Up close with the MSI R9 280 3GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC
Moving away from the bundle, and onto the card, you can immediately see the overall design is very similar to just about every other card we've seen that makes use of the massive Twin Frozr IV Advanced cooler. We've got two large fans in the middle surrounded by a black and red shroud.
Under that, we've got a massive heat sink that covers just about the entire PCB, and a strong copper heat pipe setup to help pull the heat away from the core. If you've seen any of the recent MSI Gaming Series cards, then this look won't be anything new to you.
Moving away from the front, and taking a look around the card, you can see we've got a dual power connector setup at the back, which sees a single 8-pin PCIe power connector sitting next to a 6-pin PCIe power connector. Staying at the top of the card, but moving closer to the front, you can see our BIOS switch, along with our CrossFire connectors, the latter of which we're going to be making good use of today.
Finishing up in the I/O department, you can see we have the same setup as the PowerColor version we looked at; there is a single Dual-Link DVI-I connector next to a HDMI port. We finish off our connectivity with two MiniDP ports. Personally, I'm a big fan of this setup as a heavy DisplayPort user. Outside of that, though, it's great to see that MSI has chosen to include the handy MiniDP to DisplayPort connector in the bundle.
Of course, since this card is part of the Gaming Series, the card comes overclocked out of the box. Looking below, you can see that this card offers us a core clock of 972MHz, which is slightly up from the PowerColor. However, via the Gaming APP, you can push that core clock to 1000MHz thanks to the "OC Mode." As for the memory, we see that MSI has chosen to leave that at 5000MHz QDR.
Today is all about overclocking, and seeing just how much performance we're able to get out of this setup. By taking a look above, you can see we managed to push the core up to 1130MHz. Combined with the 5500MHz QDR memory clock, we've really got ourselves a nice overclock on our hands today. This should yield some strong performance gains over the PowerColor setup we tested the other day, which saw both cores running at 960MHz, and the memory at 5000MHz QDR.
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