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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition OC
Closer Look: MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III
MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC Details
Features and Specifications
VGA 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 R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC Temperatures
VGA Power Consumption
MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC Overclocking
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Closer Look: MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III

Let's take a good look at the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC's exterior, later we shall strip it down to see what secrets the cooler is hiding. The image below shows a very professional looking video card, it measures 27cm 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 80mm 'Propeller Blade' fans dominate the front face of the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC and complete the aesthetics.


The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC 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.


For connectivity we have 2 x mini display ports, a full size HDMI port and 2 x Dual Link DVI-I connectors. There is a little space left over for ventilation but the design of the cooler expels hot air inside your case rather than out here.


A side view of the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC video card showing you how it will look installed inside your PC. The PCB is somewhat re-enforced by the Memory/VRM heatsink but not to the same extent as we have seen previously on the MSI GTX 560Ti Hawk, this seems somewhat strange considering this card is the longer of the two.


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. A little cut-out at the top of the formed heatsink reveals a fan profile switch that allows you to choose between 'Performance' (higher noise) and 'Silent' (higher temps), needless to say I left it on performance.


The Twin Frozr III cooler on this card varies slightly from the Twin Frozr seen on MSI GTX 560Ti Hawk in that it has an extra 6mm heatpipe and it is slightly longer too. There are three 6mm heatpipes and two 8mm heatpipes to carry the heat away from the GPU and into the aluminum fin array.


The Twin Frozr III design incorporates two 80mm 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.



# "Not the quietest?"ehume 2011-05-24 17:45
I would be interested to know what the quietest video card is, on a model to model basis. For example, what is the quietest 560 running full out? The quietest 6870? Etc.

A lot of us are making quiet machines. The noisiest parts are our gpu's. And I'm not ready to go fanless yet.
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# RE: "Not the quietest?"Pinakio 2011-05-24 22:57
May be this is what you're looking for-XFX HD 6870 Black ( This one seems to have excellent acoustic properties.
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# Silent 6850Austin Downing 2011-05-24 18:27
Ehume you may want to look at the passively cooled Powercolor 6850.
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# Re:MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition OC Video CardPinakio 2011-05-24 23:24
AMD should take some notes from Nvidia's page. HD6950 has so much potential (leaving alone the unlocking/flashing to 6970), yet board partners can't tweak it to their heart's content without cannibalizing the sell of HD6970 - a real shame! Look at those custom clocked 560-ti cards, it's hard to find a reference one now days. Similarly every non-reference 6950 2GB should come out with at least 900Mhz at the gpu core.

*You guys @BMR seem to be on a roll with these hot video card reviews, keep it that way:)
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# RE: MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition OCMike Cannon 2011-05-24 23:32
I'm waiting for Aussie prices to drop, but it might help if I knew whether AMD and Nvidia, both, are equal in heat, power use and decibels, to each other for performance output.
We can Google and find info, but usually the tests are from different testers on different machines, rendering the tests irrelevant.
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