In addition to the open air test bench, I also tested the MSI 760 HAWK in the Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 and the Thermaltake Core V71 cases in conjunction with other reviews to see how it fared thermally and acoustically inside a case. All of the benchmarks results were undertaken on the open air test bench.
With factory overclocked cards, there is often little headroom and it really is a lottery to see how far you can push the GPU. In our case, we managed to push the GTX760 GPU to 1293MHz and the Memory to 3304MHz with the LN2 BIOS switch enabled. This gave us an additional bump of around 10% in frame rates and benchmarks without excessive heat or noise and was stable for all benchmarks and games. Any higher than the GPU clock of 1293MHz resulted in stability issues but this was still higher than we had expected given the factory overclock.
Noise and Temperatures
At stock settings with the factory overclock, the card didn’t go over 70 degrees and was inaudible under load.
Even overclocked, the Twin Frozr IV cooler kept the card under 80 degrees without the noise being noticeable over a standard rig’s case fans. On the open air test bench, we saw lower temperatures in the mid 70’s with an ambient room temperature of 25 degrees. It was possible to hear the fans on the open test bench but only from about 5-10cm away. The cooler is impressive – no doubt about it.
Running either overclocked or as it comes out of the box, I couldn’t hear it over the case fans in either case that we used. So in a reasonably ventilated case, I doubt you would be able to identify the noise of the HAWK over other components such as hard drives, the CPU cooler, PSU or case fans – even in a really quiet build. The Twin Frozr IV is ideal for a steam machine or HTPC that you also play high end titles on at 1080p.
We also dabbled in 2560×1440 gaming because we could and we thought that with the 27″ displays becoming more popular it would be worth spending a little while checking it out.
Skyrim was pretty impressive, even for an older title with an average score of 79 FPS out of the box and 83 FPS overclocked at 2560×1440. If you loaded some custom texture packs at that resolution, the 2GB of VRAM would likely cause some problems but on the 27″ display at the high resolution it looked really pretty and was very immersive.
Battlefield 4 was very playable with an average of 64 FPS at the factory overclock and 77 FPS with the additional overclock applied. Given that the monitor is a 60Hz screen, these frame rates are acceptable but there were times when the minimum frames recorded of 42 and 51 respectively were noticeable so if you do want to game at 2560×1440 then you might need to wind back in the eye candy department but overall it was impressive for a mid range card.