The first thing we have to talk about is the AirForce Panel. Honestly, as cool as the idea is, the bottom line is that it's a pain in the ass. The ability to adjust things are a bit sensitive. Sometimes you really need to give it a good push to register. The other thing about the device is the LEDs. It's so bright that anyone with the computer in their room is going to find it really annoying.
With that said, though, it really is only one opinion. Devices like this aren't for everyone. I'm standing in the disapproval area, but other people are going to love the device with its ability to adjust clocks on the fly. Then there's the group of people who have an odd obsession for LEDs. While not for me, there's no doubt there are people out there who are going to love not only how the AirForce Panel looks, but what it does.
On to the card itself, clocks are good out of the box. If you want even more power, though, you're going to have to install the AirForce Panel. It was a bit sad to see that the temperatures on the card weren't that much better to the stock GTX 285, but we found ourselves pleasantly surprised when it came to noise levels which were significantly better than both the other cards we have here.
It's nice to see MSI step outside the box. It takes courage to mix it up and we're glad the company has decided to do so. The good news is if you take away the AirForce Panel, you still have a great card on your hands.
What it ultimately comes down to, however, is performance. And compared to the GTX 275 it's able to offer some serious power. At 284.99 U.S. Dollars, however, you're in GTX 275 territory. You're going to have to decide if you want something a bit older that packs a pretty good package and cooler, or simply want to jump to a GTX 275 that misses out on the bells and whistles.