MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC Video Card ReviewThu, Dec 08, 2011 - 12:00 AM
Final Thoughts and Conclusions
After spending some time with the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC video card we found the card to be very well built and it performed as expected. The build quality and features that MSI have placed on this card are superior and it looks good to boot. When it comes to performance the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC video card is competitive with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti series cards, which is critical as they are priced in the same category. The AMD Radeon HD 6950 has features like AMD Eyefinity though, which is a must for those that want to run a triple-monitor setup off a single GPU.
MSI overclocked the R6950 Twin Frozr III 1GB/OC from the start, but we were able to use the MSI Afterburner overclocking utility to push the card even farther. We were able to take the cards core clock from 850MHz to 923MHz with relative ease once we unlocked the advanced overclocking features in the Afterburner utility. By overclocking the card we were able to squeeze out another 7-8% when it comes to gaming performance. This is a pretty good gain that you can achieve in a matter of minutes. Temperatures aren’t a big concern when overclocking as the Twin Frozr III GPU cooler keeps the card running cool and quiet even when overclocked to the max.
The top of the line MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III PE/OC 2GB video card runs $299.99 plus $7.87 for shipping over at Newegg. This makes it about $40 more than the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC video card that that we looked at today. The cards are virtually identical as both use the same ‘Power Edition’ PCB and the Twin Frozr III GPU cooler, but the card we tested has just 1GB of GDDR5 memory on it. So, you reduce the frame buffer on the card and you end up with a card that costs $259.99 plus $7.87 for shipping and is still a pretty potent gaming graphics card.
The nice part about the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC is that you get all of the ‘Power Edition’ features, but at a lower cost. Both cards feature the same custom designed PCB with fan speed control, a 6+2 power phase design, identical clock speeds, Twin Frozr III GPU cooler, a copy of the game Dirt 3 and both are backed by a three year warranty. The only difference between the two cards is the frame buffer. Is it worth spending 15% more money to get more memory? Unless you are gaming on a 30-inch monitor it doesn’t look like it really makes sense and everyone wants to get their monies worth.
To make matters tough, MSI also offers the R6950 Twin Frozr II OC 2GB graphics card that is based on the AMD reference design with the older Twin Frozr II GPU cooler for $259.99 shipped after rebate. We don’t have all three cards in our possession, but you certainly have some options when it comes to AMD Radeon HD 6950 graphics cards by MSI. The main differences are PCB design, clock speeds, memory amount and the GPU cooler being used. So, but sure to get the card that is right for you.
At the end of the day the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC graphics card turned out to be a great performer and has some pretty cool features for the $260 price point. The choice between a tweaked out AMD Radeon HD 6950 1GB video card and a Radeon HD 6950 2GB with the reference design PCB and a different GPU cooler is something that you’ll have to flip the coin on.
Legit Bottom Line: The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III 1G/OC graphics card might only have 1GB of GDDR5 memory, but it was still a beast in the benchmarks an able to play games like a champ.