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
eidairaman1
by: neliz
The correct name is "GPU Reactor" please put down your google-translate hazmat suits and carry on please!
and where did you pull your info from if i may ask, otherwise it is faux
Posted on Reply
#2
neliz
MSI Rep
by: eidairaman1
and where did you pull your info from if i may ask, otherwise it is faux
I'm the guy partially responsible for it's name at MSI. :)
Posted on Reply
#3
eidairaman1
by: neliz
I'm the guy partially responsible for it's name at MSI. :)
Ya and Im the guy responsible for Intels Success;)

provide credentials please
Posted on Reply
#4
neliz
MSI Rep
by: eidairaman1
Ya and Im the guy responsible for Intels Success;)

provide credentials please
google neliz +msi .. and bta and cadaveca can vouch for me, don't worry :)
Posted on Reply
#5
EarthDog
Can you tell our (not TPU) PR rep to get us out a sample already Neliz... :p

We have all been DIEING to get a hold of anything from you guys!

EDIT: Let me add that comment is in fun. I talk with our rep a bit about availability, or lack there of. :)
Posted on Reply
#6
eidairaman1
by: EarthDog
Can you tell our (not TPU) PR rep to get us out a sample already Neliz... :p

We have all been DIEING to get a hold of anything from you guys!
I Know Right HAHA!
Posted on Reply
#7
neliz
MSI Rep
by: EarthDog
Can you tell our (not TPU) PR rep to get us out a sample already Neliz... :p

We have all been DIEING to get a hold of anything from you guys!

EDIT: Let me add that comment is in fun. I talk with our rep a bit about availability, or lack there of. :)
Soon, soon.. very soon.

this high res pic shows "GPU Reactor" , second line of "product features" on the R7970 Lightning Spec card.

Posted on Reply
#8
Dj-ElectriC
^That, is exactly what every HD7000 card needs in their BIOS. I'm sick of being limited...
Posted on Reply
#9
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: neliz
google neliz +msi .. and bta and cadaveca can vouch for me, don't worry :)
Whut!?!



:roll:



Anyway, If the "GPU Reactor" makes a difference on the cooler that ships with the card, that's cool.


PLEASE TELL ME YOU CAN CHANGE LED COLOUR!!! (red, or ?yellow?:laugh: hint hint)


:laugh:

And what's the 3x3 OC kit?
Posted on Reply
#10
neliz
MSI Rep
by: cadaveca
Whut!?!
:roll:
Wait... Who are you again? :p
And what's the 3x3 OC kit?
Triple Overvoltage (GPU/MEM/VDDCI)
Triple V-Check kit (GPU/MEM/VDDCI voltage)
Triple Temp monitor (GPU/MEM/PWM)
Posted on Reply
#11
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: neliz
Wait... Who are you again? :p
Not anyone who's seen an MSI boards on his doorstep recently.:laugh:

Wait, who's MSI, again? I haz confuse?

:nutkick:
Triple Overvoltage (GPU/MEM/VDDCI)
Triple V-Check kit (GPU/MEM/VDDCI voltage)
Triple Temp monitor (GPU/MEM/PWM)
Ah. I was maybe hoping that you might bundle some sort of display/manipulation device for all those features with the Reactor Core, as there are pretty standard for the Lightning cards, aren't they? Anyway, it said kit, so i though it might be something in it's own packaging or something. Maybe next time. ;)
Posted on Reply
#12
NHKS
by: neko77025
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.
I agree, you have a point!..

so this is not recommended for micro-ATX boards (Asus 'Gene' & MSI G45). Also, 3-way & 4-way X-fire might not be possible, I guess.
I just felt that this GPU reactor 'feature', however useful, should not have wasted space behind the PCB.
Posted on Reply
#13
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: neliz
The correct name is "GPU Reactor" please put down your google-translate hazmat suits and carry on please!


OK, "GPU Core Reactor".

by: neliz
google neliz +msi .. and bta and cadaveca can vouch for me, don't worry :)
Yup
Posted on Reply
#14
NHKS
For who are interested to know the clock speeds of the R7970 lightning:

The clocks on the MSI R7970 LIGHTNING are @ 1070MHz (1.07 GHz)

