MSI GeForce GTX 660 TwinFrozr III review -
So MSI is back at it again with their ever popular TwinFrozr series cooler. For this model they took the GK106 GPU and plastered it onto their own design black colored PCB. When you look at that PCB you'll notice the great build quality and the always impressive component selection that MSI market's as Military components. Sure that's 80% marketing, but it doesn't take away the fact that the components classified for it indeed are carrying a military certification, so it's not all marketing.
For the GTX 660 MSI is using the somewhat older TwinFrozr revision III cooler and we can already state real fast that the cooler works really well as symbiosis with GK106. The noise levels are fairly hard to measure and the cooling performance grand. We'll show you that in our tests of course.
The card comes factory overclocked albeit not incredible amounts. It runs at a core clock frequency of 1033 MHz and has a boost frequency of 1098MHz. The effective memory data rate (192-bit) is 6008 MHz which follows the reference standard. The card has been equipped with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory.
But lets walk through the product guided by photo's.
Alright, here we have the MSI GeForce GTX 660 TwinFrozr III edition, the 2GB SKU (stock keeping unit) and its packaging. Overall a nice dark looking card some grey and red tones. Let's look at the card from several different viewpoints.
The card is equipped with the GK106 GPU that harbors the Kepler GPU architecture. You get the basics like the graphics card, PEG converter cables, manual and a demo and driver CD, though bundles will vary with AIB/AIC partners.
MSI clocks this card at a 1033 MHz baseclock, with a 1098 MHz Boost/Turbo clock and the memory is running at 6008 MHz. This factory tweak positions the card close to the performance level of a GeForce GTX 660 Ti. Mind you that the reference baseclock is 980 MHz, so that's a decent factory clock frequency, albeit not a massive overclock.
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. Should you opt multiple monitors and SLI, a future 3GB version could be something the AIC partners will develop. We are not 100% sure about that just yet though.
MSI gives the card two DVI connectors (dual-link), one HDMI and a DisplayPort connector (full size).
And as you can see there is little room left on the PCB to increase memory though. 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. ASUS definitely is using their own customized PCB alright.
You can see one SLI connector, the 660 (non-Ti) series is allowed to work with up to two cards in SLI mode. For proper scaling and little driver issues as possible we always recommend to stick to 2 cards in multi-GPU mode anyway. We'll show you SLI results in our article of course.
Nice to see is the top bracket, it makes the flexible PCB feel real sturdy and will not bend.
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