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

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Closer Look: MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC

When I got home and saw the box for the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC waiting for me, I got pretty excited. The box looks fantastic. The Gaming G Series logo on the front and the dragon highlight that this card is made for gamers without overdoing it with half-naked characters or battle scenes. The front of the box hints at some of the MSI specific features that come with the N760 TF 2GD5/OC. You can clearly see that this card with use the Twin Frozr cooling design, and the OC edition sticker in the bottom left corner offers some insight.

MSI_GTX_760_Box_Front.jpg

The back of the box is quite a bit busier. Here we get all the details about the features of the N760 TF 2GD5/OC and what specifically sets it apart from the competition. A couple of things shown on the back that we will discuss a little later include the Twin Frozr IV thermal design and the Military Class components.

MSI_GTX_760_Box_Back.jpg

From the front of the N760 TF 2GD5/OC you can clearly see that this GTX 760 video card follows in the Twin Frozr legacy that MSI has built. The Twin Frozr Advanced Thermal Design is now in its 4th iteration, but the not much has changed. MSI claims to have started the dual-fan trend and the Twin Frozr IV sticks with the original dual-fan, dual-slot design. The Twin Frozr IV design uses two large fans on top of some huge heatsinks that cover the components. The Twin Frozr design uses five heatpipes to transfer heat from the components to the heatsinks, where they are cooled by the fans.

MSI_GTX_760_Front

From the rear of the N760 TF 2GD5/OC you can see what I mean by a huge heatsink. It’s raised slightly off the PCB which should allow for nice airflow over the components that are not directly plated.

MSI_GTX_760_Rear.jpg

The top of the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC shows that the shroud and piping of the Twin Frozr IV design actually extend beyond the limits of the PCB itself, so the card is actually a little larger than some other GTX 760 designs might be. The shroud hides the four smaller heatpipes and only the larger, longer heatpipe is visible. The top view here also shows the extra PCI-E connector’s you are going to need from your PSU to support the N760 TF 2GD5/OC. As you can see, you’ll need a 6-pin and an 8-pin connector.

MSI_GTX_760_Top.jpg

Unfortunately, the N760 TF 2GD5/OC only includes one MOLEX to 6-pin PCI-E adapter, so check your PSU before you get home and realize that the card won’t work with your system. Besides the adapter, the only other accessories that the N760 TF 2GD/OC came with is a user’s guide, an installation disc, and a DVI to VGA adapter.

MSI_GTX_760_Accessories.jpg

What is particularly interesting about the lack of accessories is the box inside the video box that the accessories came packaged in. If you noticed that the disc case was a little bent up, this is why. Inside the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC box is another box for the accessories. It is huge. The four items that were in that secondary box just slid around any time the box was moved. Honestly, I think it’s a huge waste of packaging and totally unnecessary. If they included a poster, like some manufacturers do, or a decal, or something else, that box might come in handy.

MSI_GTX_760_Accessories_Box.jpg

The back of the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC really shows how the heatpipe and the shroud overlap the PCB. Unfortunately, that same shroud hides the other heatpipes. I am a fan of the visible heatpipes, so this knocks the N760 down a point in visual appeal for me.

MSI_GTX_760_Back.jpg

Further inspection of the back of the MSI N760 TF 2GD/OC shows the excellent build quality of this GTX 760 video card. The most concentrated section of the card is very neatly organized with no left over solder or staining.

MSI_GTX_760_Back_Close.jpg

Now in the next section, let’s explore some of the other features MSI had added into the N760 TF 2GD5/OC.


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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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