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MSI N460GTX Hawk review

By on September 1, 2010
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The best GTX 460 in the market.

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* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.


As a regular exercise, many manufacturers release special editions of components alongside their normal hardware versions on the market. What generally makes these components different isn’t just a unique physical appearance but the effort and brilliance of taking the product to extreme levels of performance. And while there are quite a few of such special edition graphics card that command a price premium, fewer still are the ones that really deserve it. The MSI N460GTX Hawk is one such card.

Starting off with the packaging, the N460GTX Hawk comes with manuals, a drivers CD containing the overclocking utility Afterburner, two power cables, three Multimeter V-Check point cables, a DVI to VGA adapter and a mini-HDMI converter. And finally we have certificate that reassures us an MSI engineer confirmed the N460GTX Hawk will run at all the factory settings and not blow up.

So what sets the MSI N460GTX Hawk apart from all other vanilla Nvidia GTX 460 graphics card is the heatsink and overclocking potential. Attached on the main body is MSI’s creatively named Twin Frozr II heatsink that has two fans on top of an intricately laid out network of fins and heatpipes. While the thing certainly looks awesome, it designed to match the over the top performance of the card. The core clock comes with a factory set speed of 780MHz which is over a 100MHz higher than the 675MHz reference speed of almost all other GTX460 cards. Thanks to the Twin Frozr II heatsink and the Afterburner overclocking utility, the N460GTX Hawk is advertised to reach a maximum Core clock of 1GHz. We’ll get to that later on, for now let’s start with the basic benchmarks.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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