When AMD first released the AMD Radeon HD 6950 GPU in 2012 the reference design had 2GB of GDDR5 memory. AMD allows their Add-In-Board (AIB) partners to alter the amount of memory on the card if they want and that is exactly what MSI did on the R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC graphics card that they sent us to review. By reducing the frame buffer on the card they are able to reduce the price and for those that don’t need 2GB of memory it should be an interesting card to look at. The AMD Radeon HD 6950 GPU has 1408 stream processors, so you know it will be able to deliver the gaming performance that users demand. Since the AMD Radeon HD 6950 video card has been around for a year and a card we have reviewed multiple times in the past, we’ll get right to it and take a look at the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC.
Looking at the front of the R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC graphics card you’ll see a video card that looks nothing like the AMD Radeon HD 6950 reference design, but we know that is what the card is based on. MSI engineers came up with their own PCB design and GPU cooling solution for this card, so it has been designed from the ground up to be more robust. MSI has included Military Class II components on it along with the Twin Frozr III dual-fan cooler and a fan speed switch that allows you to change between two fan profiles. On the custom PCB, MSI beefed up the power design to a 6+2 Phase PWM solution to offer more current output to the GPU. On top of that MSI allows for the voltage adjustment of the GPU, Memory and the PCIe slot with the MSI Afterburner utility. MSI has done a number of things to make this card stand out from the crowd!
The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC graphics card sports a black and
silver color scheme with a hint of red that helps give it an aggressive look. The PCB of
the card measures ~9.5″ in length and stands at ~4.0″ in height. It should be
noted that the metal fan shroud extends past the PCB, so the true length of the card is ~10.7″ in length and the height of the card up to ~4.3″ in
One of the main features of the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC is the Twin Frozr III Heatsink. The cooler has two 80mm ‘propeller blade’ PWM fans to help keep the GPU and surrounding areas nice and cool. The fan blades have air channels located along the the edge of the fan blades that help increase the surface area. MSI says that this adjustment increased airflow by 20% compared to conventional fan. The GPU cooler also has a large nickel-plated copper heatsink base and five 8mm heat pipes to help to dissipate heat rapidly away from the GPU.
Here is a slide that MSI provided on the Twin Frozr III cooling solution.
Turning the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC video card over we don’t
find too many interesting things as the card doesn’t have a back plate
or any of the GDDR5 memory chips on the back of the PCB. The serial number sticker is the most important thing that is located on the back of the R6950.
The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC has a pair of mini-DisplayPort 1.2 connectors, a full size HDMI 1.4a output for 3D video (Blu-ray 3D) support, a dual-link DVI-I and a single-link DVI-I outputs. This AMD Radeon HD 6800/6900 series supports up to six DisplayPort displays by “daisy chaining” them to two DisplayPort outputs.
The Radeon HD 6950 has two CrossFire interconnects and you can link up to four of these cards together for improved performance. The last thing we want to point out in the picture above is that a PCB stiffening bracket (the silver bar on top) is included to help stiffen up the card and keep the PCB from bending due to the weight of the GPU cooler.
The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC has a fan profile switch along the top edge of the card that allows you to change between performance or silence fan profiles. This is a nice touch and can easily be adjusted without having to install or mess with any software. Our card came set to the performance fan profile and we left it that way.
The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC video card has the same power requirements and connections as the AMD Radeon HD 6950 reference design. This means that the card has two 6-pin PCIe connectors located along the top of the PCB that need to be hooked up. AMD says that the Radeon HD 6950 requires a 500W or greater power supply with two 75W 6-pin PCIe connectors.