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MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC Twin Frozr Video Card Review

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MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC Conclusion

IMPORTANT: Although the rating and final score mentioned in this conclusion are made to be as objective as possible, please be advised that every author perceives these factors differently at various points in time. While we each do our best to ensure that all aspects of the product are considered, there are often times unforeseen market conditions and manufacturer changes which occur after publication that could render our rating obsolete. Please do not base any purchase solely on our conclusion, as it represents our product rating specifically for the product tested, which may differ from future versions. Benchmark Reviews begins our conclusion with a short summary for each of the areas that we rate.

MSI_GTX_760_Angle2.jpg

The MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC falls right in line with its expected performance. The GTX 760 is supposed to replace the GTX 660Ti, and that is exactly what it does. In every single test, the GTX 760 outperformed its predecessor, even though it was working with quite a few less CUDA Cores. The extra clock speed and the memory bandwidth help the GTX 760 to come out on top. In quite a few benchmarks, the N760 TF 2GD5/OC outperformed both the Radeon HD 7950 and the even the GTX 670. If AMD wants to keep a leg in this game, they need to show us some 8000 series graphics. At this point, NVIDIA is setting the bar.

I find the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC to be very visually appealing. I have always liked the Twin Frozr design and I prefer the look of the dual-fan cards over the reference designs. The red and black of the N760 TF 2GD5/OC works very well and I am a huge fan of the G Series shield. Getting a little picky, I don’t particularly like the extra shrouding on the N760. It covers up the other heatpipes and I like that look. Also, the N760 TF 2GD5/OC is very bulky. It is quite a bit taller than the XFX GTX 660Ti I used to test against.

MSI is well-known for their top-notch construction quality, especially when it comes to their gaming components. The N760 TF 2GD5/OC keeps that legacy alive using MSI’s Military Class 4 components. The solid capacitors will help ensure that this video card keeps on ticking long after you have moved on to another card. As we saw from the heavily crowded back of the N760, MSI is consistent in the cleanliness of their cards as well. The high build quality makes the N760 an easy overclocker.

The N760 TF 2GD5/OC includes a lot of extra features that set it apart from the competition. First off is the Twin Frozr IV thermal design. This cooling feature has been tested and tried and has consistently performed very well, regardless of the GPU it is fitted on. Additionally, the N760 comes factory overclocked out of the box, something you may not find on other GTX 760 video cards. Although the MSI N760 didn’t come with hardly any accessories (door handle signs are getting big now), the included applications help to set it apart. From the auto-overclocking Gaming App to Afterburner, Kombustor, and Predator, there is something for everyone bundled with the N760.

In terms of overclocking, the N760 TF 2GD5/OC was rather impressive. I didn’t spend a lot of time tweaking it through afterburner, but I plan trying some more. I was able to achieve an ultra-stable overclock at 1215MHz through the Gaming App included with the card. That represents a nearly 20% increase in clock speed (before Boost is factored in). Unfortunately, that 20% didn’t translate into benchmark scores. The N760 TF 2GD5/OC only average around a 7% increase in benchmark scores and that average was closer 4% if I take out the Lost Planet 2 results. In the Lost Planet 2 benchmark, the N760 averaged a 22% increase in performance when overclocked. Still, a 20% increase in clockspeed is pretty good, and when newer drivers come out, you’ll likely start seeing even better scores with the GTX 760 video cards.

MSI set the MSRP for the N760 TF 2GD5/OC at $259.99. That puts it directly in the price range of the GTX 660Ti and lower than the Radeon HD 7950. That is a stellar price point. This video card is definitely priced to move. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we saw a rather significant price drop in the GTX 660Ti after this release. It just doesn’t make sense for it to be the same price as or more expensive than a card that beats it every time. The GTX 760 also goes toe to toe with the Radeon HD 7950 and is now less expensive. In my opinion, at $260, the N760 TF 2GD5/OC is an awesome value.

