MSI R6870 Hawk Review

By on February 8, 2011
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It’s good to be cool.

Good: Very cool, Highly overclockable, Great performance even on factory speeds
Bad: Can get loud under stress
Price: AED 1,300
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

MSI is no stranger to specialized overclocked graphics card. Their most popular heatsink, the Twin Frozr II has graced many previous and current generation graphics cards for both Nvidia and AMD cards. The Twin Frozr II heatsink is one hell of a cooler; extremely silent and equally cool, it keeps even the most demanding of cards in check. Now the AMD HD 6870 is not exactly an overclocking beast, so I was quite curious to find out how well this card would perform when it’s coupled with the Twin Frozr III heatsink and a slight overclock to boot.

The only time I’ve had experience with the Twin Frozr III heatsink was with the MSI N480GTX Lightning graphics card. Even the previous product in their Hawk series, the N460GTX Lightninghad a Twin Frozr II heatsink. And considering how quiet and easily overclockable the N480GTX Lightning was, thanks to the Twin Frozr III, I was already expecting some seriously big numbers from the R6870 Hawk.

Looking at the overall layout of the R6870 Hawk, you can see that the PCB is about the same as the reference card, but the Twin Frozr III is obviously bigger than the stock heatsink. The twin fans (or propeller blades as MSI likes to call them) take up the majority of the card. And while these fans are the same size as those found on Twin Frozr II cards, they are not as big as the Twin Frozr III fans on the N480GTX Lightning card, which was a behemoth in itself. So this got me thinking that perhaps the fans will get loud under stress, despite MSI claiming that they’re quieter than the stock heatsink.

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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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