MSI R6950 Twin Frozr II Review
You'd be forgiven for coming away from this review with a profound sense of "hmm that was shorter than normal". I make no apologies for it, but hopefully can at least explain why.
Step into the world of metaphors for a moment. What we've got here is organic, hand grown, gently simmered haricot beans in a thick sauce made from the finest sun-ripened, freshly plucked tomatoes, cooked by a Michelin star chef, and served on an un-toasted slice of Tesco value bread.
The MSI Twin Frozr II cooler is, as we've known for a long time, absolutely brilliant. It does its job fantastically keeping everything cool and quiet, whilst looking finer than a Saville Row suit. We seriously love it.
The packaging and accessories are also wonderful. We have everything we could sensibly desire, in a well designed box, and the card is very well protected in dense foam.
All the "MSI" parts of the equation are up to their normal high-standard.
Unfortunately the same can't be said of the AMD 6950 that lays beneath. The Tesco bread part of our beans on toast. It's not strictly speaking a bad chip. It's fine enough and performs well enough.
But that's exactly what makes it so damn hard to write about. There is absolutely nothing unexpected at all.
The chip slots perfectly, too perfectly in my opinion, below the 6970. Stock it's a fair bit slower, and overclocked it's a little bit slower. When you look at the two cards in our graph they follow each other as surely as night follows day. It's very difficult therefore to feel any great love or loathing for it. It's all a bit too engineered as if AMD didn't want to risk it being so good nobody brought the 6970, but didn't want it to be so bad nobody brought it at all.
So with that working against them it doesn't matter how well MSI package it (and they have) nor how fabulous the cooling solution is (and it's fabulous), it will always just slot nicely in beneath the 6970. When you go into a review knowing it's a brilliant cooler on an average chip, and after all the testing you come to the conclusion it's a brilliant cooler on an average chip, it doesn't leave much to discuss. There aren't any surprisingly brilliant moments, nor any shockingly bad ones.
It's perfectly fine. A reference 6950 is around £220. A reference 6970 is about £280. So in keeping with the bracketed nature of the chip itself it's no surprise to find the Twin Frozr 6950 is priced at £250. Exactly what you'd expect. A little pricey for the performance, but you are getting a seriously cool and quiet heat-sink for that money. MSI apply their normal bullet-proof build quality to everything. This is naturally reflected in the price.
So what is there to say about the R6950? It's exactly what you'd expect. You can't help feeling the Twin Frozr II cooler is built for much greater things than this. No matter how good the beans are, you wish it wasn't just on top of plain bread.