MSI N560GTX-448 Twin Frozr III Power Edition ReviewRHKCommander959 -
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The MSI GTX 560 TI 448 is nearly identical to GTX 570s — both have a 320bit memory bus and 1280MB of GDDR5, and are based around the GF110 core except the GTX 570 only has one streaming multiprocessor cluster disabled whereas the GTX 560 has two disabled. The die is fabricated on TSMCs 40nm node and is 520 mm ² in size and packing in roughly 3 billion transistors. Reference GTX 560 Ti 448s are clocked at 732 MHz core and 950 MHz memory and have 4+1 Phase PWM for power delivery. The MSI Power Edition comes with 6+1 for increased load stability and overclocking headroom and is clocked at 750 MHz core and 975 MHz memory right off the bat. The MSI also has high quality Military Class II capacitors and chokes for a higher lifespan and reliability, and improved efficiency both thermally and electrically.
The card is cooled by the Twin Frozr III heat sink design. Five large heat pipes draw heat away from a nickel-plated copper base and dissipate it across the length of the whole card through high density aluminum fins. Air is forced through two 80mm 'propeller' style fans which claim to move up to 20% more air over conventional impeller designs. Heat is pushed out mainly through the back and sides of the card so decent case airflow will help the heat sink prove itself. Some heat does exit through the I/O panel when the fan speeds are cranked up but most of the heat is dumped into the case. All of the major components are sandwiched between the PCB and heat sink. The new GTX 560 Ti can do 3-way SLI now whereas the prior versions were limited to 2-way. Two bar-code stickers are placed on the card to help identify it.
The video outputs are two dual-link DVI-I ports and a mini HDMI. Two adapters are included — one to convert from DVI to VGA D-Sub and the other to go from mini HDMI to regular HDMI. The second expansion slot is used to mount the stiffening bar that runs along the side of the card and for ventilation. MSI even had their logo put near-centered in the exhaust vents. The back of the card is where the two PWM fans share a header, and opposite of them are the two 90° mounted 6-pin PCI Express power connections.
The side view from the x16 slot gives the best glimpse of the heat pipe layout. They are spaced out fairly well with each of the fans sharing 2½ heat pipes between each other. You can also see some of the high grade solid capacitors and ferrite chokes if you stare hard enough. The other side has the SLI and power connections, and fan profile switch. The switch is above and slightly to the right of the Twin Frozr III logo and can be toggled between cool temperatures or quiet operation as the goal. You can also see the card stiffening bracket that runs from the I/O expansion slots to nearly the 6-pin power connections.
The new GTX 560 Ti can support 3-way SLI where the past cards could only handle 2-way SLI. This card definitely needs both 6-pin power connections considering how big the core is! Having the power connectors exit out of the side is a wonderful convenience as it makes it so much easier to attach and remove the power cables, the only other problem is pulling off stealthy wire management.
MSI has opted for a two-piece heat sink this time, the main piece cools the core directly. The base is flat but still shows machining lines. The nickel-plating helps fill the grooves. Underneath the main heat sink is the combination stiffening plate and memory cooler. This design will adequately cool the memory and MOSFETs while also keeping the PCB from flexing. Overall a good improvement.
The core is surrounded by ten 128MB density Samsung ICs. The power circuitry is easily identifiable and begins with the red column of capacitors and goes all the way to the back of the PCB. The core is protected by an integrated heat shield with information engraved on the lid. The core is a GF110-270-A1 to be precise, and the core is fabricated at TMSC on their 40nm node. The Samsung K4G10325FG-HC04 memory is supposed to be rated for less than 1000 MHz up to 1250 MHz operation. The fan speed switch can best be seen when the heat sinks are removed, it sits right above the column of pink capacitors.
Next up is the specifications and features page.