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MSI > 
Item#: N82E16814127697

Pros:

Where to begin ...

- TF4 cools GPU to below 40C on adaptive VSync. Better yet, infrared images of TF4 in hardware.fr show most of the card below 50C with only isolated hot spots the size of GPU socket or VRM modules. Every other video card shows uniform high temps, same as GPU, through most of the card.

- stock speeds: I wanted 660 Ti performance with the best power consumption, temperatures and component lifetime. This card already gives 50% higher performance than my MSI 560 Ti O/C (21,000 FPS vs 14,600 FPS according to glxgears).

- superb nvidia linux support: I upgraded the nvidia drivers in preparation for buying this card and was pleasantly surprised with a 10% performance increase on the existing 560 Ti. [Got this card after RMA of a 7950 due to unstable and low-performing AMD linux drivers; lesson learned.].

- inaudible, even on boot I can't hear the famous reversed, dust-removing fan operation

- great improvement on my (already good) MSI 560 Ti O/C. High performance OpenGL apps like flightgear run at 45 - 60 FPS (card sync to VBlank) on adaptive VSync and 1920x1200 resolution. Could hit 60 without the adaptive VSync but that adds 10C to temps.

- outstanding pre-sales support from MSI, who explained that the POST problems mentioned in this card come from a BIOS that required GOP support and has now been replaced with an older BIOS. My card booted without problem, although I had a USB at the ready to change the BIOS.

Cons:

- has 4 VRAM chips not covered by heatsink, 2 in front and 2 in back. Measured the temps on the ones in the back with an infrared thermometer and they got up to 45C. Some motherboard temps are in that range too but MSI could have sprung for a small heatsink for them. My TF2 560 Ti had no VRAM heatsinks at all and it didn't cause any problems, but why take the risk when the rest of the card is so beautifully engineered?

- 192 bit memory bus: understanding that the memory bus is all that separates this card from a 670, but this was too extreme, may hurt at high resolutions.

Other Thoughts:

TF4 is a real accomplishment from a distinguished engineering team at MSI that has just outdone itself; there may never be a need for a TF5 now that GPUs are going to smaller manufacturing processes that result in cooler temperatures.

I really like this card and it will still be a sad day when I replace it with an MSI 860 Ti.

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  • Jack S.
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year


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Item#: N82E16814127697
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