As we've established in our earlier review of the HD 7950, the 'Tahiti Pro' GPU actually has a remarkably small power footprint/TDP and it shows here. In our OCCT GPU Torture tests, the Twin Frozr III cooler at 100% fan speed helped the card to maintain an outstanding 51 degrees celcius (full load, room temperature about 22 degrees) and noise levels were still a tolerable hum, which you won't notice from a distance inside a good quality case.
At stock voltage (1.03V), we could run the card at 1030/1800MHz without any visual artifacts, up from 880/1300MHz, which is excellent by any standards.
Raising the core voltage to 1.2V (any further and overvoltage protection would kick in), we manage to push the core clocks further to 1185MHz. Most remarkably the Twin Frozr III cooler still kept the card at a lukewarm 61 degrees celcius.
Y U NO RUN BENCHMARKS?
The MSI R7950 Twin Frozr 3GD5/OC uses the exact same reference PCB and drivers (Catalyst 11.12 RC11) as the Sapphire HD 7950 we reviewed earlier. Running our benchmark suite again would be just a waste of our time so we just focused on maximum overclocks. In summary it is faster than the GTX 580 in all neutral benchmarks, and came close especially in games to the significantly more expensive king of the hill HD 7970 which has has 12.5% more compute units.
We have already seen in many reviews on the web that the 28nm AMD Tahiti GPUs smashes previous records in absolute performance, energy efficiency and overclocking potential. The Twin Frozr III cooler used in our MSI Radeon 7950 today, coupled with mature and regularly bug-fixed software in the form of MSI Afterburner, is an example of how competition can push the boundaries of innovation and drive costs down (vapour chambers and blowers on reference designs are relatively expensive). To avoid boring our readers. we hope to be able to review a non-reference PCB Tahiti with a beefier power circuitry for more interesting overclocks soon.
Price: SGD??? (will be updated)
|Despite costing less, offers HD 7970 levels of performance in comtemporary titles||O/C abilities hurt by its reference power design – cooling system felt like it could handle higher core voltages / TDPs|
|Ubiquitous MSI Afterburner O/C software|
|Phenomenal power/performance ratio|
|Efficient and quiet dual fan cooling solution|
|35% core overclock when overvolted, excellent memory headroom|