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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

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_R6950_Twin_Frozr_III_Power_Edition_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 MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC (850 MHz GPU/1300 MHz vRAM - AMD Catalyst Driver 11.5)



 

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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