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MSI GTX 760 ITX Video Card Review: Mini Card for Mini Builds

Author: Josh Walrath
Manufacturer: MSI

MSI GTX 760 ITX Features Continued and Impressions

The card is built with MSI’s “Military Class Components”.  These are typically solid capacitors, Hi-C caps, and super ferrite chokes.  The specifications of these parts are at a higher level than what is typically needed for a card of this class, or at least what is specified with the reference design for this particular GPU.  Regardless, we are unlikely to see the bursting caps of yesteryear that plagued MSI for quite some time.

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The bundle is a little more basic than we have been used to in the past, but it covers all the bases.

The other features of this card revolve around the software suite that MSI includes with it.  The Gaming App is an easy way to adjust performance from OC Mode, Gaming Mode, and Silent mode.  These are preset values which are guaranteed to work for every card.  This little app makes it quick and easy to change through these three settings, depending on how the user wants the board to perform and what kind of fan noise they are willing to put up with.

The Afterburner overclocking client is a staple for users around the world.  Based off of the technology in Rivatuner, it is a fully functional and well fleshed out utility that allows users to explore the performance capabilities of their individual cards.  It can hook into the sensors on the board to give values for temperature, usage, clockspeed, and voltage across different components.  It also has a programmable fan control that allows users to tailor their experience in terms of cooling and noise.

Finally we have the Predator video capturing software.  This allows users to record their gaming experience so it can be reviewed or uploaded to the internet for others to enjoy.  This is a rather popular response to other applications like FRAPS, and it comes free with this video card.

 

Card Impressions

MSI seems to make a pretty good product when it comes to video cards.  We have covered their Lightning, HAWK, and Gaming products fairly extensively in the past few years.  Only on a few occasions have we had any kind of issue with their products, and even more rarely were they ever showstoppers.  Their pricing falls right in line with the rest of the industry, and their products are typically a few dollars less than competing non-reference products from Asus and others.

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The shroud is nicely embossed with the dragon and integrates the red and black motif effectively.

The build quality of the board is above average.  The overall design is quite pleasing to the eye.  The black shroud with red accents makes this an attractive fit for any windowed case.  The dragon logo embossed in the plastic is a subtle addition that again adds to the good looks of the product.  The video outputs are all near the base of the card, allowing the entire second slot area to be used for exhaust from the heatsink.  While it would have been nice to have had a second DVI port, the two mini-DP connections will allow this card to fully support three and four monitor configurations.

The fan is fairly quiet through most operational states.  When in desktop mode the fan is entirely silent.  Once gaming has begun then we see the fan start to make some noise, but not enough to be discerned over other case noises or the game that the user would be playing.  Only when overclocked to its highest point during repeated benchmark sessions did I hear the fan start to spin up where it would be noticeable to most people.  Even then it was not distracting or annoying as it does not feature a high pitched sound.

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From the bottom of the card we get our best look at the cooling mechanism.  Apparently the fins bend a little bit here and there during shipping...  Note as well the angled fins moving air towards the faceplate of the card.

The bundle is above average for a card in this price range.  It features the usual driver CD and manual, but it also includes another power cable, DVI to VGA adapter, and perhaps most interesting a mini-DP to full size DP adapter.  The packaging is excellent overall for protecting the card and for aesthetics.

I was quite pleased with this card overall in what it delivered.  The price now for this card is in the $210 range.  I find it pretty affordable for an NVIDIA enthusiast who is looking for a small form factor video card.  The GTX 760 is powerful enough to handle almost any 1080P gaming situation currently, and it has enough muscle to do Surround gaming with older titles or at lower quality settings.

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October 30, 2014 | 04:56 PM - Posted by Anon (not verified)

the temps are similar to a 970. just for a smaller card. rather get a 970

October 30, 2014 | 04:56 PM - Posted by Anon (not verified)

the temps are similar to a 970. just for a smaller card. rather get a 970

October 30, 2014 | 04:59 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nvidia needs to buy back all the 660s and discount the 760s or else we wont see the 960s this year with all the stock in the retail channel. With the higher prices that's even less likely to happen.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127794

$50 less and uses 40watts less. Unless your looking for a specific Nvidia game to play

October 30, 2014 | 11:48 PM - Posted by Shortwave (not verified)

700 series discounting is about to pop right now. Just noticed on newegg. Been waiting for my budget but high quality builds to jump from the refurb'd 660's to 760/770's.

Though we'll see what happens with this nvidia fiasco with dysfunctional tablets, I was working towards offering whole PC gaming packages with an included Shield and all the accessories needed to fully enjoy it. If I scrape that plan I'll likely go to AMD for a new solution. Was also working on a high quality cheap custom Google Cardboard head mount for Shield.. : (

October 31, 2014 | 07:40 AM - Posted by Edmond (not verified)

And there is a mini itx version of the 970 out already... for msrp of 330$...

October 31, 2014 | 11:17 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Yup, I believe I discussed those products from Asus and Gigabyte in my review.  $120 more expensive than this little number, which could translate into more memory, a bigger SSD, a faster processor, etc.  A pretty significant price increase at this level.

October 31, 2014 | 10:26 AM - Posted by donut (not verified)

Thanks for the review.

I'ed like to see a review of this one to:

http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?cid=1&gid=3&sgid=1227&...

October 31, 2014 | 11:15 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

That's another neat looking little card.  I will inquire.

October 31, 2014 | 10:39 AM - Posted by YTech

Josh,

Would it be possible to add some photos of the test PC? Curious to see how it looks inside a case (spacing, etc.)

Even thou this is ITX model, would you be able to use it on a ATX board?

October 31, 2014 | 11:14 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

You can absolutely use it in a regular ATX board.  It is just a small card, nothing is fancy or different about its actual implementation when it comes to spacing.  I will swap that into a full ATX case where I tested it this weekend and post a pic.

November 7, 2014 | 04:52 PM - Posted by jackalopeater (not verified)

I've got a Sapphire R9 285 Compact itx in a Corsair C70...it's kinda funny looking, but works great. Temps are surprisingly low, stays under 62*C

November 7, 2014 | 08:57 AM - Posted by obababoy

Here is the deal...If you are buying an mini-ITX motherboard to game in a SFF case like I did, You do NOT want to limit yourself to a case that requires this size GPU since they(the cards) are so little in variety. Temperatures really hurt in SFF cases and cramming a video card in there with only one fan is even worse. Again, if you are buying a SFF case for gaming get one that can use a full size card like my CM Elite 130. Think about it. You are getting a 1.5 year old mid-range card, do you really want to have tech that old?

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