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MSI Radeon HD 6950 Twin Frozr III 2048 MB

W1zzard

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#1
MSI's new HD 6950 Twin Frozr III introduces the third version of MSI's exclusive cooling solution. Thanks to two fans and five heatpipes the card runs at excellent temperatures. Tweakers will also love this card as they can adjust three voltages using MSI Afterburner. Another plus is that this card is able to be modded to a HD 6970 by BIOS flash.

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#2
I love the shape of MSi cards.
 
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#3
Nice to know it didn't blow up.
 

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#4
Isn't MSI advertising this as 14db quieter than reference, what happened?
 
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#6
They advertised it like that, but never said on which fan duty cycle it was quieter XD
 
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#7
@W1zzard
Did you get the bios from this card? Those CCC (900/1325) limits may be useful.
 
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#9
Isn't MSI advertising this as 14db quieter than reference, what happened?
It probably means on average, and on average cards spend most of their time in idle.

Probably much better idle noise :toast: :laugh:
 
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#10
W1zzard, can you tell us the exact settings you are running Heaven 2.0 at so I can compare?
 
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#11
Interesting review Wizzard. I bought this card last week to replace a single GTX 560TI that I was using as I wanted Eyefinity from a single card. The EVGA 560TI was a quiet card compared to my earlier MSI GTX 460 Hawk, that you also reviewed (with Twin Frozr ll cooler)...

I've put all of these cards in to my Thermaltake Level 10GT, even though sound is subjective I must admit that I am unable to hear the Twin Frozr lll cooler over the case fans just like the GTX 560 and yet I was able to hear the GTX 460 Hawk (all at stock clocks), I also tested a stock HD 6950 last week just before I installed the MSI card and I can definitely say that the reference card was louder to my ears during looped runs of Unigen, easily overpowering the rear 140mm case fan..

I would also like to point out that the switch on this card is not the dual bios switch per se that the reference cards have but just a second fan profile, one is set for performance and the other is set for silence. In my testing I have not seen much difference, the silent setting appears to set maximum rpm's at 45% and the performance setting does not appear to have a maximum cap.... perhaps you can retest at silent setting to see if you have better sound results.

I have excellent airflow in my case and even with performance setting chosen, the fans on the gpu never exceeded 51% at the weekend and I was unable to hear the video card over the 140mm rear case fan.

I do like the way that you set out your reviews especially the performance summary. Keep up the good work.

Footman
 
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#12
@W1zzard
Did you get the bios from this card? Those CCC (900/1325) limits may be useful.
I will submit my bios with gpu-z later today.
 

leon691

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#13
Mod is not working on my 6950 TW III. PC boot only if the original bios is set. I tried other 6950 and 6970 bios'es, 6950 bios with unlock shaders. Nothig works.
 

W1zzard

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#14
Mod is not working on my 6950 TW III. PC boot only if the original bios is set. I tried other 6950 and 6970 bios'es, 6950 bios with unlock shaders. Nothig works.
use rbe to modify the bios from your card for shader unlock
 

leon691

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#15
Unfortunately, it does not work. After reboot gpu-z still shows 1408 shaders. Do not understand why the card does not take any other 6950 BIOS'es. Does anyone have a similar problem?

OC is also average. Anything above 950MHz driver fails in 3dmark 11th. Changes in voltage on the gpu does not seem to affect the stability.
 
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#16
Well not bad card but it is louder than the reference design, but its pre overclocked.
 

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#17
Great review W1zzard, is it possible to make a crossfire review?

Thanks
 
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#18
Yes and instead of using the archaic WoW-*****, I highly suggest you start using the DX11 very capable MMO which is The Lord of the Rings Online. Got it?
 

W1zzard

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#19
Yes and instead of using the archaic WoW-*****, I highly suggest you start using the DX11 very capable MMO which is The Lord of the Rings Online. Got it?
wow is dx11 and played by more people than all other mmorpgs combined. contact the developers of LOTRO and ask them for a benchmark mode, i'll add it then
 
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#20
wow is dx11 and played by more people than all other mmorpgs combined. contact the developers of LOTRO and ask them for a benchmark mode, i'll add it then
Oh so you're going for popularity for this site? I'm certainly glad I don't play the P.O.S which is WoW.:laugh:
 
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#21
Is there any consensus about the R6950 TFiii's ability to unlock additional shaders? I've read a lot of mixed opinions online. Typical bios flash techniques don't appear to work.

Wizard, you are one of the few people to have successful performed the unlock. Any chance you could provide a detailed account of how you managed to do it? I know i am one of many who is interested in the subject. You mention above using RBE to unlock the shaders... how? (simply by flashing a 6970 bios?).

I've got two of these in my new build, which i've been documenting over at Anandtech
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2155564
I've got the CPU running rock solid at 4.4 with max temps under load being 62C. Now that the CPU is OC'd i'm focusing my attention on the GPU's


Anyone's insight on the unlock issue would be greatly appreciate.

Thanks in advance.
 

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#22
Sweet review! Bought this card after testing a coulpe different 6950's (ref/TFii/DCII) in my FT02-chassis. Didn't record any change in temperature between horizontal/vertical setup with this card, as opposed to both the reference and the DCII cards that run significantly (about 10c) hotter when mounted as supposed to in the ft02. Running stable and cool @ 900 with the silent fancurve.

However, I can't seem to change the voltages in either GPUTool or MSI AB (2.1.0). Feels kinda strange considering that MSI promised their "triple over-voltage" when using Afterburner. Tried editing in the .cfg file and enabling voltage control in settings but nothing seems to work. Anyone got any ideas as to what i can do?

Thanks in advance,

Rawk
 
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#24
I bought this card too, it runs great, cool and quiet.

But tried all ways to unlock it, nothing works, with an hd6970 bios it says wrong device id, also tried the unlocked shader bios in the bios collection, doesnt work either.
After that modded the original bios on the card to full shaders, but its still showing 1408 shaders in gpu-z.

Bummer.

Cyaburg
 

zocksi

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#25
Awesome Review.. but the Profile Switch / Dual Bios Switch Question is kindda unresolved...

The switch is for the Profile switching between perfomance and Silence.. but.. are also a switch for dual bios? like each profile it´s stored in another Bios??

Does anyone know that for sure? Would be great to know the Answer.