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on September 19, 2012
ASIC Quality is 88.6% via GPU-Z 0.6.4 - this is very high. This seems to be "new batch" 7950 chips which have higher ASIC quality in general. Higher ASIC quality should = better overclocks at the same voltage compared with lower ASIC quality.

The card I received is based on the 7970 PCB - it has 8 pin and 6 pin power in. This SHOULD be a very good overclocking card given ASIC quality, aftermarket cooling, 7970 PCB design. And is it?

Answer is, yes!

I used sapphire trixx for overclocking.

Stock core voltage was 1.031 volt for my board (set low!) and it ran of course at stock settings 880core 1250 memory great. I got 43.9 frames per sec on uningine benchmark, using default settings (2560x1440 resolution).

I was able to crank up the voltage to 1050, memory to 1700 WITHOUT ADJUSTING VOLTAGE. That's 1050mhz core on 1.031 volts! Upon cranking up the voltage to 1.100 volts, I was able to overlock to 1050mhz core and 1700 memory, uningine benchmark ran at 70.5 frames per second.

I then bumped the voltage to 1.10 volts (still very low, most of the review sites pushed their 7950 to 1.2 to 1.25 volts). was able to get Core to 1150mhz, memory 1700. At these settings, using the stock fan profile, running furmark to max GPU temp, Temp Max was 81 Celcius, fan speed running at 79%. It was loud and tinny sounding. Uningine ran at 78.6 FPS.

MSI - are you listening? please read this part - I then removed the heat sink and removed the old thermal paste, replaced the thermal paste with arctic silver 5. (this was really easy to do, only 4 screws removed). The temp max dropped from 81 celcius and 79% fan speed to 79 celcius and 75% fan speed, using furmark.

The difference in fan speed 75% to 79% is absolutely audible, not that I'm gonna furmark my computer all night. Temp max while running uningine with initial thermal paste at 1150/1700 was 72 celcius.

TL;DR? This is a great card. If you are willing to overclock a little it will boost performance a LOT (80% increased frames per sec on uningine benchmark for me). This IS the best bang for the buck today in graphics card. Change the thermal paste and you should get 2-3 celcius drop in temp at max possible load, and decrease noise. MSI - PLEASE USE A DIFFERENT SUPPLIER OF THERMAL PASTE. ARCTIC SILVER 5 ISN'T THAT EXPENSIVE.

CONS? The two fan design is noisy, and my overclock results have been hampered by undesired noisiness. Who knows how high this card can be pushed with better air cooling or under water.

Addendum: After my arctic silver has cured for 1 day, temp went from 79 celcius at max load to 78 celcius at max load. Fan speed 72%. Temps dropped 3 celcius with new paste.
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on August 31, 2012
At ~$300 this card is a steal. Many online benchmarks paint a fairly mediocre picture of the 7950, but the ones that do fail to take into account its massive overclocking potential. Using the MSI Afterburner overclocking utility, this card can easily go toe-to-toe with the much more expensive GTX 670 at stock voltage, and overvolted it blows it out of the water. 3Gb of memory and 2 DisplayPort sockets mean that long after this card falls behind the cutting edge, it will still be more than capable of powering the multi-monitor and 1440p+ display setups that are becoming increasingly common.

As for this particular model, the MSI Twin Frozr III, I am also very pleased. I can confirm Amazon is carrying the newer version with the more robust 7970 PCB and 8+6 pin power connecter arrangement. It does, however, come with an adapter that allows you to use two 6 pin power cables if necessary. Also, one thing that bothered me about my older Twin Frozr II GTX 560 Ti was the relatively high minimum fan speed, which in a quiet room made the card audible even at idle. With this card there is no such limitation; you get full fan speed control in Afterburner from 0-100% (though you should obviously use common sense when setting up a custom profile). Finally, the built in support bracket and unisink give this card excellent rigidity, another shortcoming of my MSI 560 Ti.

I did have to return the first card I received due to a faulty cooler, but Amazon immediately shipped me a replacement which has been working perfectly.

