Cooling its way to victory.
With the launch of the AMD HD 7950 graphics, it wasn’t long before we’d see custom cooling solutions and OEM factory overclocks on the cards themselves. Indeed the first two HD 7950s we reviewed were custom designs with factory overclock from both PowerColor and XFX. Today, though, I’ll be looking at the MSI R7950 that comes with their famous Twin Frozr III heatsink.
I have already covered the HD 7950’s architecture in the original review posted three weeks ago, so I’ll get straight to the meat of this card: the custom cooling solution and the factory overclock. But before that, a quick look into what comes with the R7950 Twin Frozr III. With the packaging comes a CrossFire bridge, a DVI to VGA adapter, a mini-DP to DisplayPort adapter, Drivers CD and manuals, plus two molex to 6-pin PCIe power cables. Pretty much everything to get you started.
The R7950 itself comes factory overclocked to 880MHz on the Core clock speeds, which is a 10% speed bump. The Memory speeds remain the same, at 1250MHz (effective 5000MHz). Minimum PSU requirements remain the same as reference AMD, with 500W or greater required for two 6-pin connectors.
Layout Design & Cooling
So coming back to the card itself, with the MSI R7950 we see the massive Twin Frozr III heatsink attached on top. The PCB itself is reference AMD layout, with the custom heatsink extending out just a tad bit more, bringing the total length of the MSI R7950 Twin Frozr III to just over 10.5-inches.
Apart from the HD 7950 GPU itself, which is directly attached to the heatsink, the memory chips are also in touch with a black metal frame (via thermal pads) that covers the entire PCB. The aluminum fins then pan out directly on top of the metal frame connected through five thick heatpipes. Furthermore, another five heatpipes connect the GPU area directly into the aluminum fins. These fins are then cooled down via two 80mm fans. The whole heatsink itself is covered by a gunmetal faceplate on the top.
The end result of such a sophisticated heatsink? The Twin Frozr III keeps the R7950 running at 32°C during idle, and under maximum load it goes up to just 58°C. And that’s not even the best part about the Twin Frozr III. The two fans run dead silent, barely touching 1,300RPMeven under load!