MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition Reviewccokeman - July 21, 2011
Category: Video Cards
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Making a choice of which video card to buy is becoming more difficult with all the specialized models that feature better cooling solutions, improved build quality, and increased clock speeds — all to draw the buyer in. There are plenty of catchphrases used to entice the buyer to a certain product. This is more prevalent in big box retail shops, where the packaging is front and center, while in the e-tail world, the product is usually shown before the packaging. With all the flashy illustrations and wording, what really sells is the product and knowing how it will perform against the base model. What good is that awesome looking cooling solution if it's not functional or what about the higher clock speeds that show no appreciable change in performance. There has to be a benefit for the higher end product to be worth the investment. Well, when it comes to benefits, the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition (quite a mouthful) video card comes jam-packed with all the goodies in MSI's tool chest. First off, there is the Twin Frozr III cooling solution that uses MSI's new Propeller Blade technology to push 20% more air through the heat sink fin array. You get higher clock speeds to satisfy that requirement, along with improved build quality that includes MSI's Military Class technology, which uses Tantalum core Hi-C caps, Super Ferrite chokes, and solid aluminum capacitors, as well as a 6+2 Phase VRM circuit. All this should provide the enthusiast with a card that not only runs cool, but has the tools to take the performance up another notch, if needed. Let's see how the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition performs while gaming and how efficient the cooling solution from MSI really can be.
With so many of us using the benefits of the Internet to purchase our parts, the allure of the brick and mortar store is lost on us. However, there is still a need for elaborate packaging for those who purchase from a brick and mortar store, who use the information contained on the package for comparison shopping. The more information the better, so an informed decision can be made when it comes time to spend that hard-earned cash. MSI has done a good job of packing information onto the R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition with the front panel showing a 3/4 view of the card, the mention of the 3-year warranty for North America customers only, CrossfireX and Eyefinity capabilities, the amount of memory at 2GB of GDDR5, triple over-voltage adjustment for the enthusiast, and that the Power Edition is a factory overclocked model. The rear panel lists most of the AMD-specific features, which include AMD HD3D technology, UVD 3, and GPU acceleration in Microsoft Office 2010. The minimum system requirements are listed so there are no questions regarding what is needed. The flip-open front cover details MSI's Military Class II components, the 6+2 Phase PWM design, and the benefits of the Propeller Blade design and Twin Frozr III cooling solution, which is 11 degrees Celsius cooler and 13db quieter than the reference design cooling.
Inside the box, the R6950 Twin Frozr III PE is protected in a foam enclosure with the power adapters. Under the foam, the remainder of the bundled accessories can be found in a separate compartment.
Bundled accessories add value to the purchase of a video card. MSI has equipped the R6950 Twin Frozr III with a bundle I would call standard for a card of this caliber — a manual for the R6900 series, a quick start guide, the driver disk, two 4-pin Molex to 6-pin PEG power adapters, Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter, DVI to VGA adapter, and a CrossFireX bridge connection.
Custom cooling and power circuits should prove interesting and be a way to differentiate the reliability of the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition from that of the reference design.