Cooling, Noise, and Power
With the new Twin Frozr V cooler I was especially curious how it would perform. Past MSI cards have always done very well so my expectations were high. Before I got to testing the cooler I did run the 960 Gaming 2G through our power consumption testing. Here I documented the idle wattage of our test bench with the card in it as well as the peak wattage when running through the heaven benchmark 4.0. This gives us a good idea of peak power in game without abusing the card with something like furmark that doesn’t show you what to expect in game. So how did it perform? Well at peak load it pulled 326, one watt less than the Asus. That put the MSI slightly above a 650 Ti and well below the R9 270X.
For noise testing I should preface with how the fans on the GTX 960 Gaming 2G work. The card has what they are calling Zero Frozr. Basically this does two things. For starters the fans don’t turn on until things warm up making the card silent until it is needed. Secondly the two fans run independently of each other. This means as things heat up one might speed up more than the other. The independent fans interested me at first but after thinking about it I can’t think of any time that I would want one fan to speed up and get noisier when I could be using both at a slightly lower and quieter fan speed. That said I am always a big fan of not having the fans come on until they are needed. Asus has been doing this for a while now with their Strix cards and it is a great feature. So how did it perform in noise testing? Well extremely well. At idle the fans were off and running silent. From there at 50% fan speed the card was decent but it is the 100% fan noise that I was happiest with. At 71.1 decibels it was nearly the quietest card tested performing quieter than the Asus.
Okay so the MSI GTX 960 Gaming 2G runs quiet but what does that mean for its cooling performance? Well when using Heaven Benchmark 4.0 to heat things up I saw a peak temperature of 61 degrees. This is three degrees warmer than the Asus GTX 960 but still extremely respectable.