MSI N760 Hawk Reviewccokeman -
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MSI N760 Hawk Conclusion:
After seeing what the N760 Hawk is capable of as far as pure gaming performance, it's hard not to be impressed. In every game the N760 Hawk out performed the reference card by some pretty substantial margins. In many of the games it was impressively faster than the HD 7950 and even pushed past the GTX 670 in some of the tests. This alone puts it into the upper echelon of GTX 760 cards and proves to be the fastest card I have tested as far as overclocking is concerned at 1333MHz on the core and 1763MHz on the GDDR5 memory while in game. When you compare maximum core clock speeds against a reference card there is no comparison.
Part of what allows the end user to play in the big leagues is that MSI puts a lot of solid work into the N760 Hawk that all starts out at the PCB level with an eight layer PCB and 6+2 phase power management circuit that is chock full of MSI's Military Class IV components. Each of these components both meet MIL-STD-810-G and are used to improve efficiency, run cooler, and last longer. Additionally the Twin BIOS selector allows the end user to bypass overvoltage protection and run an LN2 ready BIOS to push the overclocking limits even higher. Catering to the overclocking enthusiast, the MSI N760 Hawk also supports Triple Overvoltage controls through the Afterburner tuning utility. With this card you do not have to worry about software reporting, since the V-Check points allow the end user to monitor CPU core, memory, and PCIe voltages with a multimeter.
Running big clock speeds always comes with added heat, but the Twin Frozr IV cooling solution with its five heat pipe design really steps up with load temperatures that were at it worst 9 degrees better than the reference cooling solution. Dust removal technology allows the card to "self clean" on startup by rotating the 100mm propeller blade fans in reverse to pull air through the aluminum fin array. Further design enhancements are found inside the cooler, where MSI uses air deflectors to keep the air flow in the heat sink longer to improve cooling.
Pricing is rumored to be in the $280 to $290 range so this puts a price premium of $30 to $40 over the $250 base price on the reference GTX 760. For those extra dollars you get a whole hell of a lot of upside in terms of performance, cooling, and long term reliability, not to mention the tremendous upswing in gaming performance. Also, the yellow coloring just looks awesome, especially when coupled with MSI's high end Z87-based motherboard offerings, including the MPOWER MAX. All things considered, MSI hits a home run with this card, delivering impressive results across the board. In this price range it's going to be hard to beat the value this card delivers.
- Good looks
- Triple Overvoltage
- Twin Frozr IV cooling performance
- Military Class IV components
- Voltage monitoring
- Twin BIOS
- Dust removal technology