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Written by Steven Iglesias-Hearst   
Monday, 23 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

Twin Frozr Final Thoughts

The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition OC is a very good video card but the overall performance in our tests really doesn't justify the price. Sure there are more games out there where this video card will shine through, and the 2GB memory will help when driving multiple monitors but from a price/performance point of view this card is somewhat expensive. A standard HD6950 costing $249.99 costs an average $5.53/FPS, and the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC costing $299.99 costs an average $6.34/FPS.

The Twin Frozr III is essentially the same as the Twin Frozr II. The main differences between the two are; 1) Improved 'Propeller Blade' fans, 2) MSI's 'Form-in-one' heatsink covering all of the memory and power circuitry, and 3) An improved shroud design that not only enhances the aesthetic qualities of the cooler, but also covers the aluminum fin array much better. These enhancements culminate to make the overclocked HD6950 PE/OC run cooler than a HD6950 with a reference design cooler when under load.

MSI R6950 Conclusion

Important: In this section I am going to write a brief five point summary on the following categories; Performance, Appearance, Construction, Functionality and Value. These views are my own and help me to give the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC Video Card a rating out of 10. A high or low score does not necessarily mean that it is better or worse than a similar video card that has been reviewed by another writer here at Benchmark Reviews, which may have got a higher or lower score. It is however a good indicator of whether the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC is good or not. I would strongly urge you to read the entire review, if you have not already, so that you can make an educated decision for yourself.

MSI_R6950_Twin_Frozr_III_Power_Edition_Angle_Box.jpg

The graphics performance of the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC is very good indeed and in four out of our ten tests it is easily able to beat the GTX 560Ti (including an NVIDIA supported game - Metro 2033). I am a little let down by the overclocking headroom offered by MSI afterburner as this card should be able to hit higher clocks with ease.

The appearance of the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC is, as I'm sure you will agree, very nice indeed. The side view is given extra attention thanks to the anti-warp edge support and shroud design that provide both function and aesthetics. These additions are relatively simple but it makes all the difference once you install the card into your system. There are some that will surely disagree but thanks to the graphic nature of this review you can easily make your mind up for yourself. One thing is for sure, the Twin Frozr III design really makes the Twin Frozr II look ugly.

Construction is excellent as you would expect from a company with a good reputation like MSI, there some areas missed during the cleaning process but it is nothing major as it only hurts the aesthetics and not the performance. Taking the card to pieces and reconstructing it was a breeze and everything lined up perfectly, the Twin Frozr III cooler is solid and really adds some weight. This gives the feel of confidence when handling the card that you won't break it.

Functionality is very good, I can't help but keep singing praise for the Twin Frozr III cooler, it really is so good. The MSI Afterburner and Kombustor utilities are very handy when it comes to overclocking and stress testing your video card. The fan profile switch allows you to switch between Performance (louder fans) and Silent (warmer GPU) simply and negates the need to set up fan profiles in afterburner.

The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC video card is available now for $299.99 at NewEgg. At this price you can get more performance for your money but I think that this card has a lot more to offer. It comes factory overclocked out of the box and I was able to overclock more without raising any voltage. This card has great potential but unlocking that potential will require a little effort.

Pros:silvertachaward.png

+ Twin Frozr III cooler is excellent
+ 6+2 Phase Design
+ Very nice looks
+ Excellent build quality
+ Fan profile switch
+ CrossFireX Support
+ Overclocking neede no extra voltage
+ Variety of outputs: D-SUB, mini Display Port, DVI-I and HDMI

Cons:

- Hot air from GPU exhausted into case
- High power consumption
- 27cm long, could be an issue for some
- Not the best value
- Not much O/C headroom in Afterburner

Ratings:

  • Performance: 8.75
  • Appearance: 9.50
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.00
  • Value: 8.00

Final Score: 8.95 out of 10.

Quality Recognition: Benchmark Reviews Silver Tachometer Award.

Questions? Comments? Benchmark Reviews really wants your feedback. We invite you to leave your remarks in our Discussion Forum.

NewEgg.com

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Comments 

 
# "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 (##anandtech.com/show/4137/amds-gtx-560-ti-counteroffensive-radeon-hd-6950-1gb-xfxs-radeon-hd-6870-black-edition/6). 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.

##hexus.net/content/item.php?item=30486
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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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