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MSI R6970 Lightning Review

By on March 28, 2011
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In the shadows of others.

Good: Extremely cool & quiet, Performs same as (and higher than) GTX 580
Bad: Doesn't overclock by a very huge margin
Price: AED 1,600
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

A few days ago I reviewed the MSI N580GTX Lightning card, which proved to be one hell of an overclocking beast at a price point that’s too good to miss. Will MSI’s R6970 Lightning which has received the same brilliant engineering treatment prove to be just as good?

Let’s take it from the top then. The MSI R6970 Lightning has the same Twin Frozr III heatsink as the N580GTX Lightning, so ample cooling and silent operations are the order of the day. While generally the two cards look identical due to the heatsink, the R6970 Lightning is slightly smaller and slimmer, coming in at 298x157x40mm. Once again, make sure your case can handle a card of this length before jumping in.

Components wise MSI has all their bases covered with R6970 Lightning thanks to 18-phase power connectors, 14 of which are dedicated just to the GPU, and 3 dedicated to powering the 2GB ram. And then there are the copper MOSFETS that allow for marginally cooler operations with a higher capacity for voltage load. MSI’s now standard fare on high-end cards, Military Class II components finish out the rest of the card with Super Ferrite Chokes and Hi-C capacitors for better longevity of the components.

And 8+6-pin power connection ensures ample power to all the components for the inevitable overclocking the R6970 Lightning will receive, with a minimum PSU required of 650W. MSI is shipping the R6970 Lightning with factory overclocked speeds of 920MHz on Core and 5500MHz on memory compared to reference AMD speeds of 880/5500MHz.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

Comments
  • sehkn

    But how come its 50dhs more than the GTX580 lightning?! o_0

    • http://twitter.com/taimoorh Taimoor Hafeez

      Coz it’s $10 more than the N580GTX Lightning :(

  • Colaxs

    Hi Taimoor

    I don’t know how you guys seem to get these cards when we dont lol. I asked Prox about the 580 lightning card and they told me that they only have the direct cu2 version, at a much higher price than what you guys recommend :)

    would you mind giving us the benefit of your influence lol

    • http://twitter.com/taimoorh Taimoor Hafeez

      We usually get engineering samples which, for all intents and purposes, is what the final retail product will be. This basically means we have the products, and sometimes even the review, out a week or two before it hits the market.

      The N580GTX Lightning card is not available anywhere in the world right now (another week’s waiting perhaps). It’s not that UAE is late in getting them. Heck, we usually have these types of products even before they are available in EU and US; benefits of being close to Taiwan & China :)

  • Luay

    MSI,

    Why would you give away this cooler for free on the GTX 580 and charge so much for it on the HD 6970? How much do you intend to price the HD 6950?

  • Luay

    MSI,

    Why would you give away this cooler for free on the GTX 580 and charge so much for it on the HD 6970? How much do you intend to price the HD 6950?

  • Luay

    MSI,

    Why would you give away this cooler for free on the GTX 580 and charge so much for it on the HD 6970? How much do you intend to price the HD 6950?

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