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
swirl09
NHKS said:
'Dust removal tech', well it might seem gimmicky & redundant, but I guess it sort of works.. links here(official info)
(Couldnt resist!)
That link made me for real LOL, the pic with "DUST REMOVAL" across it, the blades look dirty >.
That aside, the difference in price I can justify (personally, anyway) with the superior grade mats used on this card, the OC also gives a few more FPS which is the #1 decider for most people looking at this range of product.

...C'mon nV, what you got?
Posted on Reply
#2
Dj-ElectriC
Sapphire really really hasn't said it's last word. You guys forgot about Vapor-X\TOXIC and atomic already?
Posted on Reply
#4
NHKS
deadmansclick said:
anybody know what volts this cards running?
in the screenshot from neliz showing the card OC to 1800MHz(phew!), MSI afterburner shows core voltage @ 1.7V
Posted on Reply
#5
neliz
deadmansclick said:
anybody know what volts this cards running?
Depends a bit on the GPU, but between 1.07 and 1.17.


NHKS said:
in the screenshot - MSI afterburner shows core voltage @ 1.7V
That's under LN2 you silly..:p and 1.7v is not something you can achieve with regular Afterburner
Posted on Reply
#6
djxinator
Bitches have forgotten about HIS ICE-Q

Remember their iteration of the 4850/70? That beautiful, wonderful cooler.

I'm rooting for MSI Though...for now...
Posted on Reply
#7
NHKS
neliz said:
That's under LN2 you silly..:p and 1.7v is not something you can achieve with regular Afterburner
i know.. i just edited my comment... i didnt mean for the card itself;)


is the 1800MHz clock a new record for GPU OC??!
i guess GTX580 was the previous GPU @ 1500+MHz (not sure)
Posted on Reply
#8
neliz
NHKS said:
is the 1800MHz clock a new record for GPU OC??!
i guess GTX580 was the previous GPU @ 1300+MHz (not sure)
We got 1700 MHz for the 580 Lightning, this is the same frequency as the asus 7970 DCII, 1800 MHz is just that one step beyond ;)

Unless someone got an S3 Chrome up to 2.45 GHz :p
Posted on Reply
#9
jaredpace
Man I love TPU. Neliz thanks for the quick link to Elmor's wr. Whats the volt limit for us average Joes on this card?

Any pics of Elmor's setup? Was he using the reactor cap mod? What take so long to bring this to market?
Posted on Reply
#10
neliz
jaredpace said:
Man I love TPU. Neliz thanks for the quick link to Elmor's wr. Whats the volt limit for us average Joes on this card?
In short, it's probably best if average Joe doesn't jam 1.7V at 1800 MHz through his GPU with a stock cooler. Twin Frozr IV is good, but those thermal values (level INSANE) are only for pro's (with LN2).
Any pics of Elmor's setup? Was he using the reactor cap mod? What take so long to bring this to market?
No pics, but video!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5M3dm23VLM

Yes the GPU Reactor was used for this WR :)

"take so long?"
normally it takes MSI 6 months to get a card like a Lightning out of the door.
Because you have to remember that this design has nothing to do with the reference design, the only thing still original is the GPU pinout and that's about it.

But because of a new design team that focuses specifically on cards like Lightning, we can now get the card just two months after it hits the store, the new R7870 Hawk might even be faster!

So now, we're not releasing a slightly modified card now and then something full-flung later on. this is it, this is the best of the best, on the market earlier than anything else. Heck there might not even be models like a "Matrix" this time around.

Hope this answer helps, we're not particularly slow, it's just a heck of a lot of work to design a 10-Layer ultra-high end PCB in just a few months. (And then I'm not even talking about the hardware features and SW/BIOS work)
Posted on Reply
#11
NHKS
neliz said:

Hope this answer helps, we're not particularly slow, it's just a heck of a lot of work to design a 10-Layer ultra-high end PCB in just a dew months. (And then I'm not even talking about the hardware features and SW/BIOS work)
and the premium of 70$ over reference does makes sense now.. great effort!
Posted on Reply
#12
neliz
NHKS said:
and the premium of 70$ over reference does makes sense now.. great effort!
That and higher specced components (GDDR5, Military Class III PWM, Thermal Design, gold plated I/O)
Posted on Reply
#13
yangwangbrock
Big fan of MSI lightning Twin Frozr III...Will eventually get a pair of these cards.

Why wouldn't MSI put its TF III design on 6990 or 7990?
Posted on Reply
#14
zargana
neliz said:
Got that first part covered Jared!.. 1800 MHz for the R7970 Lightning:)
http://i.imgur.com/m1fvd.jpg

@zargana, 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
I checked also the HH review and compared both cards. I still believe Sapphire's Dual-x version is better. Also not need to mention the dual-x uses the reference pcb... But that not means every time the reference pcb must be bad...

