TF 3 cooling is fab -- was using an AC accelero S1 rev 2 on my old 6850 w/ the VRM001 Heatsinks .. but managed ~ 80C overclocked on it w/ Vcore -- 1.25
WELL , what do we have here-- the TF3 w/ 1.24Vcore and clocks 950/1450 7 HOURS OCCT -- ambients 25C maxed 74C !!! Thats WITH power control on +20% !!
Thus no throttling-- the fan was on auto and INAUDIBLE over the R4's in my cabinet!!
Am absolutely NOT going to change the cooler on this one.. It's much better than the TF2 ..
However , AN OLD TF2 can unlock -- don't hold me on this , but u'll get rich IF u can unlock AND OC it ...
but at the end-- OC'ing is a LOT MORE benificial -- no void warranties-- no flashing.. whaat funn!!
Check out guru3d's review of the TF3 , its money well spent!
Also, I'm sure the TF3 DOESN'T have a dual bios.. this gets us nowhere--
Still , if u want to be wise , do what I'm about to do with my card !
If not for the extra shaders, then for the OC margin!
Then read THIS
, stating that the newer batch simply will not unlock -- and I have a June production unit ! Well, sadness- BUT I WILL flash the bios SIMPLY to bypass some stupid power control restrictions which in the current 11.6 CCC resets once a day +___+
AND IMO , the TF3 beats the direct cu :/ Just cause the TF 3 is nickel plated... :/ AND direct CU is HDT tech , not suited for a small gpu core-- it shall result in a big variation in the temp in diff parts of the gpu core-- open up GPU -z and the 6850 I once had used to vary 15+C in the gpu temps #1,#3 .. despite re-seating..
Changed the cooler to a non -direct CU and and the variation dipped to ~ 5C on full load...
"So would it mean that a reference w/unlocked shaders and overclocked to say 960 mhz would be better than a TFIII oc'ed to 1ghz?"
if u look at the ratio ---unlocked shaders to locked shaders ~ 5% difference.. also the 6970 uses different power on its parts-- ESP on custom layouts like the TF3 , so stick to a higher OC. so happening-- am gonna push mine to 1GHz today- my card is a day old!! And its doing 950/1450 at 1.235Vcore...
ALSO , the TF3 has triple OC -- yet to see the effect of OC'ing the PLL , but the Vmem definitely gave me an extra 50MHz on the Vram!!
No kidding, the TF3 is a simple substitute ,and slightly cheaper, for a stock 6970-- they perform similarly on an OC -- OC'ing with those extra shaders =fail .. those shaders were disabled for a reason -- maybe those select shaders will hold back your OC when you unlock ... so simply SUPER OC the good stock shaders??
Also , MSI > Asus, atleast where I live--- I BROKE MY 6850__ BROKE--- then had to remove the custom heatsink and the thermal epoxy and all-- definitely showed that I had modded the card-- and I still got a credit note and simply upgraded to a 6950 -- the best card in the market right now-- price/performance wise..
Sum1 tell me how wrong I am .. I have a tendency to ramble!