As follows from the license agreement attached to the program, the use of this utility is free for the end user, but the distribution right belongs exclusively to MSI, as its name eloquently hints at. That is, its appearance in the file archives of third-party sites without the permission of the company is not entirely legal.
Why do we honor this fact with attention? In the expanses of the former USSR, the phrase "the right to intellectual property" belongs to the category of "an obscure pun." It is currently unknown whether MSI will tightly control third-party sites in terms of distribution of the program. We respect intellectual property and downloaded the program from the official site to write a review :).
In addition to being distributed from the official site, MSI Afterburner will also be available on software disks supplied with video cards from this manufacturer. At the moment, there is no "binding" to cards exclusively manufactured by MSI, and you can freely use it on video cards of any brand. We hope that this practice will continue in the future.
By the way, the only technical support forum is not the company's website, as it would be logical to expect, but a completely different resource - the Guru3D.com portal. Unfortunately, users who do not speak "great and mighty" English will be left without support.
The program supports all current versions of Windows OS (except server solutions), GeForce 8X00 and newer video cards for NVIDIA and R3000 and newer for AMD. As you can see, unlike EVGA Precision, owners of old GeForce 6 and 7 series graphics cards are out of work. Users of Windows Vista and Windows 7 using User Account Control ( UAC ) will have to allow the program to start at every startup (including autoloading with the system), as for RivaTuner, but at least there are no warnings about installing unsigned drivers .
A new item immediately attracts attention - “Core Voltage”. Yes, it's nothing more than GPU voltage control . The option itself is not new, and advanced users of RivaTuner can already control voltage through the command line toolkit, but this setting is implemented in the user interface for products based on RivaTuner technologies for the first time. Below is a list of cards on which GPU voltage control can be implemented :
- AMD RADEON HD 5970 reference design with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- Reference design AMD RADEON HD 5870 with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- AMD RADEON HD 5850 reference design with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- Reference design AMD RADEON HD 5830 with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- Reference design AMD RADEON HD 5770 with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- Reference design AMD RADEON HD 5750 with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- Reference design AMD RADEON HD 5670 with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- AMD RADEON HD 5650 reference design with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- Reference design AMD RADEON HD 4870 with VT1165 voltage regulator
- AMD RADEON HD 4890 reference design with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- AMD RADEON HD 4870 reference design with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 (dual-board models only) reference design with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 reference design with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 ( 65 nm GPU models only ) reference design with VT1165 voltage regulator;
- MSI N275GTX Lightning with uP6208 voltage regulator;
- MSI N260GTX Lightning with uP6208 voltage regulator
- NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
It's nice that the list includes video cards based on GPUs from both NVIDIA and AMD. Subsequently, the list of cards on which such a setting will be possible will probably be expanded, including through new MSI video cards.
Of course, it should be mentioned that modification of the recommended board design by some manufacturers has become quite widespread, and in such cases this setting may not work correctly or not work at all. By the way, as such, there is no help in the distribution kit of the program - user assistance is implemented through the tooltip mechanism. After studying their contents, it is possible to disable the display of contextual help, which is quite logical. But if you have more complex questions that go beyond the available information, you will have to contact the program's technical support forum.
The monitoring window has a convenient option to detach from the main program window by pressing the "Detach" button and allows you to minimize the program to the system tray, leaving only this window. When the utility is opened again, all windows return to their original state. The user can set the number of monitored parameters using the “Monitoring” tab, available by pressing the “Settings” button at the bottom of the main program window.
The window allows you to select monitoring sources, arrange the order in which they appear in the window, and enable output of metrics to an overlay OSD menu as well as to the system tray. This will automatically launch another component of the program - the statistics server, well known to us from RivaTuner and EVGA Precision.
The same thing will happen when trying to monitor FPS . Such a launch implementation is quite justified when using the program by a wide range of users. But the most interesting thing awaited us when we tried to take control of the fan. The control algorithm chosen for MSI Afterburner captivates with clarity and ease. When you click on the "User define" button, access to another interesting "Fan" tab opens:
The screenshot shows the already edited cooler control algorithm. Editing is done by simply dragging the graph with the mouse. It is much more convenient and understandable than the threshold mechanism in RivaTuner. It is worth mentioning the "Profiles" tab.
Users can select a profile for 2D and 3D modes, which can be useful when overclocking a video card for 3D applications only, organizing various modes of operation of a video card without frequency separation, and problems with changing frequencies due to incorrect driver operation.
This is also not a novelty for such utilities, but the implementation of the mechanism in a particular case allows you to avoid a lot of questions from inexperienced users, with whom various forums were filled, because. Starting the statistics server and monitoring the use of hardware acceleration when selecting profiles occur automatically. The only thing to keep in mind is about applications that can use hardware acceleration and are not in the list of exceptions of the statistics server (for example, video players).
We tried to find the limit of overclocking the video card and discovered along the way that the program does not have any built-in stress testing mechanism and allows overclocking up to a cyclic driver reboot or a complete system freeze. Fans of extreme overclocking should take this into account, although this problem is inherent in almost all modern programs of this kind.
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