MSI has hit the GTX 770 scene and it has come out swinging with its GTX 770 gaming model card, which is looking to be not only an awesome performer but even an awesome value for enthusiasts gamers.
MSI GeForce GTX 770 Gaming
MSI makes some very nice graphics offerings especially with their custom PCB offerings as they bring some engineering to the table that is hard to match. This time, instead of a lightning model we were greeted with a MSI gaming card (Model Number N770 TF 2GD5/OC).
Here you can see some of the specs of the card compared to what is offered presently from the Kepler lineup.
|GTX 690||GTX TITAN||GTX 680||GTX 780||GTX 770||MSI GTX 770 Gaming|
|Stream Processors||1536 x 2||2688|
|Texture Units||128 x 2||224||128||192||128||128|
|ROP’s||32 x 2|
|Base Core Clock||915MHz||837MHz||1006MHz||863MHz||1046MHz||1098MHz|
|Memory Interface||256-bit x 2||384-bit||256-bit||384-Bit||256-bit||256-Bit|
|Memory Qty||2GB x 2||6GB||2GB||3GB||2GB or 4GB||2GB|
|Transistors||3.5B x 2||7.1B||3.5B||7.1B||3.54B||3.54B|
When looking at the specs you can see that when compared to the reference design you pay about 10 dollars more, yet you get a full custom PCB and massive dual slot dual fan Twin Frozr cooler, which is not a bad deal.
Military Class 4 Components
MSI has long touted the Military Class components on their cards due to the fact that they are specially tested components, not just by them but by a third party testing center according to the enclosed certificate. “Military Class components” sounds nice, but are they really necessary on a card or motherboard? Honestly, no as most times the reference components are good enough to do their job. However, they are not designed to push the limits to the extreme. The answer is better and stronger components. Most manufacturers worth their salt will use better components, so in order to try and stand out, MSI uses “Military Class” components in an attempt to ensure better hardware reliability.
Military Class Component Testing
When MSI puts military class components to the fire they are not joking as they come to the table claiming to have passed multiple tests following Mil spec (MIL-STD-810G) Tests including:
- Temperature Shock testing: Sudden thermal changes which can normally wreak havoc on electrical components are fully tested on these components to ensure they can last through some of the worst conditions liek lets say what the extreme enthusiasts community may employ them for. Although im sure the Lightning card will be more in that category its still nice to know its there.
- Humidity Testing: Testing of components in different humidity conditions can make a big difference as to the capabilities of the cards as different areas can have much different environments and not every deployment will be like a sterile lab and knowing they can take that kind of abuse once again is a major plus.
- Vibration tests: This one is a little nuts but being in california I guess if I have an earthquake I can ensure the shaking wont affect the components.
- Low Pressure Testing: This once again is a little extreme as deployment for different elevations especially extreme enough to require low pressure testing is gonna be extremely rare if ever but it will handle it.
- High Temperature Testing: This one shoudl be a standard for every component in a high end PC as thermals are the enemy of every enthusiasts rig so I like to see such attention paid here.
- Low Temperature Testing: Once again I think something more targeted at the Lightning model, but the fact that they test these cards to withstand LN2 benchmarking temperatures tells me that under standard gaming stresses this card is gonna run and keep on running.
- Shock Testing: This is once again more extreme as these are similar to drop or rough impact testing which wel even if the card survives im sure other components may not fare so well in this kind of scenario.
So what we can take from this is that this card may survive the nuclear apocalypse or even a Zombie infestation but well in the case of a nuclear apocalypse this card looks like it could probably take it, and with The North Korea situation maybe you can hide behind a stack of these cards.
Advanced Twin Frozr IV Cooler
MSI introduced the Twin Frozr cooler quite some time ago. The Twin Frozr is MSI’s version of the custom cooler to keep the GPU and components cool on the card.
Here we see some advantages of the cooler design, including the dual propeller blade fans which work in tandem to ensure plenty of air is moved through the fin array for a cooler running GPU and also onboard components.
The propeller blade design is made to offer some serious airflow without the fan noise we had heard before and compared to the MSI 660 Ti we had tested previously it definitely sounds like they got the fan noise down quite a bit.
The complete cover heatsink is a nice dual purpose design as it works as a heatspreader for the VRM/memory components but also it helps stiffen the PCB quite a bit which makes for a much stronger and more durable card.
MSI offers its own software utility. MSI Afterburner is co-developed with Rivatuner which is very similar to what the other top manufacturers are offering.
There we see it above with multiple options including voltage control and power limit controls to ensure our overclock ceiling is just a little bit higher. Do note that some options may not show up right away and need to be enabled in settings otherwise they will be hidden.
MSI Gaming App
The Gaming app is a cool design as it offers a simple to use interface where users can quickly set a overclock or even Eco setting without having to work with the Afterburner app which for some can be a bit confusing especially for a newer or inexperienced user
Above you can see with a single click how each setting changed the card and with the accompanying GPUz screen to show how it was set accordingly.
PCI Express Gen 3 Capable
MSI is one of many manufacturers who offer 7 series Nvidia cards supporting PCIe Gen 3 along with motherboards to place them on.