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MSI Gaming N780 TF 3GD5/OC GeForce GTX 780 Review

ccokeman    -   August 1, 2013
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MSI Gaming N780 TF 3GD5/OC GeForce GTX 780 Conclusion:

After looking at the reference GTX 780 and seeing that it delivered performance close to that of the NVIDIA GTX Titan, the expectations were high for this card going into the testing. Compared to the reference card, the MSI Gaming N780 TF 3GD5/OC GeForce GTX 780 raised the bar a bit with small margins over the reference card across the entire suite of games at both 1920x1080 and 5760x1080. Overclocking brings performance gains across the board. This particular sample did not overclock as high as I would have wanted on the core with a GPU Boost 2.0 maximum boost clock of 1189MHz. Above 1189MHz it would not pass all of my stability tests, but could pass some as high as 1215MHz; even though it operated below the power and thermal thresholds. The GDDR5 memory, on the other hand, soared all the way up to 1722MHz, well above the reference card in the comparison field.

That give and take ended up with some solid results in 3DMark. For the experienced user, overclocking via MSI's own Afterburner utility is available. It includes Predator, a frame capture utility that can save you a bit of coin over paying for a utility. On the flip side MSI includes its Gaming App that feature three different clock speed levels for one touch over / underclocking. It's as easy to use as MSI's OC Genie on its motherboards. Make it simple and they will use it to effect.

What makes all that overclocking possible is the fact that MSI has a custom PCB and its Military Class IV components, including Super Ferrite Chokes, tantalum core Hi-C caps, and solid aluminum capacitors that improve efficiency, stability, and longevity, topped off with the latest iteration of the Twin Frozr cooling solution. When running the Gaming series GTX 780 at stock speeds, the Twin Frozr IV cooling solution yielded core temperatures of nine degrees or almost 12% cooler than the reference card. All thanks to the 100mm propeller blade fans and special air diverters used in the heat sink assembly. Maxing out the fan speeds, though, results in this margin almost disappearing completely with a one degree difference. While both the reference and MSI cards are quiet at stock speeds thanks to NVIDIA's newest fan speed management algorithms, MSI's Twin Frozr-equipped solution is quieter both managed manually and by the card's hardware.

As an NVIDIA card you get the whole of the NVIDIA ecosystem and can actually use it with a single card if you so choose. SLI, Surround, 3DVision with a compatible 3D ready 120Hz monitor, built-in H.264 encoding, and so much more. The release of NVIDIA's GeForce Experience ensures you get the latest drivers and game settings for the games you play.

Priced currently at $669 from online e-tailers, you pay a $20 premium for the privilege of owning the MSI Gaming N780 TF 3GD5/OC GeForce GTX 780. All told the latest gaming series card from MSI delivers excellent FPS performance while running cool and quiet. It does not get much better unless you lay down another $350 US.

 

Pros:

  • Twin Frozr cooling performance
  • Good looks
  • Overclocking
  • Gaming App
  • Predator
  • Military Class IV
  • G.A.M.E. Spirit
  • GeForce Experience
  • SLI
  • Low noise

 

Cons:

  • None
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