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MSI GTX-680 Twin FROZR III Bench Review (not boring)

Splave

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#1


Over the last couple of weeks I have been playing with the MSI GTX-680 Twin FrzR III hAxoRs edition (I added the last part).
I am a bencher not a gamer and there are plenty of gamer review site out there and most of them are stuck up or just plain boring. Here is one from an overclocking perspective.
Through various forums, OCA, XS, TPU, and by just playing around with the card itself a couple facts can be stated about the GTX-680 in general.




1. A cool card, is a happy card.
With the dynamic clocks and power limits etc. the cards will throttle when they start really warming up.
You will see on Hwbot forums as well as bench threads people stating very high speeds but scores will not be very efficient.
This is why.


2. Software does not tell the whole story.
Any overclocking program you can use with GTX-680 will not give you extra voltage over 1.175v and probably already is giving your card that "stock."
So there is no point in asking around for unlocked Afterburners etc so GTFO of my pm box ;) jk Im glad to help never be affraid to ask.




3. These cards are voltage starved!
When you have a non reference cooler like on the Twin FrzR version of GTX-680 you will rarely ever break 55c so your limits are not related to temps.
So be brave and break your warranty and mod it!


With these facts in mind lets start breaking down the MSI GTX-680 Twin FrzR III. First off the Heatsink is beastly, same design as the GTX-580/HD6970 lightnings.
This is nice because there is much less heat output with the smaller process of GTX-680. Also 2 medium sized slower fans are quieter and more effiecent then
1 large fast one (Or 5 very small ones :X wtf?).


What this means is the cards will clock very nicely with low fan speed and have plenty of head room.
This card is rock stable stock voltage and cooling at 1274mhz/1752mhz and hits 45c maximum during 3dmark11 with a respectable P11479 score.
I then removed the stock cooler and fitted a XSPC rasa Unviersal water block to the card. The overclocking limits reached were the exact same clocks!
But wait there's more.




This also means that the cooler can handle a hot load quite well. We can turn up the voltage without paying for an aftermarket cooling solution or even a water block which is a nice perk. Here is there card modded following the protocal from KingpinCooling.com posted by shammy.




And here is what we are left with clock wise with a healthy dosage of volts. Peak voltage for heaven dx11 was 1.42vGPU and maximum temperature was just 54c!
The clocks have jumped from 1274mhz core to 1374mhz core for a final result of 2401.




As you can see heaven is running in the background (upper left hand corner)




BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!




If we take CPU bottleneck out of the equation and add some extra points for physics/combined tests, we are left with a very nice 12.2k 3dmark11 with the card still in its stock cooler :) not bad at all.
(PS Crazy chip huh! 1.575v -28c for physics)




Conclusion: The MSI GTX-680 Twin FrzR III is fast, very quiet, and runs very cool. Its a gamers dream, and quite fun to bench as we all wait for GTX-680 LIGHTNING TO STRIKE!


I think these would perform quite amazingly in a 4 way SLI configuration to bench on air if you have a nice strong CPU to go along with them.
Just need to convince 3 people to give me one ;)


For those that are interested components used:
MSI x79a-GD65 8D
3930k Kingpincooling Heavy base for ln2
Corsair GTX8 / Dom GT CAS7
MSI GTX-680 Twin FrzR III
Corsair Force SSD
Corsair AX1200w PSU
XSPC Rasa universal block for water testing
Win7 x64 Retail edition


MSI GTX-680 Twin FrzR III product spec page
http://www.msi.com/product/vga/N680GTX-Twin-Frozr-2GD5-OC-.html


Thanks for reading!


EDIT: Ln2 Results below!
 
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#2
good read ^_^ I wanted that card but guess I have to make do with my reference TT________TT
 
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#5
I love that second pic it's just so freaking sexy with that mobo some what for me the colors match up. haiz I want that ahahaha but now can't afford have lot's of things that I need to buy, food stock and stuff TT__TT oh well no food no life, with life can always go and most likely my gtx680 reference should be able to last me long 2 generations or so.
 
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#8
Great to see a review from a bencher’s perspective.:toast:

Man I need to hone my soldering skills before I dare try a mod like this.
 
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#9
is it loud when gaming? i hesitate between this one and gigabyte triple fan. which one gives me better in acoustic? will overclock to 12xx for gpu boost. i used to had a hawk gtx 560 ti, and its terrible. extremely loud.
 
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#10
Excellent work Splave! Thanks for posting/sharing :pimp: :respect:

I see we are getting back to the root's of OCing with the hardmod's :rockout:
 
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#13
Excellent look at this card Splave!
 

Splave

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#14
Ln2 update:



This was fairly easy, just time consuming with mods and card needs e-power or vrm mods to be pushed further. This is where lightning will shine :)

Mods completed: vGPU, Power Limit mods, OCP mods, Cold Shutdown Mods
Thanks to TiN and Shammy at KPC for mod support, some of the best!


And ofcourse Ln2 results are not for everyone. Some people get a boner off running low voltage with medium speed settings. Im more of a child I suppose, that likes explosions and big shiny numbers! But to each his own and just have fun with what you choose :thumb:
 
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#15
Actually its not boring at all!! Great review Splave!!, Congrats :D!
 
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#17
Nice job, now I have a good idea, where to start with my clocks, once it arrives..
Thank ya. :)
 

razorhawx

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#18
nyc benchmarking

splave wonderful job mate, just 1 quick question tho, i will buy d 680 twin frozr dis weekend, my psu is corsair 750 v2, is it enough to handle a single 680 twin frozr, obviously 2 have a beast of a psu but i dont think i can afford a new one right now...
my specs:
mobo:asus m5a99x evo
gpu: 6870
cpu: fx-8150
chassis: haf 922
psu: corsair 750 w v2

so can my psu handle it?
i m kinda noobish wen it comes to pcs so any reply is greatly appreciated....
 
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#19
@razorhawx yea sure that psu can handle it .
 
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#21
@raptori ty very much.....umm i failed to mention my psu is corsair tx 750 v2
In fact, if you run the card within specs (which our friend here Splave did not!:rockout:) a good 550W supply would be enough.
 

razorhawx

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#22
one more thing i gotta ask u guys is that the 680 requires gen 3 pci slots but my mobo has gen2....so is the 680 compatible with gen2 slots? or will it have trouble?