As the year comes to an end we're going to see the video card market quiet down as companies have released almost everything they want over the last few months. Unlike motherboards, we don't see video card companies offer these refreshes. Instead once they've kind of done their initial push, that's very much the end of it.
Over the last few weeks we saw NVIDIA release the mid-range GTX 600 series cards and in reliable fashion we saw MSI get into the model straight away by releasing models under its popular Power Edition Series. Today we're looking at another mid-range GTX 600 series based card and this one falls under the slightly higher end HAWK series.
Today will be our first video card review which follows our new benchmark lineup that you first saw in our Catalyst 12.11 article late last month. As always, though, there are a number of things that we need to do before we get into the performance side of things.
The first thing we're going to do is take a closer look at the package and once we've done that we'll move onto the card itself. Moving on we'll check out the specification side of things and being a HAWK card we'll also be looking at the overclocking side. While normally we'd skip the reference testing, because we've had to completely restart our video card benchmarking, we'll be including it today alongside the overclocked results.
Once we've gone over the specifications and the overclocking we'll quickly cover our testbed, talk a little about the cards that are going to be in our graphs today and get into the performance side of things. As mentioned earlier, though, the first thing we need to do is look at what MSI is doing with the bundle of the GTX 660 HAWK today.
Looking at the front of the box it's very typical with the HAWK design that we've grown to expect. You can see some of the main features including the fact we're dealing with an OC Edition card. Opening up the box you can see we get a wealth of information with the top half of the box focusing on all the features that the HAWK series gives us. Some of the main included the Military Class III components, Unlocked Digital Power, and the 3x3 OC Kit which brings V-Check Points, Triple Over Voltage and Triple Temp Monitor.
Moving to the bottom of the box we get a look at the card for the first time and the focus here is more on the cooling side of things and the Twin Frozr IV cooler. Turning over we can see the back of the box mainly focuses on the GTXX 660 GPU itself.
As we move inside the box and check out the bundle there are no major surprises. Alongside the normal line up of paperwork and Military Class II certification, we've got two dual Molex to 6-pin PCIe power connectors, DVI to VGA connector and three cables that are used to check the voltage of the card.