|MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Wednesday, 18 May 2011|
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Closer Look: MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk
Let's take a good look at the MSI N560GTX-Ti Hawk's exterior, later we shall strip it down to see what secrets the Hawk is hiding. The image below shows a very professional looking video card, it measures 24.4cm long x 11.6cm tall and is a true dual slot design.
The guts of the MSI Twin Frozr III cooler are well hidden by the gun-metal color aluminum shroud. This shroud improves over the previous Twin Frozr II design and looks much less hideous and much more functional. Twin 92mm 'Propeller Blade' fans dominate the front face of the GTX 560Ti Hawk and complete the aesthetics.
Looking along the spine of the GTX 560Ti Hawk we see a new feature that is starting to grace modern GeForce GPU's. I am talking of course about the semi aesthetic, fully functional re-enforcement bar that stops the card warping over time due to the weight of the Twin Frozr III cooler. Anyone who has installed an aftermarket cooler in the past has noticed that the sheer weight will pull the card down and cause it to warp, thankfully this problem is now alleviated.
The MSI N560GTX-Ti Hawk requires two 6-pin PCI-E power connectors from your PSU, while MSI includes two molex to 6-pin adapter cables it is highly recommended to use a PSU that already has these connectors present.
As is the norm we see only one SLI finger so 2-way SLI is all you will get from the MSI N560GTX-Ti Hawk. Next to the SLI connector is a cooling profile switch, we will look at this in more detail later in the review along with the unidentified header to its right.
At the rear of the card are three V-check points, MSI include little adapters for these to make it easier to take readings with a multi-meter which we will look at closer later in the review. In my opinion it would be much easier to take said readings if the V-check points were in a much more accessible place.
For output we have a mini HDMI connector and two DVI-I connectors, bundled with the card you get a mini HDMI to HDMI adapter and a DVI to D-SUB adapter, so as far as connectors go MSI has pretty much covered all the bases here. The top half of the PCI bracket is vented and we have a nice MSI logo cut out, but the design of the cooler exhausts the hot air inside the case rather than out here.
In this side profile view we see that the Twin Frozr III cooler make full use of the dual slot dimensions. Two 8mm and two 6mm heatpipes emerge here and transport the GPU heat to the aluminum fin array of the Twin Frozr III heatsink.
Removing the cooler assembly reveals yet another heatsink, MSI have dubbed this the 'Form-in-one' heatsink and it covers all of the memory IC's and the power circuitry. There is a slight bit of overkill with the thermal paste here but nothing that can't be remedied, the temperature recordings are good so only us perfectionists need worry about cleaning and refining here.
The Twin Frozr III design incorporates two 92mm propeller blade PWM fans introduced by MSI on their Cyclone II coolers. These fans have proven track record for cooling ability but they are not the quietest when running at full speed, thankfully you won't need to ramp them up to 100% to get optimum performance as they cool very effectively on their auto cycle with minimal noise disruption.