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MSI Twin Frozr III 7950 vs. Gigabyte Windforce 3 7950

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 21, 2013 8:07:53 PM

The question is simple. I will be over overclocking, please keep that in mind. There isn't really any price difference so basically what I want to know is which card will overclock better and which cooler will keep the GPU the coolest. Below are links if you need them. Evidence to back up your claims is always welcome. Thank you all in advance!

MSI:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b K Overclocking
March 21, 2013 8:20:58 PM

Theoretically the Gigabyte one will be the best. Honestly both are solid choices and you can't go wrong with either of them. I would get the cheaper card, the Gigabyte.
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a b K Overclocking
March 21, 2013 8:24:37 PM

Agreed with above. They are both great and the Gigabyte WindForce X3 would only be somewhat better. The Gigabyte's cooler is a little better, especially on a noise/cooling ratio (which it is the best at according to what I've read) and they tend to have excellent overclocking frequencies reached too. Gigabyte's WindForce X3 cards are probably the most recommended high end AMD cards this generation ;) 
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March 21, 2013 8:31:57 PM

I would make sure that this gigabyte model isn't voltage locked if you intend on over-locking much. I have the 7970 version voltage locked(didn't know when I bought it) no reviews showed that it was. On top of that the stock voltage is lower than most and I can't even get a 25 mhz overclock.

Maybe the quality of the 7950 is better but I'm not sure about that. The fact that they voltage locked the card with such good cooling without making it known and I did my research, seems pretty bad. I will never be buying another gigabyte model. So on that note, if it were me, I would go with the MSI.

Cheers
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a b K Overclocking
March 21, 2013 8:36:54 PM

It's easy to unlock the voltage of an AMD card that has locked voltage. I've sold many Gigabyte 7950s and not had to do it on most of them anyway, but this is worth keeping in mind just in case something does come up.
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March 21, 2013 8:42:37 PM

blazorthon said:
It's easy to unlock the voltage of an AMD card that has locked voltage. I've sold many Gigabyte 7950s and not had to do it on most of them anyway, but this is worth keeping in mind just in case something does come up.


Actually you are wrong about that, this is hardware locked. You will not be able to unlock the voltage by changing the bios, that is if you gets the same locked out pcb of my 7970. Now it could be the 7950 gigabytes are different, but it needed to be pointed out this is possible. It's the new Gigabyte 7970's with the hardware voltage lock. So if you get one like I did you can't unless you want to get the soldering iron out and blowup your card. LOL

Just get the MSI it will overclock probably just as much and that's if you don't get a crippled Gigabyte
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a b K Overclocking
March 21, 2013 8:54:35 PM

cdrkeen said:
blazorthon said:
It's easy to unlock the voltage of an AMD card that has locked voltage. I've sold many Gigabyte 7950s and not had to do it on most of them anyway, but this is worth keeping in mind just in case something does come up.


Actually you are wrong about that, this is hardware locked. You will not be able to unlock the voltage by changing the bios, that is if you gets the same locked out pcb of my 7970. Now it could be the 7950 gigabytes are different, but it needed to be pointed out this is possible. It's the new Gigabyte 7970's with the hardware voltage lock. So if you get one like I did you can't unless you want to get the soldering iron out and blowup your card. LOL

Just get the MSI it will overclock probably just as much and that's if you don't get a crippled Gigabyte


It's not hardware locked for AMD cards, at least not in my experience. I've unlocked voltage through BIOS flashing and such on several Radeon 7000 cards (including a few 7950s) and never had issues with any that I attempted it on. It always worked. It is locked for Nvidia in the hardware AFAIK and can't be unlocked, at least not through BIOS flashing then, but that's not AMD.
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March 21, 2013 8:57:38 PM

this one will not unlock even through the bios flashing. You can look it up Gigabyte 7970 windforce x3. Several people have tried and it doesn't help. It needed to be pointed out because the new 7970 windforce cards are just now having this issue. Besides that, flashing a bios is risky, there is always a chance of bricking a card even if you do everything right
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a b K Overclocking
March 21, 2013 8:59:52 PM

Well, that sucks. If you got duped like that despite doing the research, then there might not be any way to tell if a card is voltage-locked or not nor if it can be unlocked if it comes as locked until after you buy it and check manually...
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March 21, 2013 9:08:50 PM

yeah it does, I was really disappointed. I don't believe the cooling on the frozer is much worse though. You can't go wrong with that one either. I have had really good experiences with MSI in the past. Seems like quality stuff they put out
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a b K Overclocking
March 21, 2013 9:12:28 PM

It's not much worse, just somewhat worse. It's like how the GTX 460 192 bit performs only somewhat worse than a GTX 256 bit of the same GPU and memory frequencies.
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March 21, 2013 9:16:44 PM

blazorthon said:
It's not much worse, just somewhat worse. It's like how the GTX 460 192 bit performs only somewhat worse than a GTX 256 bit of the same GPU and memory frequencies.


Well honestly you would probably hit the top overclock on this card before you have an issue with the temps, that is unless you are looking to get some world record overclock. :D 
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March 21, 2013 9:20:19 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7950-revi...

Almost as good as the Asus Direct CU. Don't think you need to worry much.

Edit: here is a direct temperature comparison between the two.
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
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a b K Overclocking
March 21, 2013 9:27:24 PM

Yeah, the main advantage is noise for a given level of cooling. Gigabyte's cooler can be considerably quieter while cooling a little better at load.

However, if the WindForce cards are now known to all be shipping with nearly impassable voltage locks, then maybe it's worth a shot to try something else. IDK if MSI is doing the same, but given their stance against it with Nvidia cards, they have a decent chance of not being locked, at least not yet. Perhaps we can specifically ask some of the companies for a card that is not voltage locked.
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March 21, 2013 9:33:25 PM

Yeah, you could probably contact the manufacturer and ask them. They should be able to answer that for you, and obviously let them know that you are aware of the same model 7970's being locked etc.

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March 25, 2013 7:51:11 PM

I just picked up the gigabyte 7870 WindForce X3 today.
It is voltage locked for the higher perf level.
The idle perf level allows voltage changes oddly.
I can change clocks on both gpu/mem.
Fan speed is also locked, the fans aren't pwm.
The cooler is pretty nice however and I can't really argue with the factory 1100 overclock.
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