MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition Review

ccokeman - 2011-05-06 19:53:53 in Video Cards
Category: Video Cards
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: July 21, 2011
Price: $279

Introduction:

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.

Closer Look:

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.

Closer Look:

MSI's R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition factory-overclocked video card is built around AMD's Cayman core, complimented by 2GB of GDDR5 memory. A quick look at the card tells you that this is far from a stock card. The massive cooling solution is the big giveaway. This card measures 10.75 inches in length from the mounting bracket to the edge of the extended fan shroud — not too large to fit in a mid tower chassis, but long enough to present some challenges in the tighter cases. This card is PCIe 2.0 compliant and is meant to be used in a motherboard with a 16x PCIe slot. The card physically covers two slots while using only a single slot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connectivity is standard for the HD 6900 series, with one Single Link DVI, one Dual Link DVI port, a pair of mini DisplayPorts, and a single HDMI 1.4a port that supports Dolby TrueHD, AC-3, DTS-HD, DTS, and up to 7.1 channel HD audio. With DisplayPort 1.2, the ability to connect multiple monitors via a DisplayPort hub or by daisy chaining monitors together. MSI ships the R6950 with plugs in or on all the connection points to protect them from dust and damage. The back end of the card shows the Twin Frozr III cooling and shroud extending past the edge of the PCB.

 

 

 

Dual bridge connections allow for up to four HD 6950s to be connected in a CrossFireX configuration when used in a motherboard that supports up to four 16x PCIe video cards. A 500 watt power supply is listed as one of the system requirements for this card from MSI. The dual 6-pin PCIe power connectors bring in an additional 150 watts of power, bringing the total power available to the card to 225 watts. A switch is mounted midway down the PCB and is supposed to function as a dual fan profile switch. I did not see an appreciable difference in noise when using this switch, but was able to recover from several failed attempts to flash this card to a 6970 by flipping the switch to the number two position, so it does function as a dual BIOS switch.

 

 

Pulling off the Twin Frozr Cooling is a simple matter of removing a few screws that hold on the main heat sink and memory heat sinks. The heat sink is just massive and contains five large heat pipes. Cooling the memory is an aluminum plate that is cooled by the airflow through the fin array of the main heat sink. While this looks to not be as efficient as what you might get on other cards, it is functional to a point — though adding some ribbing to this plate would increase its efficiency exponentially. A 6+2 Phase PWM circuit is used with MSI's Military Class II technology, using Hi-C caps that offer less current leakage with improved stability, Super Ferrite chokes that offer a 30% improvement in current carrying capacity with a 10% improvement in efficiency, and aluminum capacitors for longer life, reduced ESR, cooler temperatures, and improved efficiency.

 

 

 

The heat sink used by MSI on this card is massive and uses five large heat pipes to transmit the thermal load from the base plate to the fin array where the dual Propeller Blade fans move 20% more air through the heat sink. The base is smooth with a fine finish that appears to be flat, providing a great contact patch for the thermal interface material.

 

 

 

The Propeller Blade fans are made by Power Logic. These fans are 80mm in diameter and 10mm thick, operating on 12v DC using .35 amp. The blades feature a unique deisgn that MSI says is worth up to 20% more airflow over conventional designs. At stock speeds, these fans are very quiet and deliver great cooling with the Twin Frozr III heat sink. Bumping up the fan speeds results in some noise, but nothing I find objectionable when compared to the reference design howler. MSI claims a 13db difference in noise between this design and the reference design. I would say that's on the low end and the differential grows when both designs are spooled up.

 

 

AMD's Nothern Islands Cayman GPU core powers this card from MSI. The core is built using a 40nm process at TSMC. Inside the core is AMD's VLIW4 architecture with 2.64 billion transistors and 1408 streaming processors to get the job done. This card was rumored to be able to flash up to HD 6970 specs, but would not do so. The 2GB of GDDR5 memory used is from Hynix and is part number H5GQ2H24MFR. This memory is specified to run at 1500MHz. The 2GB of Henix memory runs through a 256-bit bus for high bandwidth.

 

 

The card looks great and should stay cool under load, but the key is how will it perform by comparison and will this performance make it a value.

