MSI N275GTX Twin Frozer OC Reviewccokeman - July 19, 2009
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The MSI N275GTX Twin Frozer is a bit different from the reference cards out on the market. First off, the card sports a factory overclock of 33MHz on the core to bring the GPU core speed to 666MHz, the memory up to 1161MHz and the shader cores up to 1476MHz from 1404MHz. The second and most obvious difference is the massive heatsink with not 1, but 2 fans to cool this card down. The specs are pretty much standard fare when it comes down to the internals with 240 unified shader cores, 28 ROP's and 896MB of GDDR3 memory on a 448 bit bus. The heatsink used on the Twin Frozer a heatpipe based design much like most of the high end CPU heatsinks in use today. Technologies supported include Physx, PureVideo, Cuda and SLI. Support is available for both PCIe 2.0 as well as Open GL 3.0.
The business end of the Twin Frozer features 2 HDCP compliant Dual Link DVI ports and an HDTV output. The DVI ports are an MSI exclusive Mazarine DVI ports that allow an HDMI signal to be output in resolutions up to 1920x1200 on digital displays. The the vented mounting bracket has the MSI logo stamped out of the bracket, as well as a few additional slots to allow airflow out the rear of the chassis. A nice little bit of personalization that most likely works as well as or better than the venting on a reference card. The back end of the card is open and shows the power connector for the dual fans, the solid capacitors and the pin matrix heatsink over the voltage regulation circuit. This design has been used on several ATI cards to some success.
The N275GTX needs additional power as the PCIe slot will not supply nearly enough to run this card. This additional power is brought in via two 6 pin PCIe power connections on the top spine of the PCB. Next to the power connections you will find the SPDIF input to carry sound out through the HDMI cable if used in this capacity. The N275GTX Twin Frozer can be used in both a 2 way and three way SLI configuration for additional gaming or benchmarking horsepower.
Underneath the massive heatsink the N275GTX features a plate style heatsink to cover not only the VRM circuits but the memory as well. Something many manufacturers have been leaving out when a non reference cooler is used. The heatsink runs almost the entire length of the card and uses five heatpipes to carry the thermal load to the fin array, where the two fans finish the job. The airflow blows down and over the card and board unisink. The main contact surface is fairly thin allowing the thermal load a quicker path to the heatpipes. The only thing I dislike about this design is the fact that much of the heatload will recirculated back into the chassis. Those without a case that has adequate airflow may find that the components in the chassis (CPU, Memory, Motherboard, HDD's) all run at a higher temperatures when the N275GTX is installed.
Let's get the Twin Frozer installed and see what it can deliver when compared to many of its counterparts.