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MSI GeForce GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OCed Video Card Review

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Sep 26, 2014 10:15 pm
TweakTown Rating: 95%Manufacturer: MSI

Pricing, Availability, and Final Thoughts

 

The GTX 900 series from NVIDIA still does not disappoint. After today, I find myself even more excited about what's going on in the computer industry now than I have been for many years. With the recent launch of the X99 series, it feels like we suddenly have the perfect storm of high-end components for anyone wanting to build a true beast of a system.

 

Since the launch of the new GTX 900 series, we've heard rumors that the overclocking potential on these cards is truly amazing, and today we had the opportunity to find that out first-hand. One of the first things we need to mention is the new Hybrid Frozr technology on the Twin Frozr V cooler. This is designed so that when the card is running under 50 C, the fans don't spin, making it silent. While this works no problem at the stock overclocked speeds MSI offers, when the card is manually overclocked, the fans wouldn't spin when they needed to.

 

This issue seems to be the result of some conflict between version four of MSI Afterburner, and the new Twin Frozr V feature. Although, with the fan control software installed, we could manually set the speed of each fan individually, and that did fix the issue with any heat. This is normally something we're not a fan of doing, since the noise levels when fans are 100% tends to be a little on the ridiculous side.

 

When it came to cranking the fans up to 100%, though, the noise levels weren't unbearable. Sure, they were audible, and you saw in our graph today that they're sitting towards the top of the graph, but we saw numbers that place the MSI GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC around the same level as other overclocked MSI cards. The fact that we're also hitting under 60 C when under load is quite amazing. You can easily drop those fan speeds down a bit, as we've got a good 30 C to play with when it comes to load temperature. This really goes to show us the quality of the new Twin Frozr V cooler.

 

We can tell you that the stock overclocked performance of this card would also be very strong. While we didn't test it here today, the MSI GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC carries a core clock that is slightly higher than what we saw on the ZOTAC, meaning that performance would be slightly higher. While the ZOTAC does give us a slight bump in the memory clock, we know that the difference made is quite minimal when compared to the extra MHz seen on the core.

 

There's not a whole lot that needs to be said if I'm truly frank. This MSI version is going to carry a premium, but that premium is well justified. Overclocking yourself, or leaving the card at the standard out-of-the-box speeds make for a truly blistering fast gaming experience. MSI is doing some truly awesome things with the new GTX 900 series, and while we haven't heard anything officially, past experience lets us hope for a HAWK version of the GTX 970 4GB, and a Lightning version of the GTX 980 4GB. The only people that don't like these new Maxwell based NVIDIA cards are AMD and their partners.

Product Summary Breakdown

TweakTown award
Performance (including Overclocking w/a)96%
Quality including Design and Build95%
General Features97%
Bundle and Packaging90%
Value for Money95%
Overall TweakTown Rating95%

The Bottom Line: With an even higher core clock than the Zotac video card we looked at and a cooler that requires just two slots, the MSI GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC is just an amazing video card. Amazing is taken to another level when overclocking is thrown into the mix, as performance is nothing short of stellar.

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