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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk Video Card
Closer Look: MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk
MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk Details
Features and Specifications
Video Card Testing Methodology
DX10: 3DMark Vantage
DX10: Street Fighter IV
DX11: Aliens vs Predator
DX11: Battlefield Bad Company 2
DX11: BattleForge
DX11: Lost Planet 2
DX11: Tom Clancy's HAWX 2
DX11: Metro 2033
DX11: Unigine Heaven 2.1
MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk Overclocking
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

VGA Testing Methodology

The Microsoft DirectX-11 graphics API is native to the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, and will be the primary O/S for our test platform. DX11 is also available as a Microsoft Update for the Windows Vista O/S, so our test results apply to both versions of the Operating System. The majority of benchmark tests used in this article are comparative to DX11 performance, however some high-demand DX10 tests have also been included.

According to the Steam Hardware Survey published for the month ending April 2011, the most popular gaming resolution is 1920x1080 with 1680x1050 hot on its heels, our benchmark performance tests concentrate on these higher-demand resolutions: 1.76MP 1680x1050 and 2.07MP 1920x1080 (22-24" widescreen LCD monitors), as they are more likely to be used by high-end graphics solutions, such as those tested in this article.

In each benchmark test there is one 'cache run' that is conducted, followed by five recorded test runs. Results are collected at each setting with the highest and lowest results discarded. The remaining three results are averaged, and displayed in the performance charts on the following pages.

A combination of synthetic and video game benchmark tests have been used in this article to illustrate relative performance among graphics solutions. Our benchmark frame rate results are not intended to represent real-world graphics performance, as this experience would change based on supporting hardware and the perception of individuals playing the video game.

MSI_N560GTX-Ti_Hawk_GPU-Z.jpg

Intel P55 Test System

  • Motherboard: ECS P55H-AK (Intel P55)
  • System Memory: OCZ Blade ST 2000MHz 4GB Kit
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 760 @ 3.60GHz
  • CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS10X Flex
  • Disk Drive 1: 60GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD
  • Disk Drive 2: 160GB Seagate SATA 7200rpm 32MB cache
  • Enclosure: Lancool PC-K63
  • PSU: Corsair HX750W Modular
  • Monitor: HKC 2219A 22" Widescreen

DirectX-10 Benchmark Applications

  • 3DMark Vantage v1.02
    • Extreme Settings: (Extreme Quality, 8x Multisample Anti-Aliasing, 16x Anisotropic Filtering, 1:2 Scale)
  • Street Fighter IV Benchmark
    • Extreme Settings: (Very High Quality, 8x AA, 16x AF, Parallel rendering On, Shadows High)

DirectX-11 Benchmark Applications

  • Aliens vs Predator
    • Extreme Settings: (Very High Quality, 4x AA, 16x AF, SSAO, Tessellation, Advanced Shadows)
  • BattleField: Bad Company 2
    • Extreme Settings: (Highest Quality, HBAO, 8x AA, 16x AF, 180s Fraps Single-Player Intro Scene)
  • BattleForge v1.2
    • Extreme Settings: (Very High Quality, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Auto Multi-Thread)
  • Lost Planet 2
    • Extreme Settings: (2x AA, Low Shadow Detail, High Texture, High Render, High DirectX 11 Features)
  • Tom Clancy's HAWX 2 Benchmark 1.0.4
    • Extreme Settings: (Maximum Quality, 8x AA, 16x AF, DX11 Terrain Tessellation)
  • Metro 2033
    • Extreme Settings: (Very-High Quality, AAA, 16x AF, Advanced DoF, Tessellation, 180s Fraps Chase Scene)
  • Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.1
    • Extreme Settings: (High Quality, Normal Tessellation, 16x AF, 4x AA)

Video Card Test Products

Graphics Card GeForce
GTX550-Ti (OC)
Radeon
HD6850
GeForce
GTX460 (OC)
Radeon
HD6870
GeForce
GTX 560Ti
Radeon
HD6950
MSI GeForce
GTX 560Ti Hawk
MSI Radeon
HD6950 TF III
GPU Cores 192 960 336 1120 384 1408 384 1408
Core Clock (MHz) 950 775 715 900 822 800 950 850
Shader Clock (MHz) 1900 N/A 1430 N/A 1645 N/A 1900 N/A
Memory Clock (MHz) 1075 1000 900 1050 1002 1250 1050 1300
Memory Amount 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 2048MB GDDR5 1024MB GDDR5 2048MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 192-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX550-Ti (950 MHz GPU/1900 MHz Shader/1075 MHz vRAM - Forceware 270.61)
  • AMD Radeon HD6850 (775 MHz GPU/1000 MHz vRAM - AMD Catalyst Driver 11.5)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX460 (715 MHz GPU/1430 MHz Shader/900 MHz vRAM - Forceware 270.61)
  • AMD Radeon HD6870 (900 MHz GPU/1050 MHz vRAM - AMD Catalyst Driver 11.5)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560Ti (822 MHz GPU/1645 MHz Shader/1002 MHz vRAM - Forceware 270.61)
  • AMD Radeon HD6950 (800 MHz GPU/1250 MHz vRAM - AMD Catalyst Driver 11.5)
  • MSI GeForce GTX 560Ti Hawk (950 MHz GPU/1900 MHz Shader/1050 MHz vRAM - Forceware 270.61)
  • AMD Radeon HD6950 (850 MHz GPU/1300 MHz vRAM - AMD Catalyst Driver 11.5)



 

Comments 

 
# Congrats!Austin Downing 2011-05-19 18:16
Congrats on getting quoted by MSI!
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# RE: Congrats!Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-05-20 23:40
Thanks Austin, it's nice when your work is appreciated isn't it :D
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# RE: RE: Congrats!Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-05-23 23:55
MSI liked this article so much that they posted it twice on their Facebook :P
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# re:MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk Video CardPinakio 2011-05-21 16:12
I've got two questions Steven, first- are those nickel plated copper heatpipes or aluminum ones? Next, you probably have reviewed MSI's Twin-frozrII series of cards in past, do you consider this Twin-frozrIII/Hawk to be a real upgrade on what already is a very good cooling solution? I mean is it worth the extra $$? Regards.

