MSI R7970 Lightning Review

Editor: Richard Weatherstone  Date: 18-02-13   9 Comment(s) - Join the discussion here
Introduction
Product on Review: R7970 Lightning


Manufacturer and Sponsor: MSI
Street Price: £400 inc VAT

AMD's HD7970 has had quite a bumpy ride. When it was first introduced, it was received with open arms as it once again took the performance crown from NVIDIA. NVIDIA were not to be outdone though and the GTX680 put paid to AMD's celebrations. The GTX680 has held the crown over the past year however the waters have become less clear of late with some dramatic improvements in AMD's Catalyst drivers. While AMD have had a little longer to wring every last drop of performance from their flagship card, it is fair to suggest that both AMD and NVIDIA have mature drivers ready for download so what better card to test NVIDIA's resolve at the top of the charts with an overclocked, flagship HD7970 in the guise of MSI's R7970 Lightning.



Released 3 months after the reference HD7970, the MSI R7970 Lightning is touted as the cream of the crop, the headline act with a huge factory overclock of 1070MHz on the core and 1400MHz for the memory. Bearing in mind that the reference HD7970 had a 925/1375MHz on the core and memory respectively you can't be anything but impressed with MSI's overclock.



To get these overclocks, MSI didn't just tweak the BIOS, they started from scratch by designing their own PCB with a very aggressive 14+2+1 power phase design while using top of the line components. So on the face of it, with mature drivers and a stunningly fast card, the techs at MSI appear to have a card that is capable of toppling NVIDIA's finest. Ultimate speed however is not the be all and end all of MSI's design which we will examine in today's lengthy and detailed review so put the kettle on, put your feet up and sit back as we take you through our autopsy of the MSI R7970 Lightning.

About MSI
Since its founding in 1986, MSI has been demonstrating continued success in digital age. To achieve the best user experience, every component is essential. In the past 25 years, MSI always strives to provide digital products based on its core values –“Innovation” and “Style”. The results are products with superior performance, trusted reliability, excellent user experience and expressive style.

Embracing years of experience in design and manufacturing, MSI motherboard and graphics card have achieved maximum productivity by becoming one of the top 3 in the world. Our hard work have led us to become one of the finest brands in the industry with accumulated sales in more than 120 countries, 150 million motherboard users and 100 million graphics card users worldwide.


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