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MSI GeForce GTX 465 Twin Frozr II Video Card

The latest 400 series video card from NVIDIA meets with MSI and its Twin Frozr II cooler we've grown to love.

Manufacturer: MSI
15 minutes & 13 seconds read time


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We've had a look at the GTX 465 in a decent amount of detail. We've covered it from stock to overclock and single to SLI. The mid range nature of the card means that companies are going to mix it up more so than some of the higher end models, too.

While we've seen Galaxy use a new cooler on the card, today it's time to see what MSI have done with it. Coming in as part of the Twin Frozr II series which has impressed us in the past, we're sure that MSI is going to give us something to get a bit excited about here.

Before we take a closer look at the card and the cooler that MSI has opted for, let's first see what's going on with the package. Once that's done and the card's looked at, it will be time to see what the performance of the GTX 465 Twin Frozr II is like.

If past experience is anything to go on, the card should stand out from the pack when it comes to cooling. We'll leave that for now, though; let's get stuck into the package that MSI has put together.

The Package

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MSI GeForce GTX 465 Twin Frozr II Video Card 04

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There's not a whole lot going on; the only thing you might not notice is the mini HDMI to HDMI adapter that MSI has chosen to include. While other companies have opted for a mini HDMI to HDMI cable, MSI has in this case just chosen to use a simple adapter.

The Card and Specifications

The Card

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MSI GeForce GTX 465 Twin Frozr II Video Card 08

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Looking at the card, you're not going to see anything you haven't seen before. We've seen the Twin Frozr II cooler on a number of cards and having a look here you don't notice anything different. As for the rest of the card, there's no real surprise with two 6-Pin PCI-E Power connectors at the back, SLI connectors towards the front and two Dual-Link DVI ports and a single mini HDMI port for connectivity.


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Since MSI has opted to use a new cooler, it would've been nice to see the company overclock the card; instead they've opted for the default clocks which are 608MHz on the core, 1215MHz on the Shader and 3208MHz QDR on the 1GB of GDDR5.

MSI has said there's some serious potential when it comes to overclocking. While we won't be diving into that today, we will be diving into it in the very near future with Afterburner!

Test System Setup and 3DMark Vantage

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We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASRock, Kingston, Western Digital, Noctua and Thermaltake.

After having upgraded to the latest WHQL 257.21 ForceWare drivers, we'll see how the card goes against the stock clocked Galaxy which was using the original 257.15 Beta drivers. Just for good measure, we've also thrown in a number of other cards including the HD 5850, HD 5870 and GTX 470.

Let's get started!

3DMark Vantage

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.0.1
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
Buy It Here

3DMark Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

3DMark Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

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Looking at 3DMark Vantage, we see a baseline as to where the model sits compared to the other cards. As for the difference between the two driver sets, we can see there's almost nothing.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 1 and 2
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

New benchmark grants the power to unleash the DirectX 11 potential in the gift wrapping of impressively towering graphics capabilities. It reveals the enchanting magic of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. With the interactive mode emerging experience of exploring the intricate world is ensured within reach. Through its advanced renderer, Unigine is one of the first to set precedence in showcasing the art assets with tessellation, bringing compelling visual finesse, utilizing the technology to the full extend and exhibiting the possibilities of enriching 3D gaming.

Note: If a card doesn't support DirectX 11 the benchmark will be left out, if it does it will be included along with the DirectX10 results.

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Heaven performance from the NVIDIA MSI GTX 465 Twin Frozr II is no doubt strong thanks to the effort NVIDIA have put into Tessellation. You can see the model really performs quite strong against the HD 5870 at times.

Benchmarks - CINEBENCH


Version and / or Patch Used: Release 10 and Release 11.5
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

CINEBENCH is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performace capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's award-winning animation software, CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON software has been used in blockbuster movies such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, The Chronicles of Narnia and many more.

MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32-bit and 64-Bit) and Macintosh (PPC and Intel-based).

