Round-Up: GeForce GTX 980 and 970 Cards From MSI, EVGA, and Zotac Reviewed

The MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming

Here we have the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4G. Like the Zotac card on the previous page, this card is all custom and features an elaborate cooling solution, dubbed Twin Frozr V, that not only performs well, but is very quiet and user-controllable on a per-fan basis.
MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4G
The dual-slot Twin Frozr V cooler sports high-density heatsinks, with dual 10mm cooling fans, and thick copper heatpipes that run from the cooler’s base up through the heatsink fins. We should also point out that the cooler’s base is made of copper and the entire assembly is nickel-plated.
MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4G
The Twin Frozr cooler has also been outfitted with proprietary “Torx blade” fans that reportedly push 19% more air than previous “Propeller blade” designs MSI employed on the Twin Frozr IV, while also directing the air-flow in a more downward direction. The assembly also improves the structural integrity of the card by 75%. In conjunction with Maxwell's relatively low-power characteristics, MSI's Twin Frozr V can even operate in a completely silent mode. When the card is operating at below 50'C, the fans will stop completely, and hence produce no noise at all.

gtx 980 970 round up 14

The customizations on the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4G don’t stop at the cooler though. The MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4G also has a custom, all digital 8+2-phase PWM that can handle more current than 4-phase reference designs and it’s outfitted with MSI’s “Military Class” components, which is to say it has solid caps and super ferrite chokes installed, and there is a lighted dragon on the top edge, which can be disabled by simply unplugging it. And, of course, the card is factory overclocked. MSI actually offers three modes of operation on this card, a silent mode where the GPU can boost up to 1217MHz, a gaming mode where it will boost up to 1291MHz, and an OC mode where it’ll hit 1317MHz. The 4GB of memory on the card is clocked at an effective speed of 7010MHz.
gtx 980 970 round up 10
Unlike reference designs, supplemental power is handled by dual 8-pin PCIe connectors (as opposed to the dual 6-pins on reference designs) and the outputs on the card consist of a single DVI output, along with a trio of DisplayPorts and an HDMI port.

Related content