MSI N560GTX Twin Frozr II/OC
MSI’s factory-overclocked GeForce GTX 560 is available on Newegg for $200, which is a fairly typical price point given the GF114 graphics processor. The board's PCB measures 9” x 4.5”, but an extra-large cooler extends the total dimensions to 10” x 5”, from end to end.
By default, MSI sets Nvidia's GPU to 870 MHz and the on-board memory to 1020 MHz. That's 60 MHz higher than the reference core speed and 18 MHz higher than Nvidia's GDDR5 spec. Both of the six-pin auxiliary power inputs are on the back of the card, which could be problematic for builders without much space between installed graphics cards and their hard drive cages.
MSI’s Twin Frozr II cooler employs two 6 mm and two 8 mm heat pipes, the larger pair pulling thermal energy to the outside edges of the card. Two 3” radial fans push air past the cooling fins, surrounded by a metal shroud.
There’s not much to discuss with regard to the board's suite of output connectors. MSI’s card supports the same single mini-HDMI and twin dual-link DVI outputs as three of the competing cards. And again, you can only use two of the three connectors at any given time.
MSI's bundle includes a DVI-to-VGA adapter, two dual Molex-to-six-pin power adapters, a mini-HDMI-to-HDMI adapter, a driver disk, and a user manual. Despite its relatively low price, MSI goes so far as to include a game with the card (actually, a voucher for Lara Croft And the Guardian Of Light). This is a well-reviewed game we've admittedly never played, but from what we've seen, it mixes classic tomb-raiding with a Diablo-esque fixed perspective.
MSI’s own Afterburner overclocking software works with the card, of course. Ironically, though, its 1.087 V ceiling is lower than the 1.15 V setting available on GeForce GTX 560 cards from other manufacturers.
In any case, we managed to push this board's graphics core to 990 MHz and its memory to 1250 MHz, both of which are respectable results.