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MSI GTX 680 TWIN FROZR - First look and hands on testing

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MSI GTX 680 Twin Frozr

First look and hands on testing



I was given a look at the new GTX 680 variant from MSI the GTX 680 Twin Frozr. This is a model that incorporates the Twin Frozr III cooling design. This design has twin 8cm PWM fans, large 8mm heat pipes, a one piece heat sink for memory and power components of the card, and a large copper base that is nickel plated. The interesting thing about the one piece heat sink is that it also functions to prevent the card from flexing when installed in a system. The “Propeller Blade” fans of the cooler are also a unique design that can produce 20% more airflow. The GTX 680 itself has all of the standard features of the model such as GPU Boost and Adaptive V-Sync. This Twin Frozr card features an Overclocked Core Base Clock of 1058MHz and Core Boost Clock of 1124 (over the standard 1006/1056) while the memory is clocked at 1502MHz.


The box design





Inside the top flap of the box





The card









The accessories




Close ups of the “Propeller Fan”







Testing the GTX 680 Twin Frozr

Larger images for ease of seeing text



The Card idles at 22c in my 18c room that I have been testing in. I then used MSI Kombustor to give it high load and stress it at its stock settings. I gave it 10 minutes and then looked at it (see picture below) I was happy to see that the temperature was not budging over 60c as the fan on auto was regulating that with little effort.





Now I am an overclocker and this card is perfect for overclocking with its great cooler design. I want to show what the card is capable of with this write up. I am sure that many of those who get this card will be trying to get more performance from it. I went about immediately; let’s face it this card is begging to be overclocked even more. I went about finding a good setting for the card, though this proves to be somewhat confusing with the new tech in the GTX 680. Adjusting to the use of offsets when working with the 680 is a new experience for me. I went about finding higher speeds that I would use by using a few different programs. By using Afterburner and is logging I was able to see the actual speed that the card was running. I did this by loading it with Kombustor Burn-in on DX11 using "Xtreme burn-in" with postFX and 8xMSAA in the settings. I found a very stable speed I wanted to use which was 1150MHz that would boost to 1215, with it pushing to 1228 at times from the auto clocking feature. I used the overlay feature of Afterburner on every benchmark I did to watch the GPU clock speed. I also used GPU-Z to look at what the actual MHz were with the offsets so I could gauge were I was. I also used the GPU-Z rendering test in some cases to get the actual speed captured in the screen-shots. I found the new feature that auto clocks the gpu up and down a bit of a challenge, as for those who want full power all the time are left wanting. I wish it was an option that the user had control over as there are times that you just want as much power as you can get, in games and benchmarks.



<<< System Summary >>>


> Mainboard : ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3


> Chipset : Intel Z68


> Processor : Intel Core i7 2600K @ 5048-5096MHz


> Physical Memory : 4 x 4096 G.Skill 2133@ 2200~ 9-11-10-27


> Video Card : MSI GTX 680 Twin Frozr w/ Beta Driver 301.24


> Power Supply: Corsair


> Hard Disk : Corsair Force 3 SSD 120GB


> Operating System : Windows 7 Professional N Professional 6.01.7601 Service Pack 1 (64-bit)




The stability testing for 1150/2300/1806 @ 26 minutes with auto fan setting never letting the card go over 66c




Benchmarks with these settings:





'06 @ Performance




'11 @ Performance




Heaven on Xtreme DX11








Pushing the Limits of the card


Pushing the limits I went as high as I could and found 1249core base with a boost clock of 1314 would run an actual 1300 when loaded in boost mode. For my favorite benchmark I spent time trying to get as much performance as I could on air and found a good speed to run at- 1300 actual core and 1860 on the memory.


The best result of my Aquamark tuning:




Thoughts on testing and card performance


Overall I am thrilled with the GTX 680's power and the performance of the Twin Frozr III cooler was great. I definitely like the fact that the card is so powerful yet the power draw is low for such a powerful card. Thinking back to the past top GTX cards power needs compared to this makes me happy I was able to pull these benches off with a Corsair HX650W. Yes I am definitely happy that I had no issues running a powerful system with the GTX 680 on only a 650W PSU with no issues. This overall is a great card and very powerful while staying cool with automatic fan control that quiet, I think that is a killer combination.




*I would like to thank MSI for allowing me to test this card*

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