MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition Review - HotHardware

MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition Review

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Over the last couple of years, MSI has made a concerted effort to bolster their reputation as a premiere brand in the PC enthusiast space. MSI’s motherboards, graphics cards, notebooks, and virtually every other high-profile product family in their repertoire has been revamped and updated in some way to differentiate them from the competition. Whether or not MSI’s efforts have paid off across the board is a matter of debate, but there’s little doubt that the company’s “Twin Frozr” line of graphics cards stand out from plain-vanilla reference cards.

The product we’ll be looking at today is the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III. As its name suggests, the R6950 Twin Frozr III is powered by AMD’s Radeon HD 6950 GPU and the card sports MSI’s third-generation Twin Frozr cooler. MSI did more with the R6950 Twin Frozr III than swap the reference cooler with one of their own design, however. The R6950 Twin Frozr III is outfitted with a custom PCB and has a couple of other interesting additions as well. Check out the specs below and then we’ll move on to some of the more juicy details, benchmarks, and some overclocking action.

MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III
Specifications & Features
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 (1300MHz, actual)
DVI Output Single-Link DVI-D x1, Dual-Link DVI-I x1
D-SUB Output 1 (optional, via DVI to D-Sub adaptor)
HDMI-Output 1
Mini DisplayPort 2
HDCP Support Yes
HDMI Support Yes
Dual-link DVI Yes
DirectX Version Support 11
OpenGL Version Support 4
CrossFire Support

Looking at its features and specifications reveals one of the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III’s differentiating attributes—it’s overclocked from the factory. The Radeon HD 6950 GPU powering the card is bumped up from the reference design’s 800MHz to 850MHz and the memory clock has been increased from the reference design’s 1,250MHz to (5Gbps effective) to 1,300MHz (5.2Gbps effective). The increases in GPU core and memory clocks will obviously give the card a performance edge over straight-up reference designs, but in addition to tickling the frequencies, MSI has tweaked a number of other aspects of the Radeon HD 6950 as well.

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I like the review! I tested the 6970 2GB and was pretty nice, but I'll stick to the 460 1GB SLI.

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but I'll stick to the 460 1GB SLI.

That's not a Bad Idea at all..I'm seeing the GTX 460 prices dip into the $160 -170 range, so two of those would make an excellent choice and deal right now.

Now, to talk about this review, The Frozr III is an excellent cooler and an improvement over the predecessor, but a lot of the test still favors the 560, which would be my choice .

But I'm in anticipation.. for the NDA to expire so that Marco can "Release the Antilles"..I mean "The Kraken"..

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lol... Marco you must have networking on your mind

"memory clock has been increased from the reference design’s 1,250MHz to (5Gbps effective) to 1,300MHz (5.2Gbps effective). "

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Umm... hes correct Acarzt.... start googing.


Essentially, according to that post... there are 4 clock cycles with ddr5 ram.... 1250Mhz X 4 = 5Gbps. Hopefully that helps!

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@acarzt - That's actaully correct.

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Woah, we posted within seconds.


yet the GPU temp never went above 63’C (that's close to 20'C lower than the stock reference card we tested at launch)

DANG! 20 degrees cooler??? 20? wow thats a lot!!

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I have to say, the Twin Frozr III does not disappoint. A shame that nobody has found a way to overclock the 6950's/6970's even further, we should be able to overclock our cards past 900MHz damnit!

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@Taylor - You can OC past 900 if you mod the BIOS.

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That definatly a nice card ! I always want the best but my wallet always wait wait wait but I do want to get a new build going I,ve just got a new motherboard the Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H looking forward to putting together a new rig and see how the board performs but It will take me a little time starting with the CPU its time for me to jump up to something at the top so Im going to get the Phenom II X6 BE 1100! After that just going to do a little at a time, its got onboard video but I want a Radeon series 6900.This would be a good choice I think soon as the price drops! Good reveiw!

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I get the math.. that wasn't what I was questioning :-P

How do you make the jump from Megahertz to Gigabits per second?

If you're talking about memory bandwidth, that's not even correct as 5.2Gbps does not take into account the bus width.

When talking about clock speeds, it is always referenced in Hertz, not Bits. When talking bandwidth, it would be represented in Bits.

It should read 5.2Ghz Effective.

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