I need to make this clear; i don't play "record games" like Elmor. I just search the best solution; less heated and quiet card on the market. And the arrow points for me dual-x.
Posted on Reply
#15
cadaveca
My name is Dave
neliz said:
That and higher specced components (GDDR5, Military Class III PWM, Thermal Design, gold plated I/O)
When will I get introduced to these components?
Posted on Reply
#16
jaredpace
zargana said:
I checked also the HH review and compared both cards. I still believe Sapphire's Dual-x version is better. Also not need to mention the dual-x uses the reference pcb... But that not means every time the reference pcb must be bad...

I need to make this clear; i don't play "record games" like Elmor. I just search the best solution; less heated and quiet card on the market. And the arrow points for me dual-x.
Neliz thanks for the overclock and awesome video! Great job. Even though the lightning has the speed record... Opinions like this is why MSI needs to send this board to a real Overclocker like Damien. They can put it through trials on air and test the TFIV. Hopefully Wizzard gets one and does an awesome OC write-up on it.
Posted on Reply
#17
NHKS
yangwangbrock said:
Big fan of MSI lightning Twin Frozr III...Will eventually get a pair of these cards.

Why wouldn't MSI put its TF III design on 6990 or 7990?
in case u havent noticed, this one R7970 lightning, apparently uses Twin Frozr IV .. the main change being the use of 10cm :cool: fans over 8cm in TF III..

"TF III design on 6990".. hmm.. thats an interesting case but as far i know there are only after-market custom coolers for 6990 & the GTX 590..
so if TFIII has 2 fans for a single gpu card, then for 6990 it would mean.... :D
Posted on Reply
#18
cadaveca
My name is Dave
jaredpace said:
... Opinions like this is why MSI needs to send this board to a real Overclocker like Damien.
At the same time, extreme OC shows don't fully relate to the end user how the card is useful to them on a daily basis.

there's no such thing as a "real overclocker"...we all just change the settings that are provided to us. The hardware dictates the reults. The only skill the guys that go LN2 have, is dealing with coldbugs, which when you know how, ain't all that hard.

In fact, that skill should be shared knowledge, so that normal users can attempt as well. And becuase it's not, that makes the extremescene useless, except for those that do it...jsut a fancy show.


A cool fancy show, but still...it's not something 99% of users are interested in. Videocards are too expensive for end users to do such things. End users want to know that the card works the best, out of the box, without having to install extra tools, or any of that stuff. World frequency records have little importance to most, and that's been related by memebers here time and again.


That why NONE of my reviews have anything "extreme" in them, when it comes to clocking...I want to show users what they can get and use every day, not what they can spend an extra $3000 on to attempt, and fail at.
Posted on Reply
#19
neliz
cadaveca said:
When will I get introduced to these components?
You want private tutoring D?
Posted on Reply
#20
cadaveca
My name is Dave
neliz said:
You want private tutoring D?
:laugh:


No, but these cards do take ssome time before hitting retail locally. I'm curious how long it's going to take to get wide distribution.


Maybe I can buy one and show what people can do with one, for 24/7 purposes.
Posted on Reply
#21
neliz
cadaveca said:
:laugh:


No, but these cards do take ssome time before hitting retail locally. I'm curious how long it's going to take to get wide distribution.


Maybe I can buy one and show what people can do with one, for 24/7 purposes.
Actually they are shipping now so you should have local retail availability somewhere next week.
Posted on Reply
#23
NHKS
cadaveca said:

Maybe I can buy one and show what people can do with one, for 24/7 purposes.
I hope you r serious, sir!.. I really want u to show what an average user(like me) can further do with this card, besides buying it(for which I havent the money yet :o)..
i do agree on ur point that extreme OC is not for everyone.. its more abt bragging with scores/records..

the added features useful or not, cards like these are a great efforts, i must say.. from a technical/engineering prespective.. something like engine/vehicle tuning some firms do for more performance.
Posted on Reply
#24
cadaveca
My name is Dave
Unfortunately I don't review GPUs, that's W1zzard's job, so it will be some time before I get one, if i do. Unless neliz throws me a bone. :laugh:


(Which he cannot...no VGAs for me. Anything VGA-related must go to W1zz. I'm not even on the same side of the pond.:laugh:)
Posted on Reply
#25
neliz
cadaveca said:
At the same time, extreme OC shows don't fully relate to the end user how the card is useful to them on a daily basis.
That's why samples go out to both "normal" reviewers as well as guys that professionally overclock.


cadaveca said:
Unfortunately I don't review GPUs, that's W1zzard's job, so it will be some time before I get one, if i do. Unless neliz throws me a bone. :laugh:
I first want to keep one for myself!
Posted on Reply
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