MSIâ€™s company tagline is â€œInnovation with Styleâ€ and looking at their portfolio of custom engineered graphics on the market today, we can see that they have done their own philosophy justice. Currently, most graphics card manufacturers are trending towards using their own custom PCB and coolers to differentiate their products from the competition but the result is a market flooded with choice. This is no doubt beneficial to consumers as competitions drives innovation and most importantly leads to reduced pricing but choice can also cause confusion. Are custom cards worth the extra over reference designs? Which brand should I opt for? These are some of the questions that strike buyers when presented with a vast list of graphics cards on e-tailor websites.
A few weeks ago, we looked at ASUSâ€™s custom solution at differentiating their high end graphics cards from the competition and this came in the form of the DirectCU II series which when teamed with AMDâ€™s HD6950 produced very favourable results in both performance and noise. MSI have gone several steps further with their Lightning series and brings new meaning to the word innovation. To start, MSI have improved on their Twin Frozr concept and created the third rendition in the form of the aptly named Twin Frozr III cooler. Furthermore, they have taken AMDâ€™s flagship Cayman GPU and teamed it with an unrivalled power circuitry using only the best selection of components to produce the fastest clocked version of the card on the market today. Our review sample comes clocked at a mighty 940MHz on the core, a 7% boost over the reference design and MSI state that the retail version will come clocked even higher at 970MHz! And to top it off, MSI have included a number of unique features such as voltage measuring points, triple overvoltage, a BIOS switch, dual 8 pin PCIe connectors and the popular Afterburner application.
I've been following reviews of this card closely since I first saw it posted on TPU but this one seems to be the most comprehensive review so far...