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

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

By Hank Tolman

Manufacturer: MSI Computing Corp.

Product Name: Twin Frozr GeForce GTX 760
Model Number: N760 TF 2GD5/OC
UPC: 816909108637 EAN: 4719072301576
Price As Tested: $259.99

Full Disclosure: MSI provided the product sample used in this article.

The latest member of the GeForce GTX 700 series lineup to hit the market is the GTX 760. This GPU is built off the GK104 GPU like quite a few GPUs in the GTX 600 and 700 series. The GTX 760 is built to replace the GTX 660Ti and fill an important price position between about $250 and $300. At Benchmark Reviews, we have MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC video card on hand and have tested it with some of the most popular and graphically intensive titles currently available. The MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC takes the stock features of the GTX 760 and adds to them by overclocking the GPU, adding a proven cooling solution, and including a bunch of other extras that you won’t find on the other GTX 760s. So without further ado, let’s get into the details of the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC video card.

MSI_GTX_760_Angle2.jpg

NVIDIA has been releasing their newest lineup of GPUs and we’ve already seen the first few products and where they stand. The first GPU we saw was the Titan, which is technically not really part of the GTX 700 series lineup, but set the stage for the next GPU, the GTX 780. The GTX 780 rocked us with 2304 CUDA Cores, 192 TMUs, and 48 ROPs. The GTX 770 came next and cut the CUDA Cores nearly in half to 1536, dropped the TMUs to 128, and the ROPs to 32. For the next iteration, NVIDIA has brought us the GTX 760.

The GTX 760 is positioned to replace the GTX 660Ti. In fact, the two GPUs are very similar. They are both built on the 28nm GK104 GPU, although the GTX 760 is technically the GK104-225 revision. The amount of CUDA cores is actually decreased on the GTX 760 to 1152 compared to the 1344 on the GTX 660Ti. The GTX 760 starts off where the GTX 660Ti ended, though, in terms of the GPU clock. The GTX 760 has a base clock of 980MHz and a boost clock of 1033MHz. The GTX 660Ti sat at 915MHz and 980MHz respectively.

The memory on the GTX 760 actually follows the GTX 670 a little more closely than the GTX 660Ti. The GTX 670 has between 2 and 4GB of GDDR5 memory, depending on the manufacturer, and a 256-bit interface. The memory clock stays the same at 6GHz effective with a bandwidth of 192GB/s. TDP for the GTX 760 is 170W.  Some NVIDIA features follow and then we’ll get into the specifics of the MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC.

GTX 700 Series Features

NVIDIA Boost 2.0

NVIDIA GPU Boost technology automatically increases the GPU’s clock frequency in order to improve performance. GPU Boost works in the background, dynamically adjusting the GPU’s graphics clock speed based on GPU operating conditions.

Originally GPU Boost was designed to reach the highest possible clock speed while remaining within a predefined power target. However, after careful evaluation NVIDIA engineers determined that GPU temperature is often a bigger inhibitor of performance than GPU power. Therefore for Boost 2.0, we’ve switched from boosting clock speeds based on a GPU power target, to a GPU temperature target. This new temperature target is 80 degrees Celsius.

As a result of this change, the GPU will automatically boost to the highest clock frequency it can achieve as long as the GPU temperature remains at 80C. Boost 2.0 constantly monitors GPU temperature, adjusting the GPU’s clock and its voltage on-the-fly to maintain this temperature.

In addition to switching from a power-based boost target to a temperature-based target, with GPU Boost 2.0 we’re also providing end users with more advanced controls for tweaking GPU Boost behavior. Using software tools provided by NVIDIA add-in card partners, end users can adjust the GPU temperature target precisely to their liking. If a user wants his GeForce GTX 770 board to boost to higher clocks for example, he can simply adjust the temperature target higher (for example from 80C, to 85C). The GPU will then boost to higher clock speeds until it reaches the new temperature target.

Besides adjusting the temperature target, Boost 2.0 also provides users with more powerful fan control. The GPU’s fan curve is completely adjustable, so you can adjust the GPU’s fan to operate at different speeds based on your own preferences.

Adaptive Temperature Controller

With GPU Boost 2.0, the GPU will boost to the highest clock speed it can achieve while operating at 80C. Boost 2.0 will dynamically adjust the GPU fan speed up or down as needed to attempt to maintain this temperature. While we’ve attempted to minimize fan speed variation as much as possible in prior GPUs, fan speeds did occasionally fluctuate.

For GeForce GTX 770, we’ve developed an all-new fan controller that uses an adaptive temperature filter with an RPM and temperature targeted control algorithm to eliminate the unnecessary fan fluctuations that contribute to fan noise, providing a smoother acoustic experience.

NVIDIA GeForce Experience

GeForce Experience is a new application from NVIDIA that optimizes your PC in two key ways. First, it maximizes your game performance and game compatibility by automatically downloading the latest GeForce Game Ready drivers. Second, GeForce Experience intelligently optimizes graphics settings for all your favorite games based on your hardware configuration.

Shadow Play

Utilizing the H.264 video encoder built-in to every Kepler GPU, ShadowPlay works in the background, seamlessly recording your last 20 minutes of gameplay footage, or if you’d like to record your latest StarCraft match, ShadowPlay can record that too.

Compared to software-based video encoders like FRAPS, ShadowPlay takes less of a performance hit, so you can enjoy your games while you’re recording.

Download NVIDIA GeForce Experience here: geforce.com/drivers/geforce-experience/download


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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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