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MSI GTX 670 Power Edition OC (Twin Frozr IV) Review

When I looked at AMD’s latest HD7970 GHZ Edition earlier this week I genuinely felt deflated. If AMD couldn’t be bothered trying to create a new, quality reference cooler for their flagship card, could the only valid measurement of success be based on the fact that it slightly outperformed the reference clocked GTX680?

I have been reviewing products for many years now, certainly long enough to cast a cynical gaze at a mere clock bump, and subsequent price increase.

The new AMD offering was certainly a little faster than the GTX680, but the GHZ card demanded a lot more power than the original HD7970 and it sounded like a damaged lawnmower churning away in the distance. AMD partners have been offering highly tuned HD7970’s for months, so analysing an inferior reference card at this stage in the game seemed somewhat disconcerting.

Reviewing this overclocked MSI GTX670 Power Edition today reaffirms my views on the discrete graphics market this summer.

Nvidia’s GTX670 is the best value for money high end solution available to the enthusiast audience right now.

It is actually that good that I see no reason for the majority of the user base to spend extra on the GTX680 or HD7970. Nvidia or AMD won’t like me saying that, but unless you want to game across three screens or break benchmarking records then I don’t see the need to spend the extra £100+.

Obviously there are fantastic overclocked cards priced much higher, such as the KFA2 GTX680 LTD OC … but we need to look at the current pricing and resultant value for money.

The GTX690 is out of the equation for almost everyone. An enthusiast who spends £900 or £1,000 on a video card won’t be interested in the budget oriented GTX670, unless they need an ‘additional’ card to help with PhysX. Yes, I say that with my tongue slightly in cheek.

£840 is the best price we have seen so far, for an MSI version of the GTX690.

Holy bank balance Batman.

The GTX680 is a great card, and is more reasonably priced, but even these can retail for £540, or more realistically around the £450 mark. If you don’t mind a reference cooler then you can save maybe another £30.

For most of the enthusiast audience, this is still out of reach.

This is why Nvidia released the GTX670, to target the hard core gamers who have a budget between £300 and £350. The MSI GTX670 Power Edition OC with Twin Frozr IV cooler which we reviewed today is available for £327.20 inc vat. When we factor in that this card can often keep up with the reference clocked Nvidia GTX680, it declares itself a bargain.

The MSI GTX670 Power Edition OC has many plus points to substantiate a purchasing decision. This solution runs cool, peaking at around 57c under full load, which is well within safety parameters for a long, risk free life. It emits only a modest level of noise, thanks to the dual Propeller fan cooler.

Additionally the card ships with a decent core overclock with full voltage support if you want to squeeze out the last ounce of performance.

If you manually overclock this card by another 150mhz, then it will easily outperform the GTX680. At less than £330 it really is hard to find a weakness, although I feel MSI could have adjusted the fan profile to be slightly less aggressive. A minor increase on the thermal curve would have been a welcome sacrifice for diminished fan noise.

We also don’t understand why MSI didn’t boost the memory clock by at least 50mhz, there is plenty of headroom.

Pros:

  • The Twin Frozr IV is a market leader.
  • overclocked core.
  • Performance is GTX680 matching.
  • Less than £330.

Cons:

  • could be quieter.
  • memory isn’t overclocked.

Kitguru says: A fantastic GTX670 that should find a home in many enthusiast gaming systems.

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Rating: 9.5.

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