The choice of AMD or NVIDIA graphics is constantly becoming a difficult choice for enthusiasts thanks to an almost level playing field as a result of strong competition between AMD and NVIDIA.
Both brands ave their pros and cons but offer a very similar experience. Choice has become a more personal one, often of brand loyalty than technical.
Add in board partners are constantly releasing custom design graphics cards which squeeze every bit of performance and cooling for both brands equally.
HAWK - MSI's second highest model line (there is Gaming, Hawk and Lightning) offers strong overclocking and tweaking without being too intimidating to the enthusiast who isn't into modding or custom cooling. Their latest version is no exception.
In our fly-off, we were quite impressed with the speed and handling of both the AMD Radeon R9 270X and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 based MSI HAWK cards.
Out of the two cards, neither was the outright winner. The winner, however is the consumer. Read on to find out why.
These cards cater for a more enthusiast audience who are familiar with tweaking their graphics card's clock speeds and voltages It would be fair to call both cards reviewed here heavy duty high performance parts. Both offer full voltage adjustments which are not available on reference cards.
|Name||N760 Hawk||R9 270X HAWK|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760||AMD Radeon R9 270X|
|GPU Base Clock||1111 MHz||1100 MHz|
|GPU Boost Clock||1176 MHz||1150 MHz|
|Memory Clock||6008 MHz||5600 MHz|
|Memory Size||2048 MB GDDR5||2048 MB GDDR5|
|Memory Bus||256 bits||256 bits|
|Output||DisplayPort / HDMI / DL-DVI-D / DL-DVI-I||DisplayPort / HDMI / DL-DVI-D / DL-DVI-I|
|Power Consumption||170 W||161 W|
|Card Dimension||264x130x40 mm||263x136x38 mm|
|Multi-GPU Technology||3 Way SLI||AMD CrossFire technology|
|Multi-Display Technology||3-Way Surround||AMD Eyefinity technology|
|3D Technology||3D Vision||AMD HD3D technology|
|Power Saving Technology||Y||
AMD ZeroCore Power technology
AMD PowerTune technology
|GPGPU technology||CUDA/PhsyX||OpenCL/AMD APP Acceleration|
|Power Supply||500W||500W with 12 volt at 30 amps|
While the cards themselves are fascinating, the actual retail bundle leaves much to be desired. The usual 'throw-away' driver/application/norton anti virus CD, a generic quick start guide and DVI-VGA adapter are bundled.
It would have been beneficial to the enthusiast target buyer to include some extra adapters or cables as ASrock and Sapphire do.
As far as software goes, to utilise the full voltage adjustment features of the HAWK, Afterburner beta 17 is required which was made available after the cards release.
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