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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.

For testing the MSI R6970 Lightning, I have used our resident testbed which comprises of an Intel Core i7-2600K, Kingston HyperX T1 4GB DDR3-2200MHz memory, Gigabyte P67A-UD7 motherboard, Kingston V-Series 64GB SSD with Windows 7 Ultimate running on it; all of which is powered by a Cooler Master 1200W Silent Pro Gold PSU. For comparisons I have added the Zotac GTX 580 and 570 plus the AMD HD 6970 and 6950. Also, the recently reviewed N580GTX Lightning which, price and specs wise, happens to be the biggest competitor for the MSI R6970 Lightning. Apart from 3DMark, all benchmarks were run at a resolution of 1920×1200.

Apart from Far Cry 2 and 3DMark Vantage (obviously) the R6970 Lightning seems to be either touching at the heels of a standard GTX 580, or surpassing it. The MSI R6970 Lightning is one of the very few HD 6970 cards that, at factory settings, comes this close to a GTX 580 and threatens the lead from Nvidia’s second in command, now that the GTX 590 is out.

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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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