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[HH] Msi R7970 Lightning review

post #1 of 47
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et's cut straight to the point, the MSI 7970 Lightning takes AMD's high end GPU to a whole new level. We have seen custom design versions before but MSI have reengineered the product from the ground up and in almost every area have made improvements over everything we have tested to date.

Looking specifically at performance the MSI lightning scores well at its 1070/1400MHz where it seems the 7970 benefits from core increases more than memory as this model is a little lower than most OC models on the GDDR5 but still performs a little higher. Clearly though MSI don't really intend for people to run at those speeds as the card has been opened up for overclocking and that's what we did throughout this review. With the highest overclock we have achieved on a 7970 so far the MSI model was able to outperform the GTX 580 OC 3GB by significant amounts and the reference 7970 couldn't really compete either. In scenarios which were not game engine limited the extra MHz available on the Lightning allowed us to game with far higher framerates while maintaining low noise levels and power draw below the GTX 580.
The bottleneck
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E5400 @ 3.5 stock volts Msi g31 (no voltage control) Gtx 460 Hawk (Talons attack) 2g Ddr2 @ 651 
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The bottleneck
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post #2 of 47
Looks great, i cant wait to get my hands on some 680 lightnings to replace my 580 lightnings biggrin.gif
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post #3 of 47
Mother of god.

I know that lots of people like Lightnings but I have never read into why. That thing is pretty amazing. I might way for a Lightning 680.

How much do lightnings normally cost over reference?
Pooter
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post #4 of 47
They should have compared at least to the 580 lightning, not the zotac amp...

but regardless still a beast card, I just hate the part of metal that goes over the sli fingers preventing the use of straight bridges.

edit: also in for 680 lightnings lol, assuming a wb block comes out relatively close to release.
Edited by Hellish - 3/16/12 at 5:19am
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Intel Core i7-3930k @ 4.3 GHz Asus Rampage IV Gene MSI GTX 680 Lightning Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1866MHz 
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post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskerz View Post

Mother of god.
I know that lots of people like Lightnings but I have never read into why. That thing is pretty amazing. I might way for a Lightning 680.
How much do lightnings normally cost over reference?

A site has this card listed at $622. Around ~$80 more expensive compared to a regular 7970.
post #6 of 47
Damn, wish HH would run all those games at that max overclock I want to see these cards unleashed.
    
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post #7 of 47
The card appears impressive but what always frustrates me is the number of reviews that only include 1 or 2 benchmarks after the card is overclocked. Why not include a separate graph for each game including the default and overclocked results?
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post #8 of 47
When are these going to be available?
post #9 of 47
Giong to be a sweet card thumb.gif
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post #10 of 47
not bad.
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