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MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC Video Card Review

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Sep 19, 2014 5:10 pm
TweakTown Rating: 94%Manufacturer: MSI

Close up with the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC




Moving past the bundle and onto the card, you can straight away see the size of the Twin Frozr V cooler. It's not a small cooling unit at all, as you'd expect, and you can see it towers both over the top of the card and past the back of the PCB. We've got two massive 100mm fans in the middle of the card sitting on top of a huge heat sink. Sitting at the bottom and top of that huge heat sink, you can see a number of copper heat pipes that come off the GTX 970 core.


Being a Gaming series card, we've got the black and red color scheme that looks great, especially against the black PCB that MSI is using here. All in all, the new Twin Frozr V cooler looks to be might impressive and a nice move up from the Twin Frozr IV that we've been seeing from MSI for ages. What it will all really come down too, though, is how it performs. That we'll cover a little later when we move into our testing.






Taking a look around the card, we get to see the new Twin Frozr V heat sink from another angle, and you can again see just how serious it looks. Here, though, the main thing we're looking at is the power connectors, which sees a single 6-Pin and single 8-Pin PCIe power connector. This is slightly up on the reference GTX 980 4GB which sees a dual 6-Pin PCIe setup. As for the reference GTX 970 4GB, while we haven't got one here, we do know that it also carries a dual 6-Pin PCIe power connector setup. So looking above, it's obvious that MSI has chosen to increase the amount of power going to the card.


Staying across the top of the card, but moving closer to the front, you can see we've got a pair of SLI connectors. Unlike the GTX 980 4GB, the GTX 970 offers support for 3-Way SLI, instead of 4-Way SLI. This is pretty standard as NVIDIA has always reserved 4-Way SLI for their top models.




Moving to the I/O side of things, I find myself slightly disappointed to see a connectivity setup that differs to the GTX 980 4GB. Taking a quick look, reference designed GTX 970 4GB cards carry the same single Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI and 3x DisplayPort 1.2 connector setup. So looking above, you can see that MSI has instead opted for the more traditional Dual Link DVI-I and Dual DVI-D ports, along with the HDMI and DisplayPort connector to round things off. It would've been nice to see MSI use the same setup that is offered on the reference card, especially as DisplayPort is a technology that continues to gain more and more momentum in the enthusiast market.





Before we get into the details on the MSI version of the GTX 970 4GB here, we should quickly cover the reference specifications.


As you'd expect, some of the main specifications are reduced when compared to the GTX 980. Streaming Multiprocessors are reduced from 16 to 13, CUDA Cores from 2048 to 1664 and Texture Unites from 128 to 104. What does stay the same between the two models are the ROP Units that come in at 64 and the memory interface at 256-bit. Both cards also offer 4GB of GDDR5.


Core clock speeds is of course the main area that sees a reduction. While the GTX 980 carries a core clock of 1126MHz, which is then boosted to 1216MHz, the GTX 970 on the other hand comes in with a core clock of 1050MHz, which is then boosted to 1178MHz. As for the 4GB of GDDR5, that's been left alone, with both models carrying a massive 7000MHz QDR memory clock.




Moving away from the specifications of the reference card and into the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC, you can see above that MSI has boosted the core clock a ton. They've moved from the 1050MHz base clock to a massive 1140MHz base clock, which is slightly higher than the GTX 980 4GB. That then pushes our boost clock a massive amount, instead of 1178MHz, we see a massive 1279MHz on the MSI offering, again, a number that is higher than the GTX 980 4GB reference card. As for the 4GB of GDDR5, that remains at the stock speed of 7012MHz QDR.


These are some awesome numbers and it will be really interesting to see how this version of the GTX 970 4GB from MSI compares against the reference GTX 980 4GB, which is clocked slightly lower, but does offer an increase in Streaming Multiprocessors, CUDA Cores and Texture Units.

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