|MSI R6870 Hawk Graphics Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Thursday, 03 March 2011|
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MSI R6870 Hawk Video Card Review
Manufacturer: MSI (Micro-Star International Company, LTD)
Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by MSI.
Graphics cards have been improving at breakneck speeds over the last little while. The Radeon HD 5000 series allowed AMD and ATI to beat NVIDIA to the punch with DirectX-11 capable video cards. NVIDIA quickly responded with the GTX 400 series which started out hot and powerful, but came back to really define the price point with the GTX460 video card. Along came the GTX 500 series and the Radeon HD 6000 series to fill out some positions and give us a new card for the top end of the performance spectrum. By now, we have all heard about where the different cards lie in regards to performance and price. We are at the point now where there is a slight lull in the production of brand new equipment and manufacturers are focusing on putting their own spin on the different flavors to revitalize stuff that has been on the market a while. In early February, MSI took the Radeon HD 6870 design and made it their own in the MSI R6870 Hawk with the Twin Frozr III thermal design and the world's first look into propeller blade cooling technology. Benchmark Reviews is taking an in-depth look at the MSI R6870 Hawk and while testing this factory overclocked video card, we will be examining exactly what makes it unique in a world full of Radeon HD 6000 series cards.
As always occurs after the launch of a new GPU, manufacturers take the reference design and add personal touches such as new cooling hardware, redesigned boards, and factory overclocking to make their design that much more appealing to the end user. MSI is no different and, being a leader in the computer hardware industry, they have to keep an ear to the ground to make sure they are in tune with what their customer base wants out of a video card. Like most video cards, users always want something fast, quiet, and cool. With this in mind, MSI designed the R6870 Hawk video card.
The Twin Frozr design is common among MSI products and boasts a dual-fan setup atop a heatsink and heatpipe configuration all covered with a plastic shroud. The ultimate goal of the Twin Frozr design is to make video cards much cooler than the reference design. Twin Frozr II is the common design throughout the newer Radeon HD and GeForce video cards being produced by MSI, but the MSI R6870 Hawk goes one step further. With the R6870 Hawk, MSI introduces the all-new Twin Frozr III design with Propeller Blade technology. The new design focuses on differences with the dual fans while keeping the heatsink/heatpipe combination pretty much the same.
You have undoubtedly seen some benchmarks and comparisons that have included a Radeon HD 6870 Video Card. Many manufacturers even overclock the Radeon HD 6870 from its original 900MHz GPU clock to anywhere from 915MHz to 960MHz. Here at Benchmark Reviews, we are not surprised that the MSI R6870 Hawk fits right in line with its 930MHz GPU clock and 1050MHz Memory clock. With that in mind, the test results should come as no real surprise to our readers either. The key to this review is to discover the all new Twin Frozr III design and Propeller Blade technology to see if it can really accomplish what it sets out too. We also want to check out some new features of MSI afterburner that allow for the intense overclocking of the Vcore.