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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

MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition OC Video Card

Manufacturer: MicroStar International
Model Number: R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC
Product Name: Radeon HD 6950
Price As Tested: $299.99 at Newegg

Full Disclosure: The product sample used in this article has been provided by MSI.

AMD changed the game with its 6000 series of GPU's but at the same time it confused a lot of people with its numbering system. To cut a long story short, a HD58XX is equivalent to a HD69XX and not a HD68XX, a common misconception for the less informed enthusiast. The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition OC video card is the current card on the bench so to speak, and as you can tell from the name this offering from MSI carries its top end Twin Frozr III cooler equipped with twin propeller blade fans. The power edition in its name relates towards the support for triple over-voltage and a 6+2 Phase VRM, and I'm sure you can guess what the OC stands for.

Unfortunately there is only so much overclocking an AIB partner can do with a HD6950 without it running into HD6970 performance territory, so the overclock on this card is not very aggressive. Add to that factor the unlocking potential of the 6950 series, one has to be careful not to back bench one SKU to sell another. The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC video card comes factory overclocked at 850MHz GPU / 1300MHz (5.2GHz effective) Memory.


For this review we have a wide range of video card comparisons in our usual mixture of DX10 / DX11 synthetic benchmarks and current games to get a good idea where it fits in performance and price wise. We also intend to overclock the GPU to its limits and see if the Twin Frozr III cooler with its improved fan design has what it takes to cool the GPU and other components effectively, so without further delay let's move on and get stuck in.



# "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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