MSI N460GTX HawkIn addition to its Cyclones, MSI is also marketing the GeForce GTX 460 Hawks which target advanced users with their higher overclocking capacities:
MSI N460GTX Hawk 1 GB: €190
MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack 1 GB: €200
The difference between the two versions comes in terms of the level of overclocking. While the stock card has clocks of 675 and 900 MHz for the GPU and the memory, the Hawk is up to 780/900 and the Hawk Talon Attack to 810/950. We tested the Hawk.
MSI started with the stock PCB but have revisited the power stage, which is sturdier with 7+1 phases (6 for the GPU). Connectivity hasn’t been changed and you still get 2 DVI Dual-Link outs and a mini-HDMI out.
The Hawk models are equipped with a Twin Frozr II cooler that MSI uses on many models. It isn’t really optimised for such a short PCB as the one on the GeForce GTX 460 and sticks out the back without much reason. It is based on an enormous aluminium radiator equipped with four heatpipes. There’s no radiator in contact with the power stage, but given that the cooler is equipped with two fans, plenty of cool air does flow over it.
On this model, MSI has placed contactors to read the different voltages easily.
MSI supplies a CD for drivers, a manual, a quick set-up guide, a DVI to VGA adaptor, a mini-HDMI to HDMI adaptor, 2 double molex to 6-pin PCI Express power supply cable convertors and 3 small cables to measure voltages.
The card is guaranteed for two years in Europe.
In terms of software, MSI supplies Afterburner for overclocking and Kombustor to test its stability.
Graphics card at idle.
Graphics card in load.
System at idle.
System in load.
The MSI GeForce GTX 460 Hawk is very well cooled both at idle and in load. It does however send a lot of hot air to the hard drive bay.
Temperature and noise readings
In spite of being significantly overclocked, the card is well cooled, with scores of 31 °C at idle, and 71 °C in load. Things don’t look as idyllic in terms of noise levels however – this is the loudest of the models tested here.
While advanced overclocking enthusiasts could be delighted with this cooling system, which seems to have plenty in reserve, and be able to monitor various voltages, others will look for another model with lower noise levels.