|MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition OC|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst|
|Monday, 23 May 2011|
Page 17 of 18
MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC Overclocking
Before I start overclocking I like to get a little bit of information, firstly I like to establish operating temperatures and since we know these are nice and low we can quickly move on. Next I like to know what the voltage and clock limits are, so I fired up the bundled MSI Afterburner utility. I established that vCore was adjustable between 0.825v and 1.350v and clock speeds were limited to 900MHz max on the GPU and 1325MHz (5.3GHz effective) maximum frequency for the memory. As I stated in my intro, there isn't much an AIB partner can do with a 6950 GPU overclocking wise without eating into sales of their HD6970 stock. The only downside to this is that you will have to try to unlock your HD6950 to get additional overclocking headroom and performance. Tweaking this particular card wasn't difficult, my preferred weapons are MSI Afterburner (v2.2.0 Beta 3) for fine tuning while using FurMark (v1.9.0) to push the GPU.
The GPU-Z screenshot above serves as a reminder of the temperatures and speed the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition OC video card at its default settings. Raising the GPU and memory to their maximum values of 900MHz GPU and 1325MHz Memory didn't require any voltage increase whatsoever, the only way you can get more headroom in afterburner is by unlocking the card to a 6970. I made a commitment in my MSI GTX 560Ti Hawk article to revisit overclocking and I also fully intend to try unlocking this video card to a 6970 and re-asses it's performance. Keep your ear to the ground for an article exploring the full potential of these GPU's in the near future.
With a 50MHz GPU overclock (100MHz over reference design) and a 25MHz memory overclock (75MHz over reference design) we went back to the bench and ran through the entire test suite. Overall there is an average 4.56% increase in scores (at 1920x1080 resolution). We also re ran temperature tests at the overclocked speeds at the same ambient temperature of 28°C, and saw only a 1°C increase in GPU temperature.
That's all of the testing over for now, in the next section I will deliver my final thoughts and conclusion.