Originally Posted by magnek
Well I've had mine for a week now, and here are my thoughts.
First impression when I plugged the card in was UGH COIL WHINE AGAIN!
I had this exact same problem with TWO 980 Ti Classified cards, and I know it's not my system because changing the PSU made no difference, and beyond that my original Gigabyte 970 SLI setup had little to no coil whine. Now to be fair the coil whine on this particular card is what I would call "could be tolerable given enough time", whereas with the previous two Classy's it was just NOPE. Then I went to GPU-Z to check the ASIC and it was 77.5%!
I decided to suck it up, find some combination of volt/clocks that didn't make it whine, or actually use headphones if I had to, but no way was I going to RMA this sucker!
Second impression after gaming for a bit was they definitely could've used a beefier cooler. I have a feeling MSI prioritized acoustics over thermal performance, because even at 100% fans the cooler isn't too loud, and subjectively I can say the fans definitely felt like they pushed less air than the Classy's. Factory clocks on default fan curve always had the GPU running over 80C, and yes I have an Enthoo Primo with decent airflow so it's not that. What really frustrated me though was overclocking on air was an almost futile event, because I was definitely thermally limited
. Now to be fair the first thing I did before overclocking was to flash the bios that revealed the hidden voltage sliders
, and then proceeded to up the power limit to 405W so I was no longer power limited.
But you see, MSI set the power limit to 300W for a very good reason -- the stock cooler is woefully inadequate
at handling over 300W of heat. With 1510/8000 at 1.25V and fans at 100%, I couldn't even get Unigine Heaven to loop for 15 minutes without crashing. I thought it was just my luck since ASIC didn't necessarily guarantee a good overclock, that is until I decided to check out the card while benching.HOLY HOT DAMN (pun intended) the backplate almost burned me when I touched it. I figured if the core was running 80+C, the VRMs must've been on fire.This despite maxing out the cooler fans. I mean I never intended to do any serious OC on air anyway, but this was disappointing to say the least.
However, once I slapped on a waterblock, this thing went into full beast mode. I'm still tweaking at the moment but 1530/7800 at 1.21V appears to be Heaven and BF4 stable, so I suspect I still have some good headroom left. As far as temps go, after 2 hours of looping Heaven the core stays between 41-43C, but keep in mind I have a 420+360, and the only other hot component in my loop is a 4930K at 4.5GHz/1.35V, so head load is fairly reasonable. Room temp is around 72F (22C) so that helps a bit.
PS: There does appear to be some combination of volts/clocks at which the coil whine is at a minimum. Hell even just bumping core to 1550 from 1530 at 1.21V made the whine quite a bit worse.