Experts say the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC is the video card to buy if you're looking for silky-smooth frame rates at standard resolutions in even the most demanding action titles. Both the memory and core GPU have been overclocked, resulting in a 5 to 7 percent jump over the stock GTX 560 Ti's already impressive performance numbers. MSI includes its Afterburner overclocking utility and testers report good results when pushing the card even further, largely because of the effectiveness of MSI's Twin Frozr cooling system. While the dual fans are praised for their cooling capabilities, they're a tiny bit louder than the fan on stock cards.
Drawbacks are minor for a graphics card in this price class, and the GTX 560 Ti is near the top of the Nvidia line as far as power efficiency, heat and noise are concerned. However, the newer AMD Radeon HD 7000 bests it in all of those categories. In addition, while the MSI card can play games at a perfectly acceptable 30 fps at 2,560-by-1,600-pixel resolution, gamers with large monitors may want to upgrade to a high-end card such as the XFX R7950 Double Dissipation Black Edition (*Est. $500) for best results.
Customers report poor to average customer service support from most video card manufacturers, and MSI is no different. While the company offers both a phone number for technical support and an automated RMA system online, customers at Newegg.com and TomsHardware.com forums complain of repeated cases of slow, unhelpful responses from MSI support staff, although most say their problems are eventually fixed. On the positive side, the warranty is three years from the date of manufacture, not purchase, and is based off the serial number so you won't run into return issues if you lose your receipt.
A large number of sources test the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC, and virtually all of them put the card through its paces in extensive, multipage reviews full of benchmark tests and comparisons to other video cards. The most helpful evaluations come from XBitLabs.com, Hexus.net, TomsHardware.com and Bit-Tech.net.
XBitLabs.com compares four different overclocked GTX 560 Ti video cards in this roundup, subjecting each to an extensive battery of tests. The MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC is called "an unrivaled winner" and given an Editor's Choice award despite its noisy fan.
Review: Hunter Squad: Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti Overclocked Roundup, Alexey Stepin, Yaroslav Lyssenko, April 18, 2011
Hexus.net runs a similar roundup, although this one is limited to three GTX 560 Ti cards. Again, the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC earns the crown, nabbing a rating of 4 out of 5. The strong fans and Afterburner overclocking utility add up to "a solid package."
Review: Review: Three-way GeForce GTX 560 Shootout - Gigabyte vs. Asus vs. MSI, Tarinder Sandhu, May 30, 2011
TomsHardware.com looks at the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC as part of an extensive five-card GTX 560 Ti roundup. The Asus ENGTX560 Ti DirectCU II TOP nabs the Recommended Buy award, but the MSI card earns praise for its 6 percent performance boost and low price compared to stock card prices.
Review: Five Overclocked GeForce GTX 560 Ti Cards, Compared, Thomas Soderstrom, Feb. 22, 2011
Bit-Tech.net's review of the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC benchmarks the card in several top action games. The cooling system draws kudos for its heat reduction chops, and Harry Butler is impressed that the card offers so much performance for near stock card prices. It earns an Excellence award here.
Review: MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC Review, Harry Butler, Jan. 27, 2011
TechPowerUp.com's review of the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC spans a whopping 31 pages. The conclusion sums up highlights and lowlights in bullet-point format if you don't feel like wading through page after page of benchmark numbers. Bottom line: The performance, price and low thermal numbers earn the video card a Recommended award, although the reviewer wishes the fans were less noisy under full load.
Review: MSI GeForce GTX 560 Twin Frozr II OC 1 GB, "W1zzard", May 17, 2011
Unlike the rest of our review sources, HardOCP.com evaluates the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC in a dual-card SLI setup, then compares the results to competing multicard setups. The MSI card performs well and runs cool, earning it an Editor's Choice Silver Award.
Review: MSI N560GTX Ti Twin Frozr II OC SLI Review, Brent Justice, Kyle Bennett, Feb. 21, 2011
Like other online sources, Guru3D.com benchmarks the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC in several games, plus tests its thermal and power numbers. Hilbert Hagedoorn calls it "an impressive card," and gives it a Tweakers Essential award due to its low temperatures and easy overclocking capabilities.
Review: MSI N560GTX Ti Twin Frozr II Review, Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jan. 26, 2011
HardwareSecrets.com tests only the MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC's gaming performance; thermal, noise and power levels aren't evaluated. In those gaming tests, however, the card significantly outperforms both the Radeon HD 6870 and the stock GTX 560 Ti, and Gabriel Torres gives it a Golden Award.
Review: MSI N560GTX-Ti Twin Frozr II/OC Video Card Review, Gabriel Torres, Jan. 25, 2011
"The MSI N560GTX-Ti pretty much hammers the overclocked Asus Radeon HD 6870," Loyd Case reports, adding that it also stands up well to the higher-priced XFX Radeon HD 6950. That kind of performance, combined with the MSI card's low thermals and competitive pricing, leads Case to give it a 9 out of 10 rating and Maximum PC's Kick Ass! award.
Review: MSI NGTX560 Ti Twin Frozr OC Videocard Review, Loyd Case, Jan. 25, 2011