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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

Close up with the MSI GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC




Looking at the card, it would be easy to mistake the MSI GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC for the GTX 970 version we looked at. The massive Twin Frozr V cooler really leaves little else to see; apart from the bit of black PCB across the bottom, everything else is related to the cooler. Behind the two fans we've got a massive heat sink that uses the new SuperSU Pipe technology, which shows across the bottom and the top of the card.






One of the first things we notice when looking around the card is that MSI has opted to move from the dual six-pin PCIe power connector setup that is on the reference version of the card to a dual eight-pin PCIe power connector setup like we saw on the MSI version of the GTX 970 4GB and the ZOTAC version of the GTX 980 4GB. At the front of the card, you can also see our two standard SLI connectors that offer us support for running up to four of these cards together.




Heading into the I/O department, it's really good to see that MSI has opted to leave the reference connector setup instead of the modified one we saw on the company's GTX 970 version. The reference design includes that single Dual-Link DVI-I connector, along with a single HDMI port and three DisplayPort connectors to round everything off.





As we mentioned earlier, the MSI GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC is, of course, an OC card, and carries an out-of-the-box core that is slightly higher than the ZOTAC offering we saw. Out of the box, the ZOTAC AMP! Omega card we looked at had a core clock of 1203MHz, while the MSI version we're looking at today is slightly elevated to 1216MHz. While ZOTAC bumped the 4GB of GDDR5 up ever so slightly, MSI chose to leave that alone at 7012MHz QDR.




As we have already mentioned, today isn't about the out-of-the-box clock speeds that the MSI GTX 980 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC is offering. Instead, we want to fire up MSI Afterburner and see just what kind of performance we can get out of the card when we throw some extra voltage into the mix. If you take a look above, you can see we've got some truly beautiful looking clock speeds. You can see the core comes in at 1361MHz, which is not only a massive increase from the stock speed MSI offers, but it's also an even more impressive number when compared to the reference 1127MHz. While that already sounds good, the boosted clock speed that pushes the card to 1462MHz is what really seals the deal.


As for the 4GB of GDDR5, that wasn't left alone either. You can see the 2028MHz clock speed translates into a massive 8112MHz QDR. These are some awesome clock speeds, and it's going to be really exciting to see what kind of performance they bring to the table when compared to our other setups here today.


Before we move forward, we do have to quickly cover a slight issue that we ran into. When we started overclocking the card via MSI Afterburner, we found that when the card hit over 50 C and the fans where meant to start spinning, they didn't. We spoke to MSI and they sent us a copy of the new fan control software, which gave us the ability to adjust the speed of each fan manually.


After receiving the software, I was not too sure where to put the fan speed, so I simply ramped it up to 100%. Surprisingly, at this level the card was fairly good when it came to noise levels. For that reason, I decided to test the card with the fans at this setting.


We'll cover the results this yielded towards the end of the review, but we felt it was important to mention, and we're sure it's something that MSI will fix quickly, as they're always updating MSI Afterburner with new BETA versions.

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