So then, MSI is back with their HAWK series of cards. The secondly you look at the GTX 660 HAWK you'll understand that it's something rather special. The card really only uses the GPU from NVIDIA, the rest is custom designed by MSI. That means you receive a custom design PCB with enhanced PWM and power circuitry, there are eighth phases for the GPU, two phases for memory and 1 phase for PLL. The component selection of course falls under MSIs Military Class III selection and exist out of CopperMOS, Hi-c CAP and Solid Capacitors and Gold coaated Solid State Chokes.
The card comes with two BIOSes that can be switched, the regular factory overclock BIOS (which you should use), and the secondary can function as fail-safe yet in fact is an LN2 BIOS that disabled overclock protections and active phase switching.
The card will also be equipped with a GPU reactor, an add-on PCB that plugs into the back of the PCB and provides cleaner and higher power levels and reduces ripple for the GPU.
Obviously also present on any HAWK card is the most high-end model cooler, in this case the TwiNFrozr IV. it does an awesome job in cooling temperatures whilst on this card remains 100% silent.
The HAWK edition also comes with the V-Check points that allow voltage measurement points for enthusiasts wanting accurate voltage readings via multi-meter. The graphics card will receive power from not one but two 6-pin PCIe power connectors.
Uur tested model comes with with a core clock frequency set at 1085 and a boost frequency of 1150 MHz and the memory at 6 Gbps. Regardless, this to date makes it amongst the fastest GTX 660 we have tested and as such for just over 175 EUR the product beats the GeForce GTX 660 Ti.
But lets walk through the product guided by photo's.
Included with all cards will be a manual and a demo and driver CD, power converters and monitor connector converters to get your multi-monitor freak on. Let's have a look at that:
We see a nice dark/blue looking card from MSI. The GPU is tied to a nice 2GB memory -- which is plenty enough for midrange products. As stated, all the regulars are included, including handy to use connectors for digital multi-meter voltage monitoring. Obviously included as well is AfterBurner software for advanced tweaking.
The card, as mentioned, comes with a core clock frequency set at 1085 and a boost frequency of 1150 MHz and the memory at 6 Gbps.
The card is PCIe gen 3.0 compatible. Going from PCIe Gen 2 to Gen 3 doubles the bandwidth available to the add-on cards installed, from 500 MB/s per lane to 1 GB/s per lane. MSI definitely is using their own customized PCB alright.
Look at that cooler, great looking design. It's VERY silent.
The card will come with two GB of graphics memory, which is definitely enough if you are a hardcore gamer with a monitor resolution of 1920x1200 and plenty for a product in this price range. MSI gives the card two DVI connectors (dual-link), one HDMI and a DisplayPort connector (full size).
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