MSI Cyclone graphics cards returns after a twelve year absence as an Nvidia RTX 4060

MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Cyclone 8G OC
(Image credit: MSI Taiwan)

MSI has revived the Cyclone family of graphics cards. The new GeForce RTX 4060 Cyclone 8G OC (h/t Harukaze5719) is the first MSI Cyclone we have seen launch in a dozen years. Of course, it shares the signature oversized cooling fan design veterans will be familiar with, but MSI has added a waspish spin with its move from monochrome to yellow and black livery.

Let's  have a wander down memory lane. The last review of an MSI Cyclone design on Tom’s Hardware was published back in March 2011. On that date we reviewed a pair of new Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti graphics cards, an MSI Cyclone II and Zotac Amp! Edition, and wrote about how the GTX 550 Ti filled a gap in Nvidia’s range at $150, and directly addressed the threat of AMD’s Radeon HD 5770 cards. The newly launched GeForce GTX 550 Ti featured key specs like 192 shaders, a GPU core clock of 900 MHz, and 1 GB of GDDR5 on a 192-bit bus.

MSI GeForce Cyclone from 2011

MSI GeForce GTX 550 Ti Cyclone II from 2011 (Image credit: Future)

Zooming back to the present day and MSI’s marketing is heralding the return of the Cyclone design with the claim that “the whirlwind rises again.” It may share the signature Cyclone design but there have been changes under the hood, says MSI. Specifically, the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Cyclone 8GB and 8GB OC (and other new SKUs) have a new high-performance and efficient heat dissipation design.

(Image credit: MSI Taiwan)

Thankfully, MSI provides some more technical details to back up its marketing bluster. Breaking down the cooler design, it describes how the Cyclone composite cooling module is made from a central extruded aluminum radiator and is flanked by two encircling heat pipes threaded through further cooling fin arrays. MSI has also added finned heatsinks to the GPU VRMs.

(Image credit: MSI Taiwan)

Sitting in the eye of the storm is a custom Cyclone 100mm PWM fan. MSI says the fan uses optimized fan blades for high airflow and pressure. A backplate that looks like it is made from brushed metal (we worry that it might be made of plastic) provides clean lines and PCB protection. Thermal pads are also installed over heat-sensitive components like memory modules.

(Image credit: MSI Taiwan)

Elsewhere in its product pages, MSI says that the new Cyclone features solid capacitors with aluminum cores for low ESR and long life. Hi-C CAP small and efficient capacitors are used around the GPU socket area.

Checking the tech specs of the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Cyclone 8GB OC we note that this compact card (163 x 124 x 42 mm) adheres to Nvidia RTX 4060 reference specs except for the max GPU clocks which are a tiny bit faster at 2490 MHz (instead of 2460 MHz). MSI also allows users to toggle “extreme performance” mode reaching 2505 MHz in its MSI Center software. These same options are available with the similarly compact MSI RTX 4060 Aero ITX (167 x 111 x 43 mm). On the topic of RTX 4060 OC models, the larger Asus RTX 4060 Dual OC model also ships with a 2505 MHz GPU clock. It would be great to get some GPU temperature and fan noise comparisons.

We don’t have pricing or availability details for the MSI GeForce RTX 4060 Cyclone 8GB OC at the time of writing. Checking MSI Taiwan’s product pages there is a non-OC version listed too. There remains the possibility that these revived Cyclone cards will be Taiwan or Asia-exclusive products.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • ManDaddio
    This is a category 4. Take shelter. Games won't survive the power of the cyclone.
    Kind of looks like what my son's RTX 3050 looks like. He's got a single fan cooler on his. HP pre-built.
    The MSI GPU looks way more stylish and the design looks like it cools better.
    Reply
  • Victor-LGC
    I had a MSI Radeon 5670XT Cyclone back in 2010... It was such a nice card and the first card I had that would actualy disable the fan when it was cool enough... The huge heatsink would keep it quite cool and silent. I loved that card, eventually sold and replaced it with a GTX 560Ti from EVGA that I still own.
    Reply
  • Phaaze88
    Hmm, I think it'd be a shame to install this card normally...
    Reply
  • thestryker
    I had one of the GTX 460 Cyclones and find it interesting that this new cooler has less surface area than those did (higher TDP on the 460). I know why they went away from the design, but I've always thought it looked really interesting.
    Reply
  • MarkRT
    CoolPC has more info about the launch, which took place at the GamForce 2023 eSports event https://coolpc.com.tw/tw/shop/gpu/msi-rtx4090-gameforce/
    Reply
  • leclod
    MarkRT said:
    CoolPC has more info about the launch, which took place at the GamForce 2023 eSports event https://coolpc.com.tw/tw/shop/gpu/msi-rtx4090-gameforce/
    In chinese
    Reply
  • Rakanyshu
    i had the 550ti was great card, that was back in college one night dont remember if i was playing wow or modelling a 3D castle or something like that, spilled a coke on top of the pc, quickly turned it off, and cleaned all i could, left it off for a day and then powered it on and it worked as if nothing had happenned, a couple of years later i got a new card and built a dektop for my wife (Back then she was my gf) using the GTX 550ti while installing it on her pc i noticed a thin layer in a brownish transparent color on all the pcb, and the GPU was still working as intended.

    I try to go MSI for GPU since then.
    Reply
  • PEnns
    It looks too cute for a 4060......;)

    I wonder how loud it is with just one fan.
    Reply