* Not to mention a fine effort again from you guys:)
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# RE: re:MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk Video CardSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-05-22 04:22
Thanks for the positive comment, Pinaio.
1)They are nickel plated copper heatpipes.
2)I have not actually reviewed a video card with the twin frozr II, but if you look at Bruce Norman's review of the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II here at BmR #benchmarkreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=689&Itemid=72&limit=1&limitstart=1 you will see they are essentially the same cooler with a different shroud and different fans (as I described in my final thoughts). The extra $$ is not necessarily just for the cooler but the different features the Hawk card has over the Twin Frozr II card.

Hope this helps.
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# RE: RE: re:MSI N560GTX Ti Hawk Video CardPinakio 2011-05-22 22:19
Thank you for the explanation:) Yes, after looking carefully through the feature set, it's obvious that the 'Hawks' are more aggressive in terms of factory OC and overvolting plus there is the so called 'propeller' fan. Anyway looking fwd for more reviews.
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# MSI 560 HAWKgangsta072 2011-05-23 03:47
Would buy that adapter just because of the looks :D
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# PiccoloAviral 2011-05-30 07:55
Hi Steven, I just purchased this card and it does performs brilliantly! However, I cant manage to make it reduce its PWM phase usage (all LEDs are always lit) and I cant even obtain this app that you speak of.. How to go about this?
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# RE: PiccoloSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-05-30 13:41
Insert your driver and utility dvd and click on the afterburner icon. You will see a button at the bottom called 'N560GTX-Ti Hawk APS'

Hope this helps.
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# RE: RE: PiccoloAviral 2011-05-30 21:16
Thanks a ton.. works like a charm!!
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# RE: Piccologangsta072 2011-05-31 06:33
not necessary - leave it as it is
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# Great reviewChris 2011-08-03 22:15
After doing a lot of research, I decided to buy this card. It seems like the 560Ti to beat performance-wise. Will report back when it arrives.

MSI's bizarre marketing aside, the cooler seems to be the best custom air cooler on the market right now.
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# guideAlireza 2011-10-03 12:18
Hi Steven;
I've got a pretty hard to answer question!! I'm totally confused to buy this card (MSI N560 GTX Ti hawk)or ATI HD 6950 2GB reference version and flash it to HD 6970 2GB which is quit stronger than this card.But I don't know anything about the risks of this flashing process and consequences. The price of this card (MSI) is about 30$ cheaper than 2GB version of 6950 in our country. But XFX version of 6950 2gb has the same price as the MSI card has.What do you say Steven? (power consumption of this card is higher than HD 6950)
Thank you very much.
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# RE: guideSteven Iglesias-Hearst 2011-10-03 12:37
Good question Alireza, one that I can only answer in part though.

Buying a reference 6950 to flash to a 6970 is a risky choice. First you must find a compatible BIOS and then of course you have to flash it.

If the flash goes wrong or you use an incompatible BIOS you will only see a blank screen next time you boot, some 6950's have dual BIOS switch to overcome this issue but some don't. If the flash does not work out you will have to install another card in slot one and the failed flash card in slot 2 and use the -i function of atiflash to detect the correct GPU to and reflash the BIOS to the correct card.

For example where the failed GPU is in slot 2 the command "atiflash -i" would list any installed GPU's starting with 0 upwards, the second card would typically be 1. The command to reflash that would be "atiflash -r -f 1 biosname.bin"

While the GTX560Ti HAWK has higher power consumption, my testing shows that it is better than the 6950 2gb at the tested resolutions in most tests.

If you do manage to flash a HD6950 to a HD6970 you would see a big rise in power consumption and heat production but obviously you would get much better FPS.

What are your thoughts?
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# RE: RE: guideDavid Ramsey 2011-10-03 13:01
I have seen several 6550s that won't flash to 6970 at all (like the one I have). This probably means AMD now has dedicated 6950 dies. Or something.

The one 6950 I've played with that would flash to 6970 would always crash under heavy load, probably because it only had a single 6-pin power connector, rather than the dual 6-pin power connectors a "real" 6970 has.

Bottom line: if you can flash your 6950 to a 6970 and it runs well, great, but don't buy any 6950 expecting to be able to do this.
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# power suply?darky 2012-01-17 16:10
i plan to buy FSP - 750 Watt Aurum GOLD ATX 12V V2.3 80+ Gold
no i see it have only 18 Amps available per lane (12x18=216w)
you think is possible to use it or ill better start looking for a single lane ( CM Silent Pro M850)
thanks in advance for reply
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# RE: power suply?Steven Iglesias-Hearst 2012-01-18 16:36
Look into the Corsair TX or HX series, 750 is plenty powerful for just one GPU.
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