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An oversized radial-fin cooler and custom slot plate make MSI’s N460GTX Cyclone 1GD5/OC stand apart from the reference design GeForce GTX 460 on which it’s based. The cooler is still slim enough to allow this card to fit within the same two-slot space as most of MSI’s competitors, but its 5.1” height could prevent placement in some compact gaming cases.
MSI uses Nvidia’s reference display output configuration, consisting of a mini-HDMI and two dual-link DVI connections, yet strangely relies on DVI to supply a full-sized HDMI output.
The 1GD5/OC doesn’t sport much of an overclock at 725.5 MHz GPU and a bone-stock GDDR5-3600. The lack of memory overclocking could be due to a lack of contact between the heat sink and RAM.
MSI has become famous for its Afterburner software, but the core voltage adjustment doesn’t work with this particular card. Clock limits still exceed the capabilities of hardware, at 1090 MHz GPU and GDDR5-4680.
Two of Afterburner’s more important “advanced” controls are the ability to start the program with Windows, and start it minimized to the tray. While overclocks “stick” without starting the program with Windows, custom fan profiles only work when the program is running.
Fan profiles help set MSI’s Afterburner software apart, with a visual curve graphic that makes setting them easy. Poking around at the curve even allows one to add more control points for finer-grained speed changes.
Several menus address the monitoring, reporting, and screen-capturing needs of MSI Afterburner users.
Up to five overclocking profiles can be saved, and users can even set them to automatically launch with 3D programs.