Graphics Cards Guide
MSI N680GTX Twin Frozr III 2GD5/OC Preview
Rediscovering Twin Frozr III
Factory-overclocked graphics cards that make use of NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 680 GPU differ in GPU and memory clock. But speed aside, another point of attraction these graphics cards have is the cooler. Speaking of which, a noteworthy name in this respect is MSI’s Twin Frozr which is now in its third iteration. In MSI’s graphics card portfolio, two models use the Twin Frozr III cooler: the N680GTX 2GD5 and the N680GTX 2GD5/OC. The latter is a factory-tweaked model and stands as the second fastest GTX 680 card in MSI’s arsenal, next to the flagship Lightning Edition.
Specifications-wise, the N680GTX 2GD5/OC boasts a base clock of 1058MHz, faster than that of a stock GTX 680 card, whereas its memory clock is nailed at 6008MHz. In terms of connectivity, the graphics card is equipped with two DVIs, HDMI, and a DisplayPort, a standard set among GTX 680 cards. Given these connectors, the N680GTX 2GD5/OC is a dual-slot solution, yet it is thinner than other GTX 680 iterations such as the ASUS DirectCU TOP (GTX680-DC2T-2GD5) and the Gainward Phantom II. MSI’s card receives power through its two six-pin connectors.
This is not the first time that we saw the Twin Frozr III cooler. To recall, we got a first hands-on of it when we reviewed the MSI R7950 3DG5/OC sometime in April. Hence, a quick look at the two cards, they are very similar. The most conspicuous part of the Twin Frozr III cooler is its metallic chassis which gives us the impression that the card is durable. It sports a brushed finish, an element which design-conscious users might want to look at.
Beneath the metallic casing of the Twin Frozr cooler, it keeps a passive cooling solution composed of fine aluminum fins interlinked with five heatpipes. These heatpipes are connected to a metal plate that directly touches the card’s GPU. For active cooling, the N680GTX 2GD5/OC is equipped with two 8cm fans. The card’s printed circuit board (PCB) is fitted with a sheet where strips of cooling pads are attached. These cool the card’s small yet crucial embedded components like memory chips and the voltage regulator module (VRM). Onboard is a set of eight Hynix memory chips. Given that the card has a total VRAM of 2048MB, it suggests that each chip carries 256MB VRAM.