Since the official launch of the Radeon 7970/7950 series last month, prices have dropped from their inflated levels and actual stock availability have improved (at least here in Singapore stores). With Nvidia's Kepler based cards not ready anytime soon (or else we'll have them in our pants already), AMD's 28nm Tahiti GPUs remains on the shopping lists of gamers and overclockers alike for the forseeable future. Today we review MSI's custom cooled Radeon 7950 (dubbed Twin Frozr III) to see how it fairs against the rest.
MSI has gone with their usual arctic blue theme on the box and are not afraid to tout the merits of their flagship Twin Frozr III cooler which they claim is better performing and quieter than the stock reference blower. They also mention that the card is ready for 3DMark 11 (which MSI features prominently inside the benchmark) and has "Military Class III" certification
Back of Box
Accessories and Documentation – VGA-DVI dongle, Mini-DP to HDMI, Crossfire Bridge and two Molex to 6-pin PCIe convertors
The MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/OC is overclocked by default to 880/1300MHz
Back of Card – Apart from some gratuitous silkscreen markings and stickers, the card is similar to the Sapphire HD 7950 that we reviewed earlier, the implication being it is using a reference PCB design. One nice addition would be a backplate to prevent warping and accidental electrical shorts from the giant CPU heatsinks that we see today.
MSI's 7950 measures 11.25 inches long and uses 2 x 6 pin PCIe connectors which provide up to 150W extra in addition to the 75W from the PCIe slot
Like all the other Radeon 7950 / 7970s we've seen so far, the MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/OC has the same layout – a single DVI-D, HDMI and 2 mini-DP connectors for hooking up to up to 6 displays. The card only takes up 2 slots which means quad Crossfire operation is possible with top of the line motherboards and enclosures.