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MSI GTX460 HAWK Talon Attack Vs Powercolor HD5770 CrossFireX

If MSI’s Talon Attack had theme music, it would probably sound something like this. The HAWK range has always had aircraft symbolism and the Talon Attack version is no different – a stealth bomber takes centerstage.

The box opens up into a beautiful gatefold presentation piece which is very attractive. We will get into the technical data in a few minutes.

The package contains literature on the card, a software disc, power convertors and V check point cables. There is also a guarantee that the card has passed MSI’s stringent tests in the factory before shipping.

The first thing we noticed was the weight of the card, caused by the all metal cooling system (called Twin FrozrII). It is an extremely attractive design and really does catch the eye.

The cooler comprises four, heavy duty heatpipes running from either side of the cooler to the dual fan system, which spreads the air flow across the full length.

Once the cooler is removed we can get a closer look at the underside of the nickel plated copper base.  The dual 80mm fans are ideally situated to force high levels of air across all the components. MSI are calling the heatpipes ‘SuperPipe Technology’ – they are also coated to help improve heat dissipation.

The card offers dual link DVI connectors with a mini HDMI port to cover digital connectivity. It is SLI capable and requires two 6 pin power feeds to operate. There are also three V check points here to utilise with the cables supplied.

As with all high end MSI products,they are using ‘military class components’ with a triple overvoltage option controllable via software. The standard overclocked MSI HAWK card is supplied at 780 mhz core, 3600 mhz memory and 1590mhz shader, but this special limited Talon Attack edition is pushed even higher to 810 mhz core, 3900 mhz memory and 1620 mhz shader. These are some seriously impressive ‘out of the box’ speeds, although not quite as high as the eVGA GTX460 FTW we reviewed last week (850/4000/1700mhz).

The Talon Attack features a 7+1 Phase PWM design for higher current and overclocking capabilities with enhanced stability. Super Ferrite Chokes are used for 30% higher current capacity and 10% higher Power Efficiency Improvement. The design is all Solid CAP for longer lifespan and HI-C Caps provide more precise GPU voltage. Additionally MSI are using Active Phase Switching to help save power usage by controlling the PWM automatically. MSI are using Hynix 0.4ns GDDR5 memory.

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