And the screen shot of it is attached below (thumbnail)


this info is from a german site I found..
http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,871188/Cebit-2012-MSI-zeigt-R7970-Lightning-1070-MHz-Chiptakt-ab-Werk/Cebit/News/

u can find all pics(20) of the card here:
http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,871188/Cebit-2012-MSI-zeigt-R7970-Lightning-1070-MHz-Chiptakt-ab-Werk/Cebit/News/bildergalerie/?iid=1635178&vollbild
Posted on Reply
#15
m1dg3t
I thought core was supposed to be 1300Mhz or similar? I mean 1070 isn't much higher than the 1k card's that are out right now :confused:
Posted on Reply
#16
NHKS
by: m1dg3t
I thought core was supposed to be 1300Mhz or similar? I mean 1070 isn't much higher than the 1k card's that are out right now :confused:
The 'stock' speed of the 7970 core is 925MHz.
1070MHz on the MSi R7970 LE means a 15.6% overclock, which as far as I know, is the highest speed for a "factory OC'd 7970 card".
Powercolor LCS 7970 (liquid cooling sys) is @ 1050Mhz,
XFX 7970 DD Black Edition @ 1000MHz &
Asus HD7970-DC2T-3GD5 @ 1000MHz.
Gigabyte GV-R797OC-3GD @ 1000MHz

click on the links to see the full specs.
Posted on Reply
#17
cadaveca
My name is Dave
i think the ASUS card is 1010, no?
Posted on Reply
#18
neko77025
I don't believe the 1070 ... that seems very very low.

And the power color 7970 PCS+ is 1100mhz ...


If it is 1070 .. it better OC too like 1300.
Posted on Reply
#19
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: neko77025
If it is 1070 .. it better OC too like 1300.
That what that slide that neliz posted shows..1300 MHz. hopefully every card does it, that'd be awesome for sure. IF the GPU Reactor is what makes this possible, then I'm all for it, ugly or not.
Posted on Reply
#20
EarthDog
I would imagine that unit would help PAST that point. MANY cards are darn close/over 1300Mhz on stock air anyway...Our (reference)sample hit 1.3k+ IIRC...
Posted on Reply
#21
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: EarthDog
I would imagine that unit would help PAST that point. MANY cards are darn close/over 1300Mhz on stock air anyway...Our (reference)sample hit 1.3k+ IIRC...
Sure. As far as I understand the slide, that 1300 MHz is refering to the CCC cap on a secondary BIOS, anyway. For me, this is ideal, as I prefer to not use other tools for VGA overclocks other than CCC. If, to make that work, the GPU Reator is needed, that is fine by me.

I mean, sure, you cna push other cards quite high, but I'm more concerned with SUPPORTED speeds. You know, speeds taht all the cards will do out of the box. My use of Eyefinity means that I need multiple cards to get the framerates I want, so cards with identical clocking abilities, and not needing other software to do it is of the utmost importance for me.

Of course, Eyefinity use itself is pretty uncommon, but to me, so is the extreme clocking scene. I mean, there are many guys to do it, but in the big picture, it's a single-digit percentage of users.
Posted on Reply
#22
EarthDog
Not sure what that slide actually means. I took it as a general idea of what the card can do. I did not take it to infer nor allude to any CCC limits...however it may not be coincidence they both end at 1300Mhz. :confused:

I hate CCC....its only use for me is jacking up the OCP/Power Limit thing. Outside of benching/reviewing, beasts like these run stock in my house.
Posted on Reply
#23
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Just read the top part of the slide thingie..says "Unlocked BIOS", shows higher limits, current included, so I tihnk they understand those needs and are going to address them. Of course, only neliz can answer that with any certainty.

And while I may bug him about me not getting samples, that really has nothing to do with him at all, so I do trust him to be honest about this stuff as much as he can.

I'd really like to get my eyefinity rig going right, I'm looking for a reference 6950 2GB so i can try trifire on those, and if that doesn't work, I gotta buy differnt cards. Maybe I'l ljsut no nV, I am not sure. But anyway, because of that config, I guess my needs might actually fit with what these cards offer. I'm hoping that they can do 1300 MHz, and that two of them would be enough for Eyefinity and 60 FPS.
Posted on Reply
#24
Dj-ElectriC
What's taking sapphire so long? maybe they are waiting for NVIDIA... idk. They have launched the ultimate HD6970 only the day HD7970 was launched.
The ultimate HD6970 (reference cost, DualFan cooling) is so powerful at overclocking it can reach around 1150Mhz core clock. 1100Mhz at only 1.215V! That's the power sapphire has.
Back in the HD5800 days they had the power to produce an HD5850 who could clock 1Ghz at Sub-1.2 volts, again, with advanced cooling and reference cost
Posted on Reply
#25
neliz
MSI Rep
by: Dj-ElectriC
What's taking sapphire so long? maybe they are waiting for NVIDIA... idk. They have launched the ultimate HD6970 only the day HD7970 was launched.
The ultimate HD6970 (reference cost, DualFan cooling) is so powerful at overclocking it can reach around 1150Mhz core clock. 1100Mhz at only 1.215V! That's the power sapphire has.
Back in the HD5800 days they had the power to produce an HD5850 who could clock 1Ghz at Sub-1.2 volts, again, with advanced cooling and reference cost
Reach clocks or actually benchmark at those speeds?
I don't see them on hwbot.org and if the cards clocked that easy, that well and passed benchmarks, they would totally dominate all benchmarks.
Posted on Reply
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