NVIDIA GTX 750 Ti & MSI GTX 750 Gaming Reviewccokeman - February 18, 2014
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NVIDIA GTX 750 Ti & MSI GTX 750 Gaming Introduction:
MSI's GTX 750 Gaming comes packaged in a box that is meant to stand out in the crowd. The front panel lists the model of the GPU contained inside against the back drop of a tribal dragon. The shield on the front shows that this card is part of the MSI Gaming series developed for and targeted at gamers. An OC label shows that this card is a factory overclocked version that has enhanced clock speeds to deliver higher performance. The back side of the package is more detail oriented, showing the stand out features including Military Class IV build methodology, Twin Frozr Cooling, and both MSI's Own Gaming APP along with its Predator Game recording software. Internally the GTX 750 Gaming is held in a foam lined enclosure to prevent any damage during transport. Accessories include the installation manual driver disk and how to use the Hybrid BIOS feature that supports UEFI or standard boot cycles.
Measuring 9.5 inches long, the MSI GTX 750 Gaming features a full size Twin Frozr cooling solution to manage the thermal load from the more power efficient Maxwell-based GM107 core. The PCB alone accounts for around eight inches of this length. Fitting in a small form factor chassis should still present little difficulty when used with Mini-ITX systems in cases like the Fractal Node or BitFenix Prodigy. The card features the red and black theme used on MSI's Gaming series motherboards that mesh well with not only its own motherboards, but gaming centric motherboards from other manufacturers. The card is designed to be used in motherboards supporting the PCIe 3.0 standard, but is backwards compatible. The cooling solution is a two slot design using large propeller blade fans to push air through the direct contact dual heat pipe-based heat sink. The heat pipes pass out of the bottom to keep a clean look up top.
Display connectivity on the MSI GTX 750 Gaming consists of a single Dual Link DVI port, a single D-Sub port, and an HDMI output. Later cards will most likely come equipped with a DisplayPort 1.2 port to add G-Sync functionality to the card. The rear end of the card is open, allowing airflow out from under the shroud. The MSI logo is upside down in this view, but when installed in the chassis the logo is upright so you can show off which card you are running.
A couple of things are absent on these newest Maxwell-based video cards. The GTX 750, including the GTX 750 Gaming from MSI, have a 55 watt TDP, meaning no additional power is required to supply the cards' power needs. It gets all it needs from the 75 watts delivered from the PCIe slot. The PCB supports the use of a 6-pin PCIe power connector, but it is not mounted to the PCB. Just in front of where you traditionally have the 6-pin connector is a small switch. No, this is not a magical overclocking friendly BIOS switch, but a way to enable the Hybrid BIOS on this card. Hybrid? Position one supports booting from a legacy BIOS, while position two enables booting from a UEFI or legacy BIOS for faster start up or resume times. Also missing is an SLI Bridge connection. In all probability this implementation of GM107 as the full implementation will not see use in a multi GPU format.
The Twin Frozr cooling solution comes off by removing the four screws surrounding the GPU socket. Once removed, the PCB and Military Class IV components are visible. MSI's Military Class IV components include Super Ferrite Chokes that run 35 °Celsius cooler, have a 30% higher current capacity, and bring a 20% improvement in power efficiency to the table for improved power stability. Solid Aluminum Capacitors provide lower ESR and an increased ten-year lifespan. Tantalum filled low profile Hi-c Caps operate with a power efficiency rating of up to 93%. All combined you get a cooler running, more efficient, longer lasting design.
MSI's Twin Frozr cooling solution is a direct contact heat pipe design that uses a pair of heat pipes, one 8mm and one 6mm, to carry the thermal load from the GM107 core to the aluminum fin array. Once there the 100mm propeller blade fans push airflow through the array. Each fin has diverters to make the airflow stay in the fin array longer improving cooling efficiency.
A pair of 100mm Power Logic PLD10010S12HH propeller blade fans are used to provide the airflow through the cooling solution. These fans feature dust removal technology to minimize dust intrusion over time. As far as noise levels are concerned this solution is dead silent when the card manages the fan speed, but are audible once you ramp them up inside the chassis.
Both the GTX 750 Ti and GTX 750 are based on GM107, but the GTX 750 uses a core that features fewer CUDA cores (512), texture units (32), and Streaming Multiprocessors (four instead of five) used on the full implementation of GM107. Base clock speeds differ on the GTX 750 that has a 1020MHz base clock with a GPU 2.0 boost clock of 1085MHz. MSI has on this model tweaked it up a bit to deliver a base clock of 1085MHz and a boost clock that jumps up to 1163MHz, an additional 75MHz over the factory boost clock. Memory bandwidth comes through the 1GB of GDDR5 Hynix memory running through a 128-bit bus. The shared 2MB of L2 cache helps prevent memory bottlenecks at 1080p resolutions. SK Hynix H5GC2H24BFR-T2C modules are rated to run at 1250MHz using 1.35v and 1500MHz using 1.5v.
Much like all of its Gaming series cards, MSI builds in the power supply and cooling solutions that allow not only the mainstream gamer, but the hardcore overclocker the room to push the performance envelope though its design philosophy.