Specifications:

Graphics Engine               
AMD Radeon HD 6950
Bus Standard
PCI Express x16 2.1
Memory Type
GDDR5
Memory Size(MB)
2048
Memory Interface
256 bits
Core Clock Speed(MHz)
850
Memory Clock Speed(MHz)
5200
Memory Bandwidth(GB/sec)
N/A
Texture Fill Rate(billion/sec)
N/A
DVI Output
2 (Single-Link DVI-D x1, Dual-Link DVI-I x1)
D-SUB Output
2 (optional, via DVI to D-Sub adaptor)
Mini HDMI-Output
N/A
DisplayPort
N/A
Mini DisplayPort
2
TV-Output
N/A
VIVO(Video-in/out)
N/A
HDTV Support
N/A
HDCP Support
Y
HDMI Support
Y
Dual-link DVI
Y
Display Output (Max Resolution)
4x 1920x1200
RAMDACs
400
DirectX Version Support
11
OpenGL Version Support
4.0
CrossFire Support
Y
SLI Support
N/A
3-way SLI
N/A
HyperMemory Tech.
N/A
TurboCache tech.
N/A
Card Dimension(mm)
270mm x 116mm x 39mm
Weight
N/A
CrossFire Support
Y

 

Features:

 

 

All information coutesy of MSI @ http://us.msi.com/product/vga/R6950-Twin-Frozr-III-Power-Edition-OC.html#?div=Overview

Testing of the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition will consist of running it and comparison cards through the OverclockersClub.com suite of games and synthetic benchmarks. This will test the performance against many popular competitors. Comparisons will be made to cards of equal and greater capabilities to show where they fall on the performance ladder. The games used are some of today's newest and most popular titles to give you an idea of how the cards perform relative to each other.

The system specifications will remain the same throughout the testing. No adjustment will be made to the respective control panels during the testing, with the exception of the 3DMark Vantage testing, where PhysX will be disabled in the NVIDIA control panel. I will test the cards at stock speeds, then overclocked in order to see the effects of any increases in clock speed. The cards are placed in order from highest to lowest performing in the graphs to show where the cards fall by comparison. The drivers used are the 11.5 Catalyst drivers for the AMD-based cards and the 275.27 for NVIDIA-based cards

 

Comparison Video Cards:

 

Overclocking:

The R6950 Twin Frozr III is equipped to overclock from its 6+2 phase power design and triple overvoltage capabilities in MSI's own overclocking utility Afterburner. This should allow for some big clock speeds. Sadly, my sample was only able to reach a stable 950MHz on the core and 1374MHz on the GDDR5 memory. To get over the 900MHz core and 1325MHz limitation in the BIOS, unofficial overclocking had to be enabled in the configuration file for Afterburner. A 100MHz bump in core clock speed over the as-delivered 850MHz on the core and a 136MHz bump on the memory are worth the time to reach for and required some voltage tuning to get there. I found that going big on the voltages was not the solution on the memory or core, as they did not respond as well as I would have hoped with the cooling and VRM circuit, but not every example is going to be in the top 5%. The dual BIOS switch brings up the possibility of flashing the BIOS to enable the additional shader cores, bringing the R6950's 1408 up to the 1536 used on the HD 6970. With plenty of BIOSs out on the web, it was a simple find to get a BIOS that could enable a flash. Again I was foiled, as the card just would not enable the cores after a flash. Some you win, some you lose. Even so, the additional clock speeds allowed an increase in performance with the R6950 Twin Frozr III cooling solution doing its job and keeping the R6950 a cool 57 degrees Celsius under load when overvolted and overclocked.

 

Maximum Clock Speeds:

Testing for the maximum clock speed consists of looping Crysis Warhead and Unigine 2.5 for 30 minutes each to see where the clock speeds will fail when pushed. If the clock speed adjustment fails, then the clock speeds and tests are rerun until they pass the full hour of testing.

 

  1. Aliens vs. Predator
  2. Metro 2033
  3. Civilization V
  4. HAWX 2
  5. Just Cause 2
  6. Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.5
  7. Mafia II
  8. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
  9. Lost Planet 2
  10. 3DMark 11
  1. Temperature
  2. Power Consumption

Aliens vs. Predator, developed by Rebellion Developments, is a science fiction first-person shooter and is a remake of its 1999 game. The game is based off the two popular sci fi franchises. In this game, you have the option of playing through the single player campaigns as one of three species, the Alien, the Predator, and the Human Colonial Marine. The Game uses Rebellion's Asura game engine that supports Dynamic Lighting, Shader Model 3.0, Soft Particle systems, and Physics. To test this game I will be using the Aliens vs. Predator benchmark tool with the settings listed below. All DirectX 11 features are enabled.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

At stock speeds, the MSI R6950 fights above its playing weight through all three resolutions. When overclocked, it delivers an increase in performance, but is still within a frame per second of the higher-clocked comparison cards.

