|MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Wednesday, 18 May 2011|
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MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk Details
The gloves are off now so to speak as we take a more detailed look at the MSI N560GTX-Ti Hawk video card.
The MSI GTX 560Ti Hawk sports a chocolate brown PCB which makes a nice difference from the bright colors we have bocome accustomed to with the video cards of old. In the 'MSI hierarchy' the Hawk is typically one step below the Lightning (MSI's top end card of which a GTX 560Ti variant doesn't exist as yet) and includes a few goodies not found on other models. In this section we will take a look at these.
First up we have the P/S switch, this switch allows you to select between Silent mode (lower noise but higher GPU temperature) and Performance mode (lower GPU temperature but more noise from the fan). There is no real question as to my preferred mode but it's nice to have a choice. You might also notice that there is a third option labelled Reserved, the function of this setting is undisclosed so selecting it might well be tempting fate. To the right we see the unidentified header, my best guess is that it is a simple programming interface for the performance profiles, but I don't know this for sure. It could even be just a 3-pin fan header.
A close up here of the V-check points seen earlier. MSI didn't make clear in their supplied documentation which point was which and I had to remove the cooler assembly to reveal the secret. Clearly labelled from top to bottom are; V-GPU, V-MEM and V-PLL. These correspond with the triple over voltage feature supported by the N560GTX-Ti Hawk from MSI, although the range of over voltage leaves a little room for improvement (+150mV for GPU, +80mV for MEM and +30mV for AUX/PLL).
Eight Samsung K4G10325FE HC04 128MB modules make up the 1GB of memory available. Loosely translated the code tells us that these GDDR5 modules are rated 1.5v and operate 0.40ns 5GB/s and are Halogen free commercial modules.
The RT8120 is a single-phase synchronous buck PWM DC/DC voltage controller manufactured by Richtek Technology Corporation.
For voltage control MSI have utilized the uP6218AM VRM Controller.
The rear of the PCB is a fairly well populated and there is a nice surprise here for the curious enthusiasts lurking out there.
Four uP6282AD Mosfet Drivers from uPI Semiconductor Corp control 2 phases each for a total of 8 phases.
And here is that little surprise I mentioned earlier, in the form of PWM activity LED's and some extra switch goodness. Firstly I would like to talk a little about the PWM activity LED's, if you are a energy conscious user then you will be happy to learn that MSI include a little app that automatically reduces PWM phase usage to conserve power when they are not needed. In the image below you will see that they glow pretty bright red when active.
Secondly let's ponder the uses of the OCP Unlocker and Xtreme cool switches, these type of switches are usually reserved for MSI's Lightning series of cards. OCP stands for over current protection and enabling this option would deliver more current for a more stable overclock. Xtreme cool is less obvious, I can only assume it is for sub-zero overclocking support (to aid with cold bug boots etc).
Let's take a little time to look at the features and specifications of the N560GTX-Ti Hawk from MSI and then we will get straight into performance testing.