Friday, March 16th 2012

MSI Announces Next Generation R7970 Lightning Graphics Card

Leading international graphics card and mainboard maker MSI today announced the release of the MSI R7970 Lightning, the new heir to the throne of Lightning graphics cards. Equipped with AMD's 28 nm Radeon HD 7970 GPU, the MSI R7970 Lightning features an all-new Unlocked Digital Power Architecture that incorporates an Unlocked BIOS, Digital PWM Controller, and Enhanced Power Design to boost overclocking potential to new heights and make overclocking easier than ever.

In an industry first, the proprietary "GPU Reactor" power supply module reduces power supply noise and also boosts overclocking stability as well. To keep this beast cool, the MSI R7970 Lightning utilizes the latest Twin Frozr IV Thermal Design equipped with Dust Removal Technology. The dual 10 cm fans with Propeller Blade Technology generate massive airflow for fast heat dissipation while remaining whisper silent. The two form-in-one heat sinks improve cooling for memory and the power supply module as well ensure structural integrity.


The R7970 Lightning uses Military Class III components which have passed rigorous third-party testing to meet MIL-STD-810G standards, guaranteeing the card's stability and reliability under actual use conditions. Moreover, the "3X3 OC Kits" are designed to simplify overclocking, which makes it easier than ever for enthusiasts to fine-tune the performance of their graphics cards. For both professional users and gaming enthusiasts alike, the R7970 Lightning's ability to simultaneously run 6 displays makes it the natural choice!

Unlocked Digital Power Provides Record-Breaking Potential

The R7970 Lightning boasts an all-new Unlocked Digital Power architecture that provides record breaking potential. The key components involved include the Unlocked BIOS, digital PWM chipset, and an improved power supply design. Unlocked BIOS removes CCC overclocking limits, Power Tune limit is increased by 180%, and OCP limits are relaxed to completely unleash the graphics card's overclocking potential. The digital power supply signal provides voltage signals that are more stable and accurate than conventional analog designs, meaning the voltage can be adjusted more quickly and precisely during overclocking. The improved power supply design provides double the power of the reference board and consists of 17 power supply parameters, dual 8-pin power supply connectors, and the Lightning Power Layer (LPL) design. For true overclocking enthusiasts, the R7970 Lightning with Unlocked Digital Power is simply a dream come true!

GPU Reactor for the Ultimate Power Core

The MSI R7970 Lightning implements the innovative "GPU Reactor" power supply module which, when installed on the back of the GPU, increases current volume by 88%, reduces power supply noise by 13%, and improves overall overclocking stability. MSI GPU Reactor is easy to install and has built in safety features that make it easy even for ordinary users to install and remove.

Extreme Cooling Design for Better Cooling and Structural Strength

The MSI R7970 Lightning incorporates the next-generation Twin Frozr IV Thermal Design. The striking design of the new Twin Frozr IV comes from the two large 10 cm PWM fans with Propeller Blade Technology that cool the advanced cooling body of the Twin Frozr IV. Under the aluminum Twin Frozr IV body, you can find a high density fin grid array that provides heat dissipating area that is fed by heat-pipes featuring MSI's SuperPipe technology. MSI has also incorporated its exclusive Dust Removal Technology. Fans are running in reverse for 30 seconds after booting to remove dust from the heat sinks and keep the graphics card's cooling performance running at optimum levels. The R7970 Lightning also boasts two form-in-one heat sinks. One heat sink is located on the front of the graphics card to cool the memory and power supply modules, while the second heat sink on the back of the card helps to protect and reinforce the card structure. This extreme cooling design provides the R7970 Lightning with the best cooling performance and the most reliable structure.

Premium Materials and User-friendly Overclocking Design

MSI has always led the industry thanks to its unyielding commitment to product stability and quality and made sure that the R7970 Lightning was equipped with Military Class III components certified to MIL-STD-810G military standards in seven different categories by a third-party laboratory. Be it tantalum core Hi-c CAP around the graphics card, the CopperMOS cooling design, the form-in-one Golden SSC, or as the card's moisture/rust-proof Dark Solid CAP, all work together to provide the MSI R7970 Lightning with the best possible stability

For overclocking enthusiasts, MSI has developed the 3X3 OC Kits: V-Check Points enable GPU, Memory and VDDCI voltage to be monitored while Triple Overvoltage and Triple Temperature Sensor enable overclockers to quickly fine-tune and track the performance of their graphics card using enthusiasts favorite Afterburner overclocking software. The 4 Mini DisplayPorts and 2 DVI ports on the R7970 Lightning enable AMD Eyefinity technology to drive 6 screen output with just one card, providing just the kind of performance industry professionals and gaming enthusiasts need.

