Exclusive: MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition - Power Overwhelming

Got the Power?

Got the Power?

The Radeon HD 6950 is part of AMD’s high-end Cayman line-up. Powered by the Cayman PRO chip which features an upgraded tessellation unit, render back-ends, and a new VLIW4 core design, the Radeon HD 6950 has also 22 SIMD engines giving it a grand total of 1408 stream processing units. In other words, this is one of the most powerful GPUs AMD has ever built - second only to the Cayman XT chip seen on the Radeon HD 6970. The Radeon HD 6950 has been out in the market for some time already and customized editions of the card are slowly beginning to populate the market.

The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition is the latest customized Radeon HD 6950 card to hit the market and it comes packed with lots of high-end goodies for enthusiasts. First and foremost, the card is fitted with MSI’s latest Twin Frozr III cooler. On the outset, the cooler looks similar to the previous generation one, but the fans have been revised with what MSI calls “Propeller Blades”, which MSI claims enlarge the angle of airflow airflow and improves air circulation by 20%.

That aside, the card also comes with the usual suite of second generation Military Class II components such as Hi-C CAPs, solid capacitors and super ferrite chokes. These components are there to ensure stable power delivery, reduce buzz noise under load, and improve efficiency and longevity of the card. That aside, the card also has a 6 + 2 phase PWM power design, which delivers up to a staggering 240A of current - up from a reference card’s 175A. Strangely however, MSI has decided to leave out the all-important voltage check points on this cards, which means you'll have to use software utilities to discern what voltage the card is running at. Nevertheless, all these aforementioned components work together to improve the overclocking potential of the card.

Speaking of overclocking, the card also comes factory overclocked at 850MHz at the core and 5200MHz DDR at the memory - a bump of 50MHz at the core and 200MHz DDR at the memory. These increases are decent but a bit on the conservative side. Nevertheless, it should allow the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition to perform appreciably better than a bone stock Radeon HD 6950.

The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition is certainly brimming with interesting high-end features and we can’t wait to find out how it will perform. But first, a quick look at the card itself.

The MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition measures about 10.5 inches in length and is about the same size as a reference card.

Multiple monitor setups are something the Radeon cards are good at and with the MSI R6950 Twin Frozr III Power Edition, you get two DVI ports, a single HDMI port, and two DisplayPort 1.2 ports.

The card has five 8mm thick copper heat pipes to quickly draw heat away from the GPU core. It also has Military Class II components for better efficiency and overclocking stability. However, and crucially, the voltage checkpoints have been omitted.

The high-end Radeon HD 6900 series cards come with dual BIOS and MSI has thoughtfully retained this feature on theirs.

The Good
Reasonably quick out of the box
Decent overclocking performance
The Bad
Pretty pricey
No voltage check points

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