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CINEBENCH performance doesn't really hold any surprises. The card sits at where you would expect it to.

Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5

Version and / or Patch Used: Demo Benchmark
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Resident Evil 5 is a survival horror video game developed and published by Capcom. The game is the seventh installment in the Resident Evil survival horror series, and was released on September 18. Resident Evil 5 revolves around Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they investigate a terrorist threat in Kijuju, a fictional town in Africa.

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Across the board we've got strong FPS. The main thing we want to see is an average greater than 60 FPS and as you can tell, with image quality maxed out we're able to play RE5 at all resolutions smoothly on the MSI GTX 465 Twin Frozr II.

Benchmarks - BattleForge


Version and / or Patch Used: Auto Patched at Load
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

The Gods have disappeared and the old sun has died, letting a vile twilight engulf the world of Nyn. In exchange for all treasures the mortals possessed, the evil giants agreed to forge a new sun and hurl it into the sky.

But the deal was betrayed, the treasure stolen and now the mortals flee the wrath of the giants. Under the light of a new sun the mortals stumble into a world changed and twisted by an age of twilight. The long journey home has become a conquest of survival.

Note: Supporting DirectX 11 we have seperated the graphs for NVIDIA and ATI cards. While the numbers between the two brands can be compared you have to make note that ATI based HD 5000 series cards are running DirectX 11.

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While the NVIDIA cards do fumble a bit at 2560 x 1600, we can see at 1920 x 1200 we've got playable FPS in this very intensive game.

Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X is an arcade-style flight simulator video game developed by Ubisoft Romania and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iPhone OS.

The fundamental gameplay mechanics are similar to those of other console-based flight series. Players take on enemies with over 50 aircraft available. Each mission is at real world locations in environments created with commercial satellite data. A cockpit, first person, and third person view are selectable. The third person view gives the player an external view of both their plane and the target.

Set above the skies of a near-future world, increasingly dependent on private military companies with elite mercenaries who have a relaxed view on the law. As these non-governmental organizations gain power, global conflict erupts with one powerful PMC attacking the United States.

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The MSI GTX 465 Twin Frozr II again puts out good numbers. Unfortunately we fall a little at the highest resolution, but a small detail adjustment would lift the FPS to above 60 which is great.

Benchmarks - Darkest of Days

Darkest of Days

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.4
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Darkest of Days takes the player through time into historic battles in an effort to save key individuals from certain death. The battles range from Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 to fighting in Pompeii as ash and fire rain down from an erupting Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Other locations include the battles of Antietam and Tannenberg, and a German World War II P.O.W. camp. There are different missions in every time period and the game takes about 4 hours to complete.

The game features over twenty weapons, both from the original time period as well as those brought back from the future. In addition, there are artillery weapons from different time periods to assist in battle.

Note: With the PhysX set to Medium or High Darkest of Days take advantage of the NVIDIA PhysX abilities. For that reason we will test ATI cards at the Low preset, NVIDIA based cards though will be tested at Low and High.

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DOD performance is strong with PhysX turned on. This game really favors the NVIDIA cards thanks to PhysX implementation.

Benchmarks - Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.01
Timedemo or Level Used: Ranch Long
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:
Buy It Here

The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montreal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more.

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Like we've seen in a few other tests, we're just below the numbers we want to see at the highest resolution. In this case the MSI GTX 465 Twin Frozr II minimum is a single FPS below the 30 we want to see.

While it would make almost no difference, a little adjustment in the detail would lift that number slightly, making sure your game play was as smooth as possible.

Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum

Batman Arkham Asylum

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Batman: Arkham Asylum exposes players to a unique, dark and atmospheric adventure that takes them to the depths of Arkham Asylum - Gotham's psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Gamers will move in the shadows, instigate fear amongst their enemies and confront The Joker and Gotham City's most notorious villains who have taken over the asylum.

