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MSI GTX 650 Power Edition OC Review

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Closer Look:

The MSI GTX 650 Power Edition OC is based off of the GK107 Kepler core. The core is much smaller than the GK106 core, it has 1.3 billion transistors and is manufactured by TSMC on the 28nm fabrication process. The core has 384 CUDA Core processors and is clocked at 1058MHz reference with the MSI variant being overclocked to 1124MHz. Four memory ICs compose 1GB of GDDR5 connected to a 128-bit memory interface. Memory clock speed is set at the reference rate of 5000MHz.

All of the ports except the 6-pin PCIe power are protected by blue caps. The 6-pin power connector faces out of the rear of the card. In Dual Fan Mode it is somewhat difficult to unplug a power cable as the shroud gets in the way, but in Single Fan Mode everything is fine. For output there are two DVI ports and a Mini HDMI port. Two display adapters are included for converting to regular HDMI and D-Sub VGA, covering just about all mainstream connections on the market.













The top of the card has the fan impeller in the center. The shroud design will dump most of the heated air back into the case so having proper airflow will give better temperatures. The power connection exits out of the rear of the card — ths is fine when only the one fan is used but is a nuisance when it is setup in Dual Fan Mode. This version has gray accents on the shroud versus the blue used on the R7770 Power Edition reviewed a few months ago. At the left is a crescent shape, which is there to contour to a second fan when the shroud is slid back. Flipping the card over shows a pretty open layout. Looking at the solder joints can give a sneak peak of what lays under the heat sink such as the 3+1 phases. This PCB has room for a fourth phase and another 1GB of GDDR5 too, each side holding 4 ICs potentially. Four sprung-screws are all that holds the heat sink to the card.



The first side shot shows the lack of an SLI port; NVIDIA has limited SLI. The shroud slides back a couple inches when both clips are depressed; they sit centered with the fan and pop into a hole to lock the shroud in place. No tools are needed to add the second fan. The second PWM fan plugs into a port near the power connection at the rear. The card is intended to fit into two slots but looks like it could have trouble with ventilation or physical interference with the fan(s).



The second fan comes in its own box and sits near the card when shipped. The front has the company logo and a picture of their custom impeller design. The impeller is designed to increase airflow and thus cooling capability while decreasing noise. The back of the box lists the main features of the fan: 12V, 3500 RPM, 98x98x25.5mm, 50.719 CFM air volume, 3.86mm H2O wind pressure, and 46.5dB maximum noise level. Inside the box is the fan and a baggy with two screws. The shroud slides back after pinching the clips on each side of the first fan and pulling the shroud until it clicks. The second fan snaps right into place and then the cord is plugged into the back.




With the heat sink off the major components are readily visible. The GK107 Kepler core sits right in the center with four 256MB Samsung ICs nearby. Three phases feed the core while one feeds the memory. At the top right are two PWM fan ports, one is side mounted and left open for installation of the secondary fan. The power connector exits out the rear, which is fine except it can be problematic with the second fan installed in Dual Fan Mode where the shroud extends over the area and makes it hard to push the release latch. The heat sink uses a copper base plate and heat pipe with four screws attached to an aluminum structure. Two pads of thermal tape are applied, one set cools the power circuitry while the second set cool two of the memory ICs. It is odd that half of the memory is cooled but there is a larger gap over the other two allowing more air circulation. MSI Afterburner provides Triple Over-Voltage capabilities: the core, memory, and PLL voltage can be adjusted along with core and memory clocks and fan speed. The GK107 Kepler core is a 1.3 billion transistor die manufactured by TSMC on its 28nm process. The core has 384 processors. The memory is Samsung brand GDDR5 with 256MB per IC density. Operating voltage ranges from 1.455V to 1.545V.




Next page lists the specifications and features of the card at length.

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