MSI N760 HAWK Video Card ReviewWed, Aug 07, 2013 - 12:00 AM
Overclockers Delight – MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK
When the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 video cards came out in June 2013 we were impressed by the performance and price point, but many of the board makers said that the best was yet to come. Today, MSI announced the GeForce GTX 760 HAWK 2GB video card or N760 HAWK for short. MSI has been producing ‘HAWK’ edition cards that were built for overclocking since 2010, so most enthusiasts should be familiar with this product line.
The MSI N760 HAWK is similar to the cards that came out before it in the sense that it has triple overvoltage support (GPU, Memory and PLL voltage adjustments), a beefed up power design, voltage check points and an improved Twin Frozr IV dual-fan cooler. MSI basically threw out the NVIDIA reference design and came up with their own PCB design and pretty much improved every aspect of it.
| GeForce GTX 760
||MSI N760 HAWK 2GB
||MSI N760 GAMING 2GB
|Model||N760 HAWK||N760 TF 2GD5/OC||reference|
|GPU boost clock||1176MHz||1085MHz||1033MHz|
|GPU base clock||1111MHz||1020MHz||980MHz|
|Texture Fillrate||106.7 GTexel/s||97.9 GTexel/s||94.1 GTexel/s|
|Memory clock||1502MHz (6008MHz)||1502MHz (6008MHz)||1502MHz (6008MHz)|
|Memory Bandwidth||192.3 GB/s||192.3 GB/s||192.3 GB/s|
The MSI N760 HAWK is clocked at 1111MHz on the core and 1176MHz on the boost clock. This is a 13.4% overclock on the base clock and a 13.8% overclock on the boost clock. The 2GB of GDDR5 memory runs at 1502MHz (6008MHz effective), so the memory has not been overclocked and is running at stock speeds. Notice that the length of the PCB is also the longest of the bunch at 10.4″ or 264mm in length. This is because the MSI N760 HAWK uses a totally different PCB than the MSI N760 GAMING (our review) due to the added components that make up the improved PWM.
The MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK features two 100mm (10cm) fans and the Twin Frozr IV GPU cooler that has 5 copper heat pipes. The MSI N760 HAWK has a yellow and black color scheme that looks great and should go along great with the MSI Z87 MPOWER, MPOWER MAX and XPOWER motherboards as they are also black and yellow.
When it comes to GPU cooling, the MSI N760 HAWK is equipped with MSI’s new Twin Frozr IV Advanced GPU cooler. This dual-fan GPU cooler uses two 10cm (100mm) fans with PropellerBlade Technology. MSI says that the Twin Frozr IV Thermal Design can lower temperatures by 10°C and noise by 12.48 dB, compared to the reference design. Unlike this MSI N760 Gaming, the MSI N760 HAWK has Dust Removal Technology. This is said to significantly improve cooling performance by running the fans in reverse for 30 seconds every time the system is started. This helps to remove dust from the heat sink fan module and optimizes the long-term graphics card’s cooling performance.
Here we have the back side of the card and as you can see MSI is using a nice black colored metal backplate! It should be noted that this card uses a PCB that is 10.4″ in length, but that should easily fit in most any case.
The N760 HAWK uses Military Class 4 components that have been tested and certified against the MIL-STD-810G standard by an independent laboratory. This means the card has Tantalum core Hi-C Cap for longer service life and stability, new SFC with polished surfaces for even better cooling, and the moisture- and rust-resistant Dark Solid CAPs. All are used on the card to improve the stability of the MSI N760 HAWK.
With the Twin Frozr IV Advanced GPU cooler fan shroud removed you can better see the five heatpipes that are being used on this card. The bottom four are 6mm in diameter and the top one is the 8mm SuperPipe that MSI loves to brag about in marketing material. The key take home message here is that the MSI N760 HAWK does not use the same GPU cooler as the MSI N760 GAMING. They might look similar, but the MSI N760 HAWK has an additional heatpipe and a slightly different heatsink design.
The MSI N760 HAWK also uses a different PCB and supports triple overvoltage, which means that in the MSI Afterburner software you can change the voltages for the GPU, memory and PLL. MSI includes three “V-Check Points” on the PCB and includes an “OC Kit” to make it even easier for enthusiasts to monitor voltages with a multi-meter! The MSI GeForce GTX 760 HAWK graphics card was built for overclockers, so features like this are a must.
The V-Check Points are not all labeled on the front of the card, but a quick look at the back will show you which is for the V-MEM, V-GPU and V-PLL. It should be noted that only Afterburner v3.0.0 Beta 12 and later support triple overvoltage. When we were sent the card just Afterburner v3.0.0 Beta 11 was available and we were unable to use the feature.
On the back of the card you will also find a small switch for MSI TWIN BIOS. You can use this switch to change between the cards two BIOS, one is standard and one is intended for use with sub-zero (LN2) cooling. When you switch over to LN2 it disables OCP (Over Current Protection) and APS (Active Phase Switching), so you can push the card to the bleeding edge.
MSI went with two 8-pin PCI-e power connectors for their GeForce GTX 760 HAWK 2GB video card. MSI suggests a 500 Watt or greater power supply for proper operation with a +12V rating of at least 30 Amps. MSI said that the N760 HAWK has a higher Max TDP due to the higher clock speeds and that this card should peak at around 180W versus 165W on the MSI N760 GAMING card. This also means that there will be a difference in temperatures, despite the different GPU cooler design.
Here we can see the video output connectors for the MSI N760 HAWK video card. It has a pair of dual-link DVI connectors, the bottom is a DVI-I while the top is DVI-D. Display Port is at the bottom left and HDMI is in the middle. The design looks is identical to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 reference card, so the video outputs are the same.
Let’s take a look at the retail box and bundle!