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** Upgrading my MSI GTS450 Cyclone OC 1GB to MSI 7950 oc/v2 or Be **

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 4, 2013 10:19:27 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Probably at the end of the month (car's in for an mot and the garage wants money :( ) BUDGET RANGE: About £300.00 current prices put the v2 oc version at £250(but none in stock) and the boost edition at £240.

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Crysis , Shogun total war 2 and Spec ops all at at full settings, Watching movies, etc

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: MSI GTS450 Cyclone OC 1GB and Cooler Master 650W PSU

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: Intel I5 2500 k (Will be overclocked to 4.5GHZ, 8GB of Corsair 1600mhz lp lv ram (1.35) at 8-8-8-24. I have an air cooled system currently. Motherboard is an ASUS P8Z77 -V.

(e.g., make/model of CPU, MoBo, memory - this can help us determine whether or not a given card is compatible with and makes sense for your system. For high-end cards, knowing your case/cooling setup may also be helpful)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Something in the UK as I don't fancy paying import tax (scan, ebay, amazon etc)

Boost edition msi 7950...
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3gb-msi-radeon-hd7950-tw...

overclocked version 2 msi 7950...

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3gb-msi-radeon-hd-7950-t...

PARTS PREFERENCES:p refer MSI as reviws tell me it's great for over clocking and personal experience deems its reliability as high .

OVERCLOCKING: Ideally I would be overclocking this to keep up with my CPU (only plan on having one of these atm).

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I normally play at around 1680x1050 but may play higher because i'll have a gpu that can handle it (hopefully :) )

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: being quiet is a must (generally anything above 30 dbu is too loud for idle). I'm aware of the powercolor PCS+ version and if I could find one for around the same price over here i'd probably take that (as it's silent).
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2013 12:10:59 PM

I have the Twin frozer III 7950. The card overclocks like a beast. I can go to 1250 on the core and 1500 on the memory no prob, after unlocking the voltage with afterburner(modify config file to do so). Temps were at 80c at this speed with 100% fan speed so I didn't want to go any further. Max stable with out voltage increases, just using the catalyst control center was about 1025 core and 1450 memory. Had to put the slider at +20% voltage for that, and the fan speed at 60%. The card does get pretty loud above 60% fan speed though. Like real loud. lol.
March 4, 2013 12:14:52 PM

sincreator said:
I have the Twin frozer III 7950. The card overclocks like a beast. I can go to 1250 on the core and 1500 on the memory no prob, after unlocking the voltage with afterburner.(modify config file to do so) Temps were at 80c at this speed with 100% fan speed so I didn't want to go any further. Max stable with out voltage increases, just using the catalyst control center was about 1025 core and 1450 memory. Had to put the slider at +20% voltage for that. The card does get pretty loud above 60% fan speed though. Like real load. lol.



Could you perhaps recommend an aftermarket cooler that's quieter than the msi twin frozr III? Most of the games I play won't be needing me to go too crazy on the over clocking but its nice to have it there. I've seen the accelero extreme around but it's like £60 for the 7950/70 version but the GTX 660 one for Nvidia cards is like £20 :( .

My main reason for going for AMD over Nvidia is the driver stability.
Related resources
March 4, 2013 12:39:19 PM

Hi, I have the Twin Frozr III as well, I have it at 1000 core and memory 1325 just because I havn't needed to push it more yet, I will say that I had to take off the cooler and reapply the thermal paste. Before at those clocks it was hitting 80c with the fan at 75% on auto, it sounded like a hovercraft. After I reapplied it never goes over 72-73 Max with the fans at 52% and barely audible.

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

Although thats a bit out of date it gives you an idea of some of the coolers available from different companies, good luck :) 
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2013 12:53:27 PM

rodkeeper said:
Could you perhaps recommend an aftermarket cooler that's quieter than the msi twin frozr III? Most of the games I play won't be needing me to go too crazy on the over clocking but its nice to have it there. I've seen the accelero extreme around but it's like £60 for the 7950/70 version but the GTX 660 one for Nvidia cards is like £20 :( .

My main reason for going for AMD over Nvidia is the driver stability.


Well if I had my time back I would of bought the sapphire 7950. The cooler is alot quieter, and Sapphire are usually at the top of the food chain for AMD cards. If you going to buy a aftermarket cooler just to make it quieter, maybe you should consider the sapphire vapor-x 7950, or try for the gigabyte windforce 7950. Both are supposed to be really quiet compared to the TFIII 7950, and you shouldn't need an aftermarket fan for them.

Here's the Sapphire Vapor-x: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3gb-sapphire-vapor-x-rad... This seems to be a decent price for the vapor-x as well.

here is the Gigabyte windforce: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/3gb-gigabyte-radeon-hd-7...

