MSI N465GTX Twin Frozr II Review
Finally we can breathe a sigh of relief. It's taken a while but eventually a company has taken the potential of the latest series of nVidia cards and unlocked it. Giving us all the cards we expected to see at launch.
When a product is this good, writing the conclusion actually becomes harder. If something is terrible we can lambast it easily. If it's nearly there then balancing the good and mediocre is also easy to do.
But the MSI N465GTX does absolutely everything brilliantly.
Out of the well-crafted box you have all the adaptors you could want to plug into your display.
It looks absolutely stunning with the always gorgeous Twin Frozr II cooler dominating affairs visually. There is enough of the shroud to help direct a fair proportion of the air out the exhaust of the card whilst still giving us enough cut-outs to show how much metal is there as part of the heat-sink.
The Twin Frozr II is really the star of the show. MSI claim 16°C cooler than the reference design, and yet even when massively overclocked we still saw 20°C below our testing with the stock cooler at only 50% fans. Speaking of the fans they are definitely quiet. In our test-case at 50% they were inaudible above the case fans and we had to up them to 70%, way beyond what they'd ever run at, before they were noticeable. Even then they weren't offensively loud and I'm especially annoyed by extraneous noise from my system.
Amazing cooling had the twin benefit of allowing us to unleash the power of the GTX465 chip by giving us huge overclocking headroom. Once again MSI claim a potential 15% overclocking ability and yet we easily hit a 36%, let me repeat, a thirty-six percent overclock and the card still remained cool. After half an hour of Furmark burn testing we only reached 72°C which is not much more than the reference card idles at. It would take a voltage increase to go faster but considering how cool it still ran we're sure that if you are willing to tweak the performance could even hit 850MHz.
At this point I'm sure you're waiting for the hammer to fall. Well there isn't one as such. The undisputed middleweight graphics performance king is the ATI HD5850. When overclocked the MSI N465GTX replaces it at the top of the pile and for around the same money you'd expect to pay for a 5850 with a non-reference cooler. Of course the HD5850 still has the potential to be overclocked.
So if you're after a middle-range graphics card there is finally a genuine alternative to the all-conquering HD5850 in the cool, quiet, blazingly fast MSI N465GTX Twin Frozr II and we're only too happy to give it our Gold Award for being the first truly usable Fermi card on the market and having such insane overclocking performance we're also going to award it our Performance award.
Other manufacturers beware, MSI are on an absolute roll.