Tuesday, March 6th 2012

MSI HD 7970 Lightning "GPU Reactor" Detailed

If you've seen the first pictures of MSI's Radeon HD 7970 Lightning graphics cards, you may have noticed an unusual-looking round cutout on its backplate, right behind the GPU. We are learning that this cutout, and the tiny headers on the exposed PCB are actually a socket for what MSI is referring to as a "GPU Reactor" (I can imagine Iron Man fans prepping their flame throwers right about now).

The "GPU Reactor" is a round add-on device that sits on this socket. It is essentially an add-on PCB that holds a battery of tantalum capacitors, which further conditions power for the GPU. Apart from capacitors, there are a few blue LEDs and a round, transparent window that make it light up. To what extant this gadget helps with maintaining stable OCs remains to be seen, but on the "flip-side", it could pose spacing issues with other add-on cards located right above HD 7970 Lightning cards that are outfitted with one of these.

Source: Lab501.ro
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53 Comments on MSI HD 7970 Lightning "GPU Reactor" Detailed

#1
LAN_deRf_HA
So if you don't buy it you get a retarded looking cutout on the back of your card, and if you do buy it you get a really retarded looking glowy plastic thingy. Clearly a win-win.
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#2
AphexDreamer
So what they do with games they are starting to do with GPU's?

Just release the dam thing with the few extra capacitors, I don't need to buy extra content for my GPU.
Posted on Reply
#3
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: LAN_deRf_HA
So if you don't buy it you get a retarded looking cutout on the back of your card, and if you do buy it you get a really retarded looking glowy plastic thingy. Clearly a win-win.
Bingo.
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#5
EarthDog
Oye...... I wonder how much this will cost and more specifically, regardless of cost, if its worth it. I know its not for 99% of users...
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#6
LDNL
Needs additional pylons
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#7
D4S4
and moar vespene
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#8
HossHuge
It probably does nothing just like the "so called" Lab Burst Mode on the MSI A75MA-G55 FM1 mobo.
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#9
Steevo
Possibly the same effect as decoupling caps on the die. Or just a sales gimmic.
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#10
Mistral
by: LAN_deRf_HA
So if you don't buy it you get a retarded looking cutout on the back of your card, and if you do buy it you get a really retarded looking glowy plastic thingy. Clearly a win-win.
You also get a free copy of the awesome Iron Man 2 game. (not confirmed)
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#11
jbunch07
MSI better be careful or they will soon be sued by Tony Stark.
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#12
1Kurgan1
The Knife in your Back
All I got to say is... Iron Man doesn't have a flamethrower (flames would scare civilians, he needs to look heroic).
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#13
raptori
is that suppose to be looking good or doing good maybe none... :shadedshu GDY MSI just put your extra capacitors within the card and done.
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#14
lZKoce
That is SO cool :) More bling-bling please. :D I've always like the asus mars GTX 280 with the GPU usage indicator on the side of the card. Bring the gimmicks! :D
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#15
m1dg3t
WTF were they thinking? I mean a yellow stripe is one thing but a silly capacitor add on, really :wtf:

They should make this card available sans cooler and with the "reactor core" built into the card itself :o
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#16
djxinator
I'm sorry but the Twin Frozr IV cooler is by leagues the sexiest GPU Cooler ever conceived.

I've been staring at the 7870 Hawk for some time now and realise I should be working.

I cannot wait for the benchmarks of the 7970 Lightning though - I want to see that 14+2 Phase Voltage Regulator in action - 1400mv stable anyone?
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#17
NHKS
MSI-R7970 Lightning scores for LOOKS:
Front(fan) side: 9/10
Backplate(PCB) side: 0/10

The presence of that R-core on the backplate means PCIE connectors on MB need to be atleast 3 slots apart for X-fire capability.
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#18
nonkX3
first is a fan that farts dust...second is a goofy battery wrongfully placed... oh how i can't wait to see what's next.
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#20
cadaveca
My name is Dave
I'll reserve judgement until results are shown, buut it occurs to em that it'd be extreme clocking users that would benefit from such stuff the most, however, at the same time, it might interfere with a pot's backplate.

I also hope you can change the LED colour...
Posted on Reply
#21
neko77025
by: NHKS
MSI-R7970 Lightning scores for LOOKS:
Front(fan) side: 9/10
Backplate(PCB) side: 0/10

The presence of that R-core on the backplate means PCIE connectors on MB need to be atleast 3 slots apart for X-fire capability.
Not sure if you have ever used A MSI Twin Froz III or ASUS DCII. They both clearly state you should not to run these cards back 2 back (blocks the air flow). Should Leave 1x PCI/E slot open. Anyhow what crappy motherboard makes you do 2x crossfire back2back. All RoG boards 2x cross-fire has 2x PCI/e slots in between them.
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#22
EarthDog
by: cadaveca
I'll reserve judgement until results are shown, buut it occurs to em that it'd be extreme clocking users that would benefit from such stuff the most, however, at the same time, it might interfere with a pot's backplate.

I also hope you can change the LED colour...
Winner winner....chicken dinner. :toast:

I didnt even think about how that would effect strapping a pot on it... But looking at it................I can still see the threads and at least my pot is a bolt through so it would work. Not sure about others (Tek9 slim/fat for example) with backplates (if those have a backplate).
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#23
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: LAN_deRf_HA
So if you don't buy it you get a retarded looking cutout on the back of your card, and if you do buy it you get a really retarded looking glowy plastic thingy. Clearly a win-win.
You forgot to mention that if you do use it, it makes the card too tall for another card to go next to it, turning the card into a 3 slot card...
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#24
AthlonX2
HyperVtX™
So will this card power my Iron Man suit?
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#25
neliz
MSI Rep
The correct name is "GPU Reactor" please put down your google-translate hazmat suits and carry on please!
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