Either of these cards will save you the money for an aftermarket cooler, unless you plan to watercool. ;) 
March 4, 2013 12:54:09 PM

shADy81 said:
Hi, I have the Twin Frozr III as well, I have it at 1000 core and memory 1325 just because I havn't needed to push it more yet, I will say that I had to take off the cooler and reapply the thermal paste. Before at those clocks it was hitting 80c with the fan at 75% on auto, it sounded like a hovercraft. After I reapplied it never goes over 72-73 Max with the fans at 52% and barely audible.

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

Although thats a bit out of date it gives you an idea of some of the coolers available from different companies, good luck :) 



Hmmmm, According to this the ASUS cooler is the quietest. However it also says that the msi board is of really good quality and doesn't take up 3 slots.

Can anyone comment on the msi oc/v2 7950 being on a 7970 pcb and what advantage that would give me (I'm guessing as it's hungrier it will over clock higher but as the cooler is the same I'm not sure how loud it would be...)?

What I might do is just get the MSI oc/be and then see how loud it is (if its too loud i'll just send it back and try the asus one).

Thank you for all your replies guys :) 

a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2013 7:33:14 PM

rodkeeper said:
Hmmmm, According to this the ASUS cooler is the quietest. However it also says that the msi board is of really good quality and doesn't take up 3 slots.

Can anyone comment on the msi oc/v2 7950 being on a 7970 pcb and what advantage that would give me (I'm guessing as it's hungrier it will over clock higher but as the cooler is the same I'm not sure how loud it would be...)?

What I might do is just get the MSI oc/be and then see how loud it is (if its too loud i'll just send it back and try the asus one).

Thank you for all your replies guys :) 


The Twin Frozer III comes on a 7970 PCB. That's 1 six pin and 1 eight pin power connectors. Supposedly you can flash the 7970's bios onto the card and get a 7970's clock speeds out of it and tighter memory timings, if your lucky. You will also get higher Catalyst Control Center overclocking limits. Here is a forum thread with a discussion covering this: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?2826...

All in all it's probally not really worth it since you can get the same clocks anyway by using MSI afterburner. The guy mentions tighter memory timings, but i'm not sure if that would even make a big difference or not.

I did a bit of research into the Sapphire Vapor-x 7950 as well. Probally not a good 7950 to get. Sorry for suggesting it. Most sites were only getting 1100 on the core and the vrm temps were really high as well. So either the Twin frozer III, the Asus Direct-CU, or the windforce from Gigabyte would probally be best. I think the Msi card is the only one built on a 7970's PCB though, and I know for a fact that mine goes WAY beyond 1100 core with voltage tweaks. I was at 1250 core and 1500 on the memory and really didn't want to push further since I was at 80 degrees.

One of those three cards would be best, but out of those cards the MSI TF III is definitly the loudest under load.
March 8, 2013 7:20:19 AM

Can anybody comment between a powercolor 7970 (which I can get for £311) versus a 7970 from gigabyte (for £309)

I'm only going for a 7970 because the price difference isn't very much when a 7950 is going for £250 ish it seems silly not to spend the extra £50 or so for a big perforcne increase (i'm thinking a base 7970 is about as good as a moderately overlcocked 7950?

http://www.ebuyer.com/353110-powercolor-hd-7970-v3-3gb-...

http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/components/amdradeon...

any comments? (only reason the powercolour is even on here is because the cooler is silent otherwise it would be gigabyte all the way...)
Anonymous
March 8, 2013 9:02:19 AM

Do yourself a favor and gt this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Ive owned 3 7950's and this one has impressed me the most by far and ive owned the msi twin frozr 3 as well.Not a bad card but the saphhire dual x is the way to go.cool and quiet and got it to 1150 mhz without touching the voltage would think it would hit 1200 and beyond with a tweak.I dont feel the 7970 is worth the extra money but if you go with the 70 again i reccomend the sapphire dual x version for that to.
March 11, 2013 12:27:44 AM

sincreator said:
One of those three cards would be best, but out of those cards the MSI TF III is definitly the loudest under load.
how loud acoustically speaking? 36dba?
a b U Graphics card
March 11, 2013 4:50:30 PM

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7950-revi... Here they say 39dba, but I wonder what the fan speed was at. If you go to 65% manually I can hear it over the other 8 120mm fans in my case. At 80%-100% I can hear it upstairs. lol.

Don't get me wrong though the card is great for overclocking, maybe even the best since it's built on the 7970's PCB, but it's definitly the loudest.

Just because I am hitting those clocks dosen't mean everyone will either. Also if you look at the reviews for the 7950 Twin Frozer III, they were all using the original design(6pin+6pin) 7950 PCB so the results were a fair amount lower in the overclocking department compared to my results. Guru3d only got the card to 1167mhz on the core on the original TFIII 6+6 pin card with 1.25Mv. http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/msi_radeon_hd_7950... All of the newer TFIII's(started coming out around October 2012) are built on the 6+8 pin 7970 PCB now from what i've seen.
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