Using a wide range of Batman's gadgets and abilities, players will become the invisible predator and attempt to foil The Joker's demented scheme.
Batman: Arkham Asylum features an original story penned exclusively for the game by famous Batman author and five-time Emmy award winner Paul Dini, whose credits include Lost season one and Batman: The Animated Series.

Note: With support for PhysX NVIDIA based cards will be tested with the technology on and off, ATI cards will be tested with the technology off due to it not being supported on their cards.

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Without PhysX we can see across the board the model performs strong. When we turn PhysX on we see that we've only got playable FPS at 1680 x 1050. It really seems a bit counterproductive to drop detail down to push the FPS up when PhysX is turned on for the simple fact that you can turn PhysX off and have a massive performance increase with all other detail set to high.

Benchmarks - Dark Void

Dark Void

Version and / or Patch Used: Benchmark Demo
Timedemo or Level Used: Built-in Test
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

The game's story takes place during World War II and centers around a cargo pilot named William Augustus Grey (voiced by Nolan North) who is teleported to another world while flying through the Bermuda Triangle. In this world, known as the 'Void', Will encounters an alien race as well as other humans, which are known as the Watchers and the Survivors respectively.

Will reluctantly joins the Survivors who are engaged in a feud with the alien race to satisfy his desire to return to Earth. While aiding the Survivors, Will discovers that the Void is a middle ground that connects both the Watchers homeworld and Earth. It also becomes apparent that the Watchers are supplying the Axis powers with various supplies for reasons unknown. With the help of Nikola Tesla, Will utilizes retrofited Watcher technology to combat the Watchers and eventually find a way to escape the Void.

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We see good figures across the board; even with PhysX on we're above the 30 FPS minimum at all resolutions which is nice to see.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF

Our high quality tests let us separate the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls. If the cards weren't struggling before they will start to now.

Far Cry 2

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AA has been a strong point for the NVIDIA cards and you can see here even the new mid range GTX 465 is able to put the higher end HD 5870 to shame. What makes it so important as well is the fact that the GTX 465 Twin Frozr II is able to offer us playable FPS thanks to meeting the minimum of 30.

Resident Evil 5

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RE5 AA performance isn't as kind with the FPS a fair chunk below that 60 FPS average we want to see.

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

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..the same is seen under H.A.W.X.

Benchmarks - Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.51
Timedemo or Level Used: Sample File
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

ElcomSoft has pioneered many software innovations that have made it easier to recover passwords protecting various types of resources. For the first time in the industry, the company's patent-pending GPU acceleration makes its way into Wi-Fi password recovery, reducing the time required to recover Wi-Fi passwords up to a hundred times.

Supporting up to four NVIDIA boards such as GeForce 8, 9, and 200, as well as ATI video cards such as RADEON HD 4000 Series and up, Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor allows building servers with supercomputer performance at a fraction of the price.

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No real surprises when it comes to WSA performance with the GTX 465 from MSI performing in line with the Galaxy one.

Benchmarks - Badaboom


Version and / or Patch Used: Release
Developer Homepage:
Product Homepage:

Badaboom eliminates the frustration of video conversion by providing users with speed, efficiency, quality, and a sleek interface. In a practice that used to take several hours, Badaboom converts feature-length movies in a matter of minutes while keeping the videos looking crisp and clear.

By harnessing the power of NVIDIA CUDA-enabled GPUs, Badaboom offloads the CPU to allow users to continue browsing the Internet or checking email without decreased system performance, making transcoding high-quality video fast, easy, and painless.

Note: With the requirement for a CUDA enabled graphics card to run Badaboom, this means that we can only use NVIDIA based cards for this test.

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Badaboom performance is also exactly where you would expect it.

Temperature Test

Temperature Tests

With the TES 1326 Infrared Thermometer literally in hand we found ourselves getting real-world temperatures from the products we test at load (3D clock speeds).

There are two places we pull temperature from - the back of the card directly behind the core and if the card is dual slot and has an exhaust point we also pull a temperate from there, as seen in the picture.