This card may not be right for you if you absolutely do not wish to overclock, or if you absolutely NEED Nvidia's CUDA or PhysX technology (you really don't, though). One area where Nvidia does seem to be superior right now is in its stereoscopic 3D support, but that is primary a driver issue and will likely change as 3D displays become more popular. Conversely, if you plan to use more than two monitors or game at higher than 1080p resolution, Radeon is really the way to go right now.
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on April 1, 2013
I just received my card in the mail a few days ago and I can say that I am really satisfied with it. But as it says in my title there, it's a 5 star, but rated at 4 because I was doing my research on this where the factory's thermal compound wasn't so good, so I decided to open it up and low and behold it was true. I applied arctic silver 5 and it dropped it down a few C's.
I am impressed by the fact that it can run Crysis 3 on MAXED out settings with a little overclocking.
I also want to buy another 7950 to crossfire, deciding whether to get this one or one from Sapphire or Gigabyte.
(Edit) also keep in mind that this card is noisy when you overclock it. It may be noisy, but it's worth it.
(Edit 2)I have been doing some more snooping around looking at reviews of other cards and compared them to this card, I gave it reasonably high OC and it runs at most 64C's, but it hits 60C's on load. The other cards that I have been seeing get as hot as 70-80C's (that's pretty damn high) I have given this product a 5 star rating, but then again do not forget about the small defect with the factory applied thermal compound.
Specs:
Corsair 500r
Amd FX-6100 OC'd to 4.1
Corsair Vengeance 8Gb set (lowprofile) at 1866
MSI HD Radeon 7950 ;)
Asus M599X EVO
Antec Kuhler 920
Sandisk 120 SSD 6gbs
1Tb Seagate 7200rpm
Sea Sonic 860 Platinum Plus
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on June 3, 2013
I build custom high-end PCs for gaming and cryptocoin (Bitcoin, BTC, Litecoin, LTC, etc) mining so I've tried almost every brand's 7950 and this one is easily in my top 3. On my last benchmarking run, with the same configuration (GPU clock, memory clock, fan speed, etc) it performed the same as the Sapphire 7950 Vapor-X and was quieter but the GPU ran over 15 degrees Celsius (30F) hotter. To be fair the case I used for the Sapphire's testing had a little better airflow so at least part of that isn't the MSI's fault. I'm going to swap the cards and rerun the test to compare like-to-like.

If the prices were the same I'd suggest this card over the Sapphire Vapor-X since it's quieter, especially if the computer isn't tucked in a closet away from human ears, but (right now at least) the Sapphire is $15 cheaper and can be over and under clocked more heavily so it's my preference.

That said you can't go wrong with this card either.
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on September 11, 2013
This has been amazing. This card is definitely an outstanding buy for the price. I love it. I mine litecoin, feathercoin, all of the popular scrypt coins, and have a small growing farm. This is my choice of card for purchasing them "new". I've gotten these cards for $200-$245 new.

With cgminer 3.4.x I'm getting 687kh reliably, very cool temps (70*), 0 HW errors. This is across weeks, not just instant! I've had long average peaks into the 690's and low 700's, but the stable average is 687. I'm not even pushing the card too much.

My settings:

TC 40960
Engine 1190
Memory 1500
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on September 29, 2012
This video card can run every game I put at it with over 60+ fps at the max settings. Comes with MSI after burner for overclocking if you need more power for the card. Temp is about 67c idle and 70-78c under load. Very quiet when under load fans run at about 50% and don't hear a thing. On boot up the fans spin backwards to get any dust or anything out of the heatsink and then spins back to putting air on the heatsink. Over all if you are looking for a great video card for a low to mid price go for this one!
review image review image review image
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on May 3, 2013
I have this, a sapphire dual x, a sapphire vapor x and a gigabyte windforce, all 7950's. The gigabyte sucks, don't even mess with it. Locked voltage, runs hot. The dual x is ok. The vapor is is pretty cool, but fatter than all the other cards so it can be tough if you're gonna run cross fire, and the VRMs get really hot. Like over 90 when the gpu is under 70. None of the other cards have this VRM problem. The MSI has a lower default voltage, overclocks higher and does it with less power than any of the others. The vapor x may cool a little better (except for the vrms which kinda ruins it) but otherwise this card stays cooler much more easily than the others.

And, the shroud isn't plastic.... The others are shiny black plastic and when compared to the metal shroud of the MSI just don't at all feel as solid. I'm sure this helps with cooling, too.

Bottom line, if you're getting a 7950, make it real easy on yourself and get this one. Is it 10 or $20 more than another card? So what, it's worth it.
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on September 6, 2012
Going from a xfx back ed 6870 and gaming at 1080p, everything improved. Able to run most game with everything on (big surprise, this is a better card). Buy the real nice thing is that when running a more taxing game such as Skyrim with all the eye candy, the msi 7950 doesn't get loud like the 6870 would.

Also, if you run CS6 photoshop or other adobe products, this card does support the newer form of GPU offloading. With this my already fast photoshop machine (16GB DDR3, 2500k @ 4.1, SSD boot & cache drive) is now faster. I don't have to wait for rendering / filters hardly at all.

You pay for it but over all this is a nice, nice card.
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on May 5, 2013
This card had great performance for a couple months before the overheating issues really started to become a problem. The overheating damaged the card so much, it stopped functioning correctly. I filed an RMA and had the card swapped, except the new card idles at 45C, and jumps up to 95C playing games at medium settings. MSI actually managed to replace my card with a worse one. Too many people online are reporting similar issues with overheating and poor quality control. I won't be purchasing MSI products anymore thanks to the terrible support I received for such an expensive product.
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on January 5, 2013
Picked this card up to replace a 5870 that was giving me fits playing FarCry3 . Before while my old ATI 5870 played all the games I did have frame rate issues with a lot of the new games and with farcry3 it went to blue screens on the average twice a playing session .

The MSI card is huge it's a good inch longer than my old one so anything less than a full size case you may have issues fitting it and you need a serious power supply to feed this thing . Graphics with the newest AMD 12.11 beta driver are unbelievable , no stuttering or artifacting and the colors really pop out at you now .

Only tried Farcry so far but if it's any indication this is about the best bang for the buck on the market in price range .
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