The MSI GeForce GTX 960 Gaming 2G is built on a custom PCB with a factory-overclocked GM206 GPU under MSI's latest thermal solution, the Twin Frozr V, to keep it cool and quiet. As of this writing, you can find the card on Newegg for $215.
MSI has been using its Twin Frozr coolers for a number of years now. Each generation, the company tries to improve the solution's performance, while lowering noise output. Currently on the fifth version, Twin Frozr V is said to be smaller and quieter, armed with stronger fans than the previous version.
A few key components make up the cooling solution. MSI installs 10.1cm Torx fans onto the Twin Frozr V. Using a combination of two different fan blades, the company claims to be able to move air more efficiently. Each blade alternates between standard fan blades designed to push air downwards and dispersion blades designed to maximize air flow.
The fans use the company’s Zero Frozr technology, which was introduced in 2008. Most Maxwell-based GPUs now have the same kind of capability. The fans can be stopped completely in idle and low-load situations to keep noise levels down. In addition, MSI adds the ability for its firmware to control the fans independently. In low-heat situations, it’s possible for only one fan to be spinning rather than both (or neither, for that matter).
The Twin Frozr V cooler is also built using airflow control technology, which MSI says helps push more air onto the four nickel-plated copper heat pipes that are in turn attached to a large nickel-plated copper base.
As a gaming card, this board is about more than just function. MSI adds an LED to light the company's dragon logo and name on the top edge. When the PC powers on, the light turns on and can then be controlled by the company’s Gaming app. The same software is also used to control the factory overclocks, of which there are three.
MSI’s GTX 960 may be optimized for cooling, but that seems to come at a price. This card is the largest of all GeForce GTX 960s we've tested. It weighs in at 763g and measures 280mm long, 140mm tall and 37mm wide. By comparison, Asus’ Strix 960 is only 215mm by 121mm.
The card is capable of driving four displays simultaneously through a combination of DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces. The outputs are arranged in the same pattern as Nvidia’s reference GeForce GTX 970 and 980.
Power is delivered through a single eight-pin connector on the top edge. The plug is oriented so that the lock is facing outwards from the card. Along the same edge, a single SLI interface is available for two-way configurations.
MSI does a good job with the packaging. The graphics card is surrounded in soft foam on all sides, and all of the extras are inside a box separated from the hardware. Inside, you’ll find a user’s guide, a small catalog of other MSI products, a driver disc that includes the software used to control the overclock and lighting effect, and a DVI-to-VGA adapter.