please replace hd5870 with hd6970 and gtx480 with gtx580 ......just to be fair
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# Patience.....BruceBruce 2011-01-31 06:44
HD 6950 is on the test bench right now. HD 6970 is not really a competitor, nor is the GTX 580. BTW, you know all of those cards have been reviewed already on this site. And if you're looking at multi-GPU solutions, the differences between our test systems is pretty much lost in the noise.
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# Twin Frozr II with Raven-2 case?HG 2011-01-31 08:22
Hi,

Would like to know if the Twin Frozr II kind of cooling system will work fine in upright position in the Raven-2 case?

Thank you.
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# RE: Twin Frozr II with Raven-2 case?Olin Coles 2011-01-31 08:40
It should work the same, essentially. The Raven 2 (which I have) works better for some kinds of cards (depending on heat-pipe layout), or the same as horizontal with other cards.
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# YesBruceBruce 2011-01-31 08:54
There will be no impact to the video card cooling when used in the vertical orientation. OTOH, I really think the Raven was designed for cards that have a radial blower wheel and an exhaust on trhe I/O plate where most of the hot air is expelled. But, most cards with an axial fan will work OK in the Raven. I would recommend putting the video card in the PCI-E slot that's closest to the CPU. That way you get the most cool air coming up to the fan intakes on the video card.

The biggest difference will be the internal ambient case temperature, which will be slightly higher with this type of video card cooler.
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# Twin Frozr II with Raven-2 case?HG 2011-01-31 16:44
Hi all,

Thanks for the advise. Yeah, I know that Raven-2 design is more for the radial blower type of cards and there are very limited models from where I am, sigh. I am upgrading to SLI cards and I am looking for other options on optimum air cooling, price & performance.

Thanks guys.
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# MSI 560 TIARIKO 2011-12-16 07:55
Hi there ! I'm msi since many years (GF5), msi rulez !!!

I suggest preferences for the MSI GTX 560 Ti HAWK (950Mhz - Twin frozer III )
for some euros more you ve got a really good board !
I bought it on summer 2O11 when it was hot days, i never go more than 71 after 1 hour full load ! Now it run a 35 idle and 50 full game running ( warhammer spacemarine or X3 terran conflict for exemple or Wolfenstein E.T. using 32x and high resolution setting.

I run it under W7 and Fedora 16, pure happy time :)

Choose well and have fun :)

ARIKO
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