As the new king of graphics cards, the MSI R7970 Lightning features many innovative technologies such as Unlocked Digital Power, GPU Reactor, Twin Frozr IV Thermal Design and 3X3 OC Kits. These technologies demonstrate MSI's use of industry-leading Research & Design to provide customers with an even more perfect user experience and product performance. Learn more about the R7970 Lightning, please visit: http://event.msi.com/vga/lightning/

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62 Comments on MSI Announces Next Generation R7970 Lightning Graphics Card

#1
buggalugs
Looks good, not sure about clocks, but I think its a moderate 1000Mhz like the Asus DCUII
Posted on Reply
#4
buggalugs
by: neliz
1070 MHz

?
Ok thanks, 1070Mhz.
Posted on Reply
#5
Sihastru
I'm sorry, but... SINGLE-LINK DVI ports? So no 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 resolution on DVI for this card?

That's a bit of FAIL! right there...
Posted on Reply
#6
buggalugs
by: Sihastru
I'm sorry, but... SINGLE-LINK DVI ports? So no 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 resolution on DVI for this card?

That's a bit of FAIL! right there...
Nope, AT least one of them is dual link.

Edit: It seems there is an error in the specs page, It says 2 single link DVI but further down its says Dual link DVI. Just an error I would say.
Posted on Reply
#8
djxinator
ITS SO BEAUTIFUL

I hope my bank doesn't reject the loan I'm gonna need for this...
Posted on Reply
#9
NHKS
I 'was' RIGHT :D about 1070MHz when I predicted it about 10 days back(my post on Mar 7), during CeBit reveal.. I had attached a GPU-Z screenshot from a German site.. hardly anyone believed me .. anyways good overclock on stock 925MHz (& higher than PowerColor LCS model-1050MHz)


Just to reiterate my score for looks .. here it is -> 9/10!!
Posted on Reply
#10
kroks
they are both dual link.. at least the connectors are (look at the pins)
Posted on Reply
#11
neliz
MSI Rep
by: NHKS
Just to reiterate my score for looks .. here it is -> 9/10!!
What would make it a 10/10?
Posted on Reply
#12
NHKS
by: neliz
What would make it a 10/10?
10/10 means perfection, which according to me is not having any more room for improvement.. Just to reason at your question, I reduced 1 becos I dont like the GPU reactor core on the PCB.. they could have done it a bit differently if they wanted to use light effects.. again its my personal opinion, just saying becos u asked.. lets not dwell over it again.. thumbs up for the card!
Posted on Reply
#13
neliz
MSI Rep
by: NHKS
10/10 means perfection, which according to me is not having any more room for improvement.. Just to reason at your question, I reduced 1 becos I dont like the GPU reactor core on the PCB.. they could have done it a bit differently if they wanted to use light effects.. again its my personal opinion, just saying becos u asked.. lets not dwell over it again.. thumbs up for the card!
Thanks for the feedback!
GPU reactor is optional, if you have no room for it in your case, you can simply remove it.
Honestly it's more a feature for extreme overclockers that really need every MHz out of their card, but it does offer some nice benefits for everyone that has the luxury of fitting it in their case (which is more than 99% of the people out there!)

The "Light effects" themselves don't influence the height of the card though, it's only a power indicator.
Posted on Reply
#14
swirl09
Amend the tech spec image? XD I seriously physically jitter when my eyes gaze upon only SL-DVI ^_^;;

Anyway, poor Sapphire, didnt even get 5 minutes of my attention thanks to this thing taking a dump on it lol - it would have to be significantly cheaper (which Im sure it wont be) than the lightning model to be considered at all.
Posted on Reply
#15
neliz
MSI Rep
by: swirl09
Amend the tech spec image? XD I seriously physically jitter when my eyes gaze upon only SL-DVI ^_^;;

Anyway, poor Sapphire, didnt even get 5 minutes of my attention thanks to this thing taking a dump on it lol - it would have to be significantly cheaper (which Im sure it wont be) than the lightning model to be considered at all.
For detailed high-res pics etc. check out: http://media.msi.com/main.php?g2_itemId=73939
Posted on Reply
#17
jaredpace
They only got 1265 core, but didn't say the voltage, fan speed or temperature. Damnit Stewart Davidson. Someone who knows how to overclock must get one of these cards and dothorough review of the overclocking. MSI, please send one of these to Hardware.fr for them to review it. That site does a ton of overclocking testing with thermal imaging and logging of temps and volts through every stage of the overclocking process. Hardware heaven didn't do anything, and he's using old versions of software - gpuz 5.7. Since they don't tell us, I'll have to guess as to increase in voltage from 1.174v up a little to get 1265mhz core. And 1500mhz memory... I'll wager he didn't even touch Memory voltage, Vddci or aux voltage. Ugh. May as well have been "just another reference 7970 review" the way this testing has been conducted.