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Here is where we begin to see the Twin Frozr II variation of the GTX 465 begin to really shine with some very impressive cooling numbers.

Sound Test

Sound Tests

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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What's so great is that it's able to put out these low numbers at an even lower noise level.

Power Consumption Tests

Using our new PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01 or "Power Thingy" as it has become quickly known as to our readers, we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated graphics cards installed. Keep in mind; it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember though; while our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10% more. We test at the exact same stage every time; therefore tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum - only a 7,200RPM SATA-II single hard drive is used without CD ROM or many cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items, the draw is going to be higher.

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Looking at power draw, the GTX 465 numbers aren't bad at all sitting in the mid 300 watt range.

Total Performance Rating (TPR)

Total Performance Rating

The TPR graph is a combination of all our benchmarks in which NVIDIA and ATI are on an even playing field. This includes benchmarks where PhysX can be forced off like Dark Void and Batman: Arkham Asylum, but not Darkest of Days.

The TPR number is a combination of:

3DMark Vantage, Heaven Benchmark V2, CINEBENCH R11.5, Resident Evil 5, BattleForge, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X., Far Cry 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum (PhysX Off), Dark Void (PhysX Off) and our three High Quality tests which include Far Cry 2, Resident Evil 5 and Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X.

All of the benchmark results achieved are then combined into a single number. As this graph will grow over time and cards won't be re-tested, next to each model you'll find the driver version that was used when the card was benchmarked.

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As we've seen before, the GTX 465 performs around similar speeds to the HD 5830. As for the performance difference between the two drivers, you can see there's almost nothing between the 257.21 and 257.15 ForceWare drivers.

Total Value Rating (TVR)

Total Value Rating

The TVR graph is the TPR score divided by the price of the video card. The price of the video card is based on the list price of the model on In the event the card isn't listed, it will be based on the U.S. $ MSRP given to us by the manufacturer.

In the event we can't source a price from either, the product will not receive a TVR rating. As with our TPR graph, the amount of video cards on the list will grow over time and the price of the model won't change from what it was when first reviewed. For this reason the U.S. $ price that the card is based off will be included next to the name of the model.

In the event you want to find the TVR rating yourself based on the current price, all you have to do is simply divide the TPR number by the list price.

TVR numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number; 100.3 will be 100; 100.8 will be 101 and 100.5 will be rounded down to 100.

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With good performance and the price being under the $300 mark, the overall value of the product is very good. We're sure it's going to shoot even further up the ladder when we check out overclocking later on.

Final Thoughts

The performance of the MSI GTX 465 Twin Frozr II doesn't surprise. The decision to go with the default clock speeds means that it performs in line with the Galaxy version we tested a little while back.

That's not to say that the Twin Frozr II version from MSI doesn't stand out. When you get down to the numbers where the series is supposed to shine, you can clearly see the cooler does a stellar job of not only keeping the core cooler, but being able to do it at lower noise levels. This is the reason we love the Twin Frozr II series so much. In the cooling department where it's supposed to shine, it does.

The bundle is a little lacking with extras, but this is something we're becoming more and more accustomed to as time goes on with most NVIDIA partners not offering too much extra. The decision to go with a mini HDMI to HDMI converter versus a cable, while feeling a little cheaper, it is actually nicer. If you don't need it, or already have a good HDMI cable, then this is just another cable that you have to store somewhere. Instead now you've only got to worry about the little adapter.

Overclocking is no doubt the next thing we'll be looking at with this model. With voltage adjustment support and the fact that the cooling does such a great job, we're hoping for some serious headroom.

The GTX 465 for me hits the mark a lot better than the other GTX 400 series cards for the simple fact that NVIDIA seemed to price this model at the right point. While you're no doubt going to pay a little more for the Twin Frozr II version of the GTX 465, it's good to know that even compared to other companies upgraded cooling options, the MSI version can perform even better again.

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Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

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