Pros:goldentachaward.png

+ Great Cooling with Twin Frozr IV design
+ Challenges the Radeon HD 7950
+ Support for up to 4 monitors
+ Good Overclocker
+ Lots of good Apps

Cons:

- Very Skimpy on the Accessories
– High Overclock didn’t translate into Performance

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.50
  • Appearance: 9.00
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Overclocking: 8.50
  • Functionality: 9.50
  • Value: 10.00

Final Score: 9.33 out of 10.

Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.

NewEgg.com

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6 comments

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  1. whynotv2

    I apologize for my ignorance in advance, but I’m confused. How does this card warrant a Golden Tach, but the NVIDIA GeForce GTX760 that Olin recently reviewed gets nothing at all including the cons of “Expensive Mainstream product” and “Occasionally trailed GeForce GTX 660Ti”? Aren’t they the same card with different wrappers (plastic and fans) and different overclocking software?

    Also, it would be nice if all the reviewers used the same images (bar graphs/charts) when posting results. The page formats/forms are great, but having 2 (or more) reviews open at once and cycling through, the charts should be set up the same so that it makes it easier for visitors to compare. Thanks!

    1. Olin Coles

      It’s long been my practice that reference (engineering sample) products do not receive any rating. You cannot buy a NVIDIA-branded GeForce GTX 760, so I would be forced to rate the price of some other model. But then the question becomes which model do I pick? None. We rate value on the product reviewed, not the theoretical equivalent. The same goes for construction and appearance, which will differ between partner designs. The only item I could rate would be performance, but it makes no sense to give any rating at all since you can’t buy this card. Ultimately, it was best to explain my thoughts on the results for each category and let you draw your own conclusion.

      Hank’s conclusion for the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC Twin Frozr Video Card is one that represents a product you can buy, that comes with custom engineering, with parts manufactured by a third party, and comes with a product warranty and customer support. The NVIDIA engineering sample doesn’t offer these things.

      1. whynotv2

        That makes sense Olin. I just got confused as I mentioned about what appeared to be 2 of the same card reviewed and drastic (in this case no award on one, a gold on the other). I’m all sorts of clear now. Thanks :)

  2. Hank Tolman

    First things first, any two different reviewers are going to have different opinions about what looks good, performs well, is valuable, etc. We use the conclusion section of each article to talk about our individual opinions and justify how we rate each section.

    I encourage you to read the conclusion sections to see why I rated the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC the way I did and why Olin rated the reference design the way he did. Since I know a lot of people don’t read most of the article, I’ll try to answer your question succinctly here.

    Reasons why I gave the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC a Golden Tachometer:
    1. Stock Overclock + Great overclock potential. Reached 1215MHz with no problems
    2. Twin Frozr Cooling – Proven and highly reliable
    3. Additional Apps – Reference design has none, N760 has Gaming App, Predator, Afterburner, Kombustor, and more
    4. Price – before launch of GTX 760, GTX 660Ti’s cost a minimum of $279. Now you can find them for around $259 before rebates, etc. Why by a GTX 660Ti at the same price as the N760?
    5. Performance – N760 outperformed the 660Ti every time in my tests, as well as outperforming the 670, 7950, and 7970 on occasion.

    I don’t think I need more justification, but keep in mind that rating a reference design on a 0 to 10 scale like I did with the N760 is difficult because it doesn’t represent something that the consumer will actually be buying.

    1. Hank Tolman

      Also, thanks for the feedback on the charts. I’ve been experimenting with different chart formats to see which ones I like best. I like charts that specifically highlight the card being reviewed and the nearest competitors. I also like different colors for each of the test products. I am torn.

      1. whynotv2

        I rarely bother with the overall aesthetics because as you said, everyone has their own opinion and to be honest, with a mostly out of sight product, I could care less how it looks as long as it performs well :)

        I also thought your review was fine. I was just confused, and Olin cleared it up, with one getting an award and the other not.

        You are welcome :) Uniformity/consistency is always a plus on review sites :)

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