This damn Lightning 7970 is made for overclocking and overvolting. Get this card to Wizzard, Damien, or XS forums so some good results can come up soon. The GTX680 drops next week, so we need some good results on the OC potential of the R7970 Lightning ASAP. No doubt it has the potential to leap frog the load of crap that is the Asus DCUII. If they have two chimpanzees and Hellen Keller doing quality control, MSI should have a better product than the Direct CU II boards. I'll just say 1265 is a good start and a stepping stone to 1800mhz on HWbot/XS.

6-8 months building this Lightning 7970, and release it 3 months after the reference 7970 debut and 1 day before the GTX680 debut without having some badass overclocking results to show the world along with it is terrible. MSI better be doing better QA testing than ASUS did. MSI already had the PCB design, wonder what took them so long. New revisions, testing drivers...
Posted on Reply
#19
Salsoolo
i dont get the Dust removal technology part :D
Posted on Reply
#20
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
the more i see these prices, The more I think Im gonna skip a generation...

Prices for a 7970 range from $680-760 Here in the UK which is just totally disgusting as newegg's prices start from UNDER $600
Posted on Reply
#21
swirl09
by: Salsoolo
i dont get the Dust removal technology part :D
Not much to get, its a tad gimmicky (or if dust build up is a real concern - then sort your living conditions out and worry less about your rig!). Same idea as the 580 extreme, the fans just spin in the opposite direction on initial power-up, which should blow out some dust that may manage to settle with the fans constantly going in the same direction. No harm I guess but a good case coupled with not living like an animal (and/or on a building site) and its not going to change your life ;-p
Posted on Reply
#22
NHKS
by: Salsoolo
i dont get the Dust removal technology part :D
'Dust removal tech', well it might seem gimmicky & redundant, but I guess it sort of works.. links here(official info) & ]here(video)


@620$ its expensive:eek: for a single-gpu card.. but this card's features beg u to OC it!!.. and I believe in the right hands it could provide 'nitrox' like performance boost to this card.. there will be takers for this card, no doubt

GTX680 cards sure have someone waiting for them..
Posted on Reply
#23
Salsoolo
by: swirl09
Not much to get, its a tad gimmicky (or if dust build up is a real concern - then sort your living conditions out and worry less about your rig!). Same idea as the 580 extreme, the fans just spin in the opposite direction on initial power-up, which should blow out some dust that may manage to settle with the fans constantly going in the same direction. No harm I guess but a good case coupled with not living like an animal (and/or on a building site) and its not going to change your life ;-p
lol yeah i just couldnt understand how dust could go away just by spinning the fans opposite.
every few months i open the case and start the blower, only way to remove dust :D
Posted on Reply
#24
zargana
by: neliz
1070 MHz

review: http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/1444/pg16/msi-r7970-lightning-enthusiast-overclocked-graphics-card-review-conclusion.html

Edit: Christian_25H, do you like the specs listed in that form or is it easier if every detail has it's own line?
I made this comment yesterday for the sapphire 7970 dual-x solution
by: zargana
I think sapphire dual-x solution is the best among others, even Asus DCuII 7970. I just wanna see the MSi's twin frozer. Then i will decide which direction should i go.

Sapphire Dual-x, beats others on cooling and quietness.
579,99$ @ newegg.
Today i would like to say i will definitely take the "sapphire direction."

http://www.kitguru.net/components/graphic-cards/zardon/sapphire-hd7970-overclock-edition-dual-x-review/18/

@Neliz thanks for the link.

Comparing both cards: (Weakness of the Lightning)
Draws higher power,
No performance difference, except the logical +70 mhz difference (as output FPS)
Low memory mhz (maybe higher memory settings can heat more the card and draw more wattage)

As i see Sapphire will hit top with the Dual-x among the 7970 series.

Personally i want to see graphic cards showdown review, especially with the oc versions of 7970 or 7950.
Posted on Reply
#25
neliz
MSI Rep
I'll just say 1265 is a good start and a stepping stone to 1800mhz on HWbot/XS.
Got that first part covered Jared!.. 1800 MHz for the R7970 Lightning:)
http://i.imgur.com/m1fvd.jpg

@[USER=103658]zargana[/USER], the 8W difference in power consumption can easily be explained by the higher clock speed, which does in fact translate into better performance.
As everyone knows, Memory OC doesn't impact as much as GPU OC does.

HardwareHeaven tested both cards and the Sapphire at 1000/1450 loses to the Lightning at 1070/1400, with the latter of course having much better OC potential (see the 1800 MHz above.)

HH Sapphire dual-X
HH R7970 Lightning
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