MSI 9600GT Hybrid Freezer
With the biggest difference between this card and standard 9600GT's being the 1GB of ram, we were keen to see how well the 9600gt handled larger resolutions. The 1GB should mean there is less of a memory bottleneck when using higher resolutions. Testing was run at 1280x1024 (a fairly standard resolution) and 1920x1080 (HD TV) as this would give a good indication as to how well the card handles resolution scaling. 1920x1080 was chosen as it is the resolution used by most high end HD TV's, and as this card appears to be aimed at media centre users, it makes sense to test that resolution.
We've got mixed feelings with the MSI review, and we feel a little unsure of who the cooler is aimed toward. At first we thought it was aimed at performance junkies looking for lower temperatures and big overclocks without the noise of a fan all the time. However, once we began to test for higher clocks, it was obvious this was not the case.
Therefore the best use for the Hybrid cooler would be in Media Centre PC's and computers that are primarily for 2D applications. For HTPC's, it seems a great idea; you can enjoy silence whilst watching films, surfing the web and watching digital TV, but still have enough horsepower for the occasional frag fest.
Overall, the Hybrid Freeze is rather dissapointing. If you are part of a minority that finds all graphics cards apart from passive ones too loud, but also enjoy gaming, then this may be for you. If however, you're not part of this minority, then we'd struggle to recommend this product to you. Searching on the web, we could only find the card available from Lambatek, for a fairly ridiculous £145.22. Even if the pricing is bad on Lambateks part, £150 for such a card is totally ridiculous. Considering you can pick up a standard 9600GT for around £65, even if the MSI was around £100 it would be too much.
+ Kept the card cool once the fan kicked in
+ Cooler looks fairly nice
* Cooler doesn't allow for overclocking as it lets the core get rather hot
* With a bit of tweaking, it could work rather well
- Fan is noisy
- High Price
- Did we mention the high price?
Overclock3D would like to thank MSI for supplying todays review sample. Discuss in our forums here.