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[TPU] MSI 7950 TFIII Review

post #1 of 85
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Quote:
MSI's custom design Radeon HD 7950 comes with the company's well-tested Twin Frozr III cooler that we have seen on many other cards before. The new dual-fan thermal solution provides greatly reduced temperatures and fan noise when compared to the AMD reference board. Compared to PowerColor's HD 7950 PCS+, the noise level is higher, but the temperatures are a bit lower. Personally I'd rather have less noise, than temperatures going from 70°C to 60°C (which has no effect other than the numbers being smaller in your monitoring app).

In terms of performance, the HD 7950 TF III delivers about 5% higher real-life performance than the AMD reference design, thanks to the increased GPU clock speed of 880 MHz (vs. 800 on the reference design). Unfortunately memory has seen no clock increase, which would have been easy to do - there is lots of overclock headroom with memory.
Overclocking on MSI's new card works well, but without voltage increases we see smaller OC potential than on the HD 7950s we tested before. Once we cranked up the voltage, the card really takes off and reached a new record at 1245 MHz.

We see slightly increased power draw in non-3D states due to different component selection in the voltage regulation circuitry. This is no big deal, since the difference is only 3-4 W, but it is consistent. Since the card uses the same CHL8228 voltage controller as the reference designs, overclocking with existing tools will be a breeze, and the card is officially supported by MSI Afterburner, too.

MSI could not provide a final price for the card yet, but we assume it will clock in at $480, like the other custom-design HD 7950 cards. If you look for additional cooling, or want to reduce the noise levels over the AMD reference design, the cost seems justified. Just for overclocking potential, to maximize price/performance, $30 will not be worth it. Just like all other HD 7900 series cards from all manufacturers, the pricing feels a tad bit high, but that's not MSI's fault. It seems AMD is keeping prices high to reap the benefits of being first to market.

Source

Giggity.
Edited by airisom2 - 2/10/12 at 1:48pm
post #2 of 85
full load temp = 59C......and only at 36dba. the TFIII is still a beast, and it only takes up 2slots, too.
post #3 of 85
Much lower temps than the reference and PCS+. With lower noise than reference and slightly more than PCS+. Very nice.

It also has a vrm/ memory cooling plate which looks a lot more effective than for example the XFX DD ones.
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post #4 of 85
63c overvolted @ 1ghz core wha-smiley.png
post #5 of 85
It has a cooling plate? I didn't really see it. Sure it's not just a piece of metal for looks like the Powercolor one?
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post #6 of 85
Asus cu2 runs cooler but the 3-slot thing can be a problem for some. I'm disappointed with the non-reference 7950/7970's so far. A 9-10% overclock is just not enough for when these cards will easily do a 18-20% on air with the reference design. You would think a better heat sink/stronger fans/better components would at least yield a 20% over clock over reference out of the box.
 
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post #7 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arni90 View Post

It has a cooling plate? I didn't really see it. Sure it's not just a piece of metal for looks like the Powercolor one?

Yea it does. Check ek's configurator. They apparently have a block incoming for it. I blame Niko. biggrin.gif
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post #8 of 85
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Originally Posted by rcfc89 View Post

Asus cu2 runs cooler but the 3-slot thing can be a problem for some. I'm disappointed with the non-reference 7950/7970's so far. A 9-10% overclock is just not enough for when these cards will easily do a 18-20% on air with the reference design. You would think a better heat sink/stronger fans/better components would at least yield a 20% over clock over reference out of the box.

Nobody can guarantee a 20-30% overclock because all silicon is unique. They can't guarantee the unknown especially on a new process to boot.
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post #9 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfc89 View Post

Asus cu2 runs cooler but the 3-slot thing can be a problem for some. I'm disappointed with the non-reference 7950/7970's so far. A 9-10% overclock is just not enough for when these cards will easily do a 18-20% on air with the reference design. You would think a better heat sink/stronger fans/better components would at least yield a 20% over clock over reference out of the box.

non-reference cards use the same GPU's as the reference versions. these aren't "binned" chips so having premium cooling/PCB components doesn't really matter. besides they got this thing past 1200mhz @ 1.2v. And the cooler kept temps below 65. Not sure what more you could want from an air-cooled card.
post #10 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106 View Post

Nobody can guarantee a 20-30% overclock because all silicon is unique. They can't guarantee the unknown especially on a new process to boot.

Most of those weaker cards could still hit 1100 but then cooling became a major factor having to run the fan a 100%. If these companies can't supply a stable card at least 1100mhz their redesigned cooler/heat sink etc. aren't effective enough. Maybe when the 670 comes out and beats the 7970 by 20% these companies will re-think there approach and release a 1300mhz 7970.
 
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