Testing:

Part first-person shooter, part survival horror, Metro 2033 is based on the novel of the same name, written by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. You play as Artyom in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, where you'll spend most of your time traversing the metro system, with occasional trips to the surface. Despite the dark atmosphere and bleak future for mankind, the visuals are anything but bleak. Powered by the 4A Engine, with support for DirectX 11, NVIDIA PhysX and NVIDIA 3D Vision, the tunnels are extremely varied — in your travels, you'll come across human outposts, bandit settlements, and even half-eaten corpses. Ensuring you feel all the tension, there is no map and no health meter. Get lost without enough gas mask filters and adrenaline shots and you may soon wind up as one of those half-eaten corpses — chewed up by some horrifying manner of irradiated beast that hides in the shadows just waiting for some hapless soul to wander by.

 

Settings:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

In the Metro 2033 testing, it's obvious that the AMD cards seem to be at a slight disadvantage, but the R6950 compares well to the GTX 470 at stock speeds up to 1920x1200. At 2560x1600, the AMD cards are stronger thanks to more memory on board. The R6950 Twin Frozr is six FPS faster at that point. When overclocked, the performance is right in line with its abilities.

Testing:

Civilization V is a turn-based strategy game. The premise is to play as one of 18 civilizations and lead the civilization from the "dawn of man" up to the space age. This latest iteration of the Civilization series uses a new game engine and massive changes to the way the AI is used throughout the game. Civilization V is developed by Firaxis Games and is published by 2K games and was released for Windows in September of 2010. Testing will be done using actual game play with FPS measured by Fraps through a series of five turns,150 turns into the game.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

At stock speeds, the R6950 is faster than the reference-based HD 6950.

Testing:

H.A.W.X. 2 is an arcade-style flight game and is the sequel to H.A.W.X.. The Game is published by Ubisoft and was released in late 2010.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

In HAWX 2, the MSI R6950 matches up with the GTX 460 until 1920x1200. Once again, the R6950 does not drop as much performance when making the jump to 2560x1600.

Testing:

Published by Capcom, Lost Planet 2 is the sequel to Lost Planet: Extreme Condition and uses the MT Framework 2.0 engine. The storyline takes place on the fictional planet E.D.N. III some 10 years after the events of the first game. This time, the snow cover is gone and has been replaced by a tropical landscape. With this new rendition of the game comes the ability to run it using either DirectX 9 or 11. Along with this ability comes the chance to use that new DX 11 hardware to effect. DX11 features in this game include tessellation, displacement mapping on water, bosses and player characters, soft body compute shaders on “Boss” characters, and wave simulation by way of DirectCompute. This gives you smoke that is lifelike and reacts to inputs, water that looks and reacts how you would expect it to in a "real life" situation, and "Boss" characters rendered with more depth and detail. If the latest graphics quality settings are not enough, NVIDIA has included support behind this game for both 3D Vision and 3D Vision Surround, which gives you 3D effects over multiple screens. There is no better way to see how a game will perform than to test it out. Capcom has made this easy with a downloadable benchmark that we will be using to test out a cross section of today's currently available performance video cards.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

As the resolution scales upward, the R6950 Twin Frozr III scales better than the GTX 470 and GTX 460.

Testing:

Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.5 is a DirectX 11 GPU benchmark based on the Unigine engine. This was the first DX 11 benchmark out to allow testing of DX 11 features. What sets the Heaven Benchmark apart is the addition of hardware tessellation, available in three modes — Moderate, Normal and Extreme. Although tessellation requires a video card with DirectX 11 support and Windows Vista/7, the Heaven Benchmark also supports DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0. Visually, it features beautiful floating islands that contain a tiny village and extremely detailed architecture.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

The Twin Frozr III stays within a frame per second of the HD 6970 through all three resolutions. When overclocked, the same holds true above 1680x1050.

Testing:

Just Cause 2 is a third-person shooter that takes place on the fictional island of Panau in Southeast Asia. In this sequel to 2006's Just Cause, you return as Agent Rico Rodriguez to overthrow an evil dictator and confront your former boss. When you don't feel like following the main story line, you're free to roam the island, pulling off crazy stunts and causing massive destruction in your wake, all beautifully rendered by the Avalanche Engine 2.0. In the end, that's what the game basically boils down to — crazy stunts and blowing things up. In fact, blowing things up and wreaking havoc is actually necessary to unlock new missions and items.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

The R6950 compares well to the GTX 480 in the testing above 1680x1050.

Testing:

Mafia II is a third-person shooter that puts you into the shoes of a poor, Sicilian immigrant, Vito Scarletta. Vito has just returned home from serving overseas in the liberation of fascist Italy — to avoid serving his jail sentence — to find his family in debt. The debt must be repaid by the end of the week, and his childhood friend, Joe Barbaro, conveniently happens to have questionable connections that he assures will help Vito clear the debt by that time. As such, Vito is sucked into a world of quick cash. Released in North America for PC in August of 2010, the game was developed by 2K Czech published by 2K and uses the Illusion 1.3 game engine.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

As the resolution increases, the AMD cards, including the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III, scale better than their counterparts.

Testing:

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 is a first-person shooter developed by EA Digital Illusions CE (DICE) and published by Electronic Arts for Windows, PS3 and XBox. This game is part of the Battlefield franchise and uses the Frostbite 1.5 Engine, allowing for destructible environments. You can play the single player campaign or multiplayer with five different game modes. Released in March 2010, it has so far sold in excess of six million copies.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

The MSI Twin Frozr III compares well with the GTX 470 up to 1920x1200 and with the GTX 560Ti once the resolution hits 2560x1600.

Testing:

3DMark 11 is the next installment for Futuremark in the 3DMark series with Vantage as its predecessor. The name implies that this benchmark is for Microsoft DirectX 11 and with an unintended coincidence, the name matches the upcoming date in number (which was the naming scheme to some prior versions of 3DMark nonetheless). 3DMark 11 is designed solely for DirectX 11 so Windows Vista or 7 are required along with a DirectX 11 graphics card in order to run this test. The Basic Edition has unlimited free tests on performance mode whereas Vantage only allowed for a single test run. The advanced edition costs $19.95 and unlocks nearly all of the features of the benchmark and the professional edition runs $995.00 and is mainly suited for corporate use. The new benchmark contains six tests, four of which are aimed only at graphical testing, one to test for physics handling and one to combine graphics and physics testing together. The open source Bullet Physics library is used for physics simulations and although not as mainstream as Havok or PhysX, it still seems to be a popular choice.

With the new benchmark comes two new demos that can be watched, both based on the tests but unlike the tests, these contain basic audio. The first demo is titled "Deep Sea" and have a few vessels exploring what looks to be a sunken U-Boat. The second demo is titled "High Temple" and is similar to South American tribal ruins with statues and the occasional vehicle around. The demos are simple in that they have no story, they are really just a demonstration of what the testing will be like. The vehicles have the logos of the sponsors MSI and Antec on their sides with the sponsorships helping to make the basic edition free. The four graphics tests are slight variants of the demos. I will use the three benchmark test preset levels to test the performance of each card. The presets are used as they are comparable to what can be run with the free version so that results can be compared across more than just a custom set of test parameters.

 

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Higher = Better

 

In the 3DMark11 testing, the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition is right behind the HD 6970 and slightly faster than the reference HD 6950.

Testing:

Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using Crysis Warhead with MSI's Afterburner overclocking utility for temperature monitoring. I will be using a resolution of 1920x1200 using 8xAA. I will use a 10-run sequence to run the test, ensuring that the maximum thermal threshold is reached. The fan speed will be left in the control of the driver package and video card's BIOS for the stock load test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for the overclocked load test. The idle test will be a 20-minute cooldown with the fan speeds left on automatic in the stock speed testing and bumped up to 100% when running the overclocked idle and load testing.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

Lower = Better

When you look at the results delivered by the R6950 Twin Frozr III, they speak for themselves with load temperatures at the lower end of the scale under load during the stock testing. When the fan speed is bumped up to 100% for the overclocked testing, the heat pipe-based Twin Frozr III cooling solution really delivers. With the core overvolted to almost 1.3 volts, the temperature stayed right at 57 degrees Celsius under a sustained load. Of course you will need a case that has great air management to remove the heat from the case, but if you do, this is the kind of cooling that can be expected. The Propeller Blade fans are audible, but no where near as loud as a reference cooling solution. Needless to say, this is a much needed improvement and is just one more reason to look toward MSI for a  non-reference video card.

Testing:

Power Consumption of the system will be measured in both idle states and loaded states and will take into account the peak voltage of the system with each video card installed. I will use MSI Kombuster to load the GPU for a 15-minute test and use the peak load of the system as my result for the maximum load. The idle results will be measured after 15 minutes of inactivity on the system. For load testing the GTX 500 series, I will once again use Crysis Warhead run at 2560x1600 using the Gamer setting with 8xAA looping the Avalanche benchmark scenario.

Settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

Lower = Better

 

At idle, during both the stock and overclocked testing, the R6950 consumes more power than the reference-based HD 6950. Under load, the results change slightly with the reference card using less power at stock speeds, but using more when the cards are overvolted, showing the MSI Twin Frozr III Power Edition using current more efficiently.

Conclusion:

When you look at the results delivered by the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition, they prove that the card is better than a reference design in just about every aspect — from the FPS performance to the temperatures delivered by the large heat pipe-based Twin Frozr III cooling solution to the stock speed testing where it bested a reference card in all the testing save the stock speed power consumption. A pretty impressive performance, as it should be with the clock speeds on this factory-overclocked HD 6950 bumped up 50MHz on the core and memory. This is, of course, the primary reason to buy a factory-overclocked video card or two — you get a guaranteed level of performance without having to worry about an overclock being stable.

Another reason, as if you needed it, is the cooling solution used on theR6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition. MSI has equipped the card with its Twin Frozr III heat pipe-based cooling solution that uses five large heat pipes attached to an equally large fin array. The fans used are MSI's own Propeller Blade Technology that drives 20% more airflow through the fin array to keep the components under the cover, as well as the GPU core, cool. The Twin Frozr III design accomplishes this impressively with the lowest load temperatures in the overclocked testing. The Propeller Blade fans are not silent when you spool them up to the 100% mark, but they are a significant step in the right direction when compared to the reference design cooling. At the other end of the spectrum, in the stock testing, the R6950 delivered load temperatures of 63 degrees Celsius. Not bad, you say? That's right, because this 63 degrees Celsius result is a full 21 degrees Celsius better than the reference solution, all without the noise letting you know the card is there. The dual fan speed switch will allow you to further drop the noise level, but temperatures will be sacrificed for the lower noise levels. The stock performance setting offers a good balance of noise and temperature and is good enough for just about everyone except the silent PC crowd. With the noise in check, you can easily slap two or more of the R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition cards onto your motherboard for excellent CrossFireX performance in a single monitor or Eyefinity setup for that full immersion gaming. CrossFire 6950s are more than enough to fully enjoy Eyefinity.

From all I had read on the R6950, I was looking forward to this card being able to flash the shader count from the 1408 on a 6950 up to the 1536 on the 6970. Unfortunately, through the luck of the draw (or lack thereof), I just could not get it to flash. That would have been a bonus with the factory overclock. Overclocking on the R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition was not stellar, but did show decent potential with a bump in clock speed on the core of 100MHz and 126MHz on the memory. To reach these levels, I had to use MSI's own overclocking utility, Afterburner, and enable unofficial overclocking in the configuration file. If this was not done, the limits on the clock speeds were 900MHz on the core and 1325MHz on the memory, both in Afterburner and the Catalyst Control Center.

Much like on the GTX460 Hawk, multiple voltage control is enabled on the R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition. The three voltages tweak the GPU core, memory, and VDDCI, offering a way to push the card even further. Tweaking up the voltage is a quick way to push performance, but if the VRM circuit is not robust enough to handle it, then you can end up with the good ol' black screen of death that dignifies something has gone seriously wrong. To combat this, MSI has used its Military Class build strategy, incorporating a 6+2 Phase power circuit, Tantulum core Hi-C caps, Super Ferrite chokes, and solid aluminum capacitors to make sure the juice is stable to the core and memory. You get supported voltage control with a three year warranty. Priced competitively at $279, the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition offers up excellent construction and stock performance, superior cooling, excellent looks, and decent overclocking potential.

 

Pros:

Cons: