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MSI 7970 Lightning - Experiences / Advice

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#1
So, does anyone have a MSI 7970 Lightning on TPU?
With the latest drivers from AMD, how does this card perform?

Since it has a ton of overclocking potential, I'm actually interested in picking up one of these cards. Any constructive feedback would be appreciated!

Do NOT turn this into AMD vs Nvidia. I want some knowledgeable feedback here, please.
 

Phusius

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#2
My reference Msi 7970 with no cooler except stock hit 1125/1575 20% slider with no voltage increase.

With my arctic 7970 3 fan heatsink/cooler on it, I bumped the voltage up quite a tad just yesterday, 1275 with 20% slider and hit 1300 core 1650 mem. and it didn't break 70 celsius 100% fans peed (even at 100% u cant hear the fans tho xD)... 1250 is much safer though so not ever going to use it on 1300 again (unless a game actually needs it like crysis 3 might), currently sitting at 1200/1600/1206v and never gets above 60 celsius in most games, more demanding games it gets to about 65 though.


why pay extra for the lightning? /shrug


edit: been using 12.8 drivers for awhile now with it. very impressed, stable all the time, not had one issue. i force vsync and triple buffering through ccc at all times just an fyi, except when benchmarking. just a tip, i dunno, i never notice any input lag and i still top the charts in MW3 online. /shrug
 
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#3
My reference Msi 7970 with no cooler except stock hit 1125/1575 20% slider with no voltage increase.

With my arctic 7970 3 fan heatsink/cooler on it, I bumped the voltage up quite a tad just yesterday, 1275 with 20% slider and hit 1300 core 1650 mem. and it didn't break 70 celsius 100% fans peed (even at 100% u cant hear the fans tho xD)... 1250 is much safer though so not ever going to use it on 1300 again (unless a game actually needs it like crysis 3 might), currently sitting at 1200/1600/1206v and never gets above 60 celsius in most games, more demanding games it gets to about 65 though.


why pay extra for the lightning? /shrug


edit: been using 12.8 drivers for awhile now with it. very impressed, stable all the time, not had one issue. i force vsync and triple buffering through ccc at all times just an fyi, except when benchmarking. just a tip, i dunno, i never notice any input lag and i still top the charts in MW3 online. /shrug
Thanks for the info Phusius. I'm interested in the lightning because it supposedly has "great overclocking potential" and aftermarket cooling to keep things cool. I've had a reference 7970 in the past and like you've stated, they can hit 1200+ core with a small voltage increase. I'm hoping the lightning can do 1300+ core since it has the supporting hardware and voltage features to keep it cool and stable.

Are there ANY 7970 lightning owners on TPU? I might be asking this question on the wrong forum. :confused:

I'm actually going to order up some stuff today and I may just bite the PCB and get the 7970 lightning. (you like that? bite the PCB, :D )
 
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#4
unless your going to watercool the lightning might not be the card you need, don't get me wrong the PE edition that i have clocks like a b*tch on air but it really wants water or LN
 

Phusius

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#5
I think even with water it won't be 100% stable past 1300 core, just its limit really.
 

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#6
W1zzard's sample turned out pretty well: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/HD_7970_Lightning/31.html

That being said, regardless if it is a Lightning version or not, every card will clock differently sometimes better sometimes worse. It's up to you to decide if the price premium of the card is worth the gamble on the clocks.
 
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#7
W1zzard got some really nice results. Thats a huge increase on the memory speed he got, wow.
I'm at stock sitting at a measly 1100/1500. Still getting my rig CPU oc stable. GPU will be next.

Thanks for the input fellas.
 

Phusius

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#8
W1zzard's sample tuned out pretty well: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/MSI/HD_7970_Lightning/31.html

That being said, regardless if it is a Lightning version or not, every card will clock differently sometimes better sometimes worse. It's up to you to decide if the price premium of the card is worth the gamble on the clocks.
What are normal VRM temps? At 1600 mem I see VRm 1 hitting 99 celsius and VRM 2 hittin 74 or so celsius, is that normal? knocked it down to 1550 just to be safe until I get a reply. core temp never breaks 60 celsius at 1200 core.
 

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#9
VRM1 temp is high. Not sure if it pertains to the RAM or GPU voltage. If you have added voltage to the card, lower it.
 

Phusius

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#10
VRM1 temp is high. Not sure if it pertains to the RAM or GPU voltage. If you have added voltage to the card, lower it.
oh crikey :( ty erocker. /pout
 
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#11
At 1600 mem I see VRm 1 hitting 99 celsius and VRM 2 hittin 74 or so celsius
Running @ 5760x1080..3x1@ 1920x1080 mem 1600 mem v@1600mV. Kombuster 2.4 @ 1920x1080 in middle screen GPU burn-in for 5 min. 3 runs fan @ auto both VRM temps never hit above 48c ambient room temp 22c.
I'D check the card to see if you have good contact with the pads & the sink. When I had mine apart the pad was offset on the chips

core@1145 stk v mem@1650 @1625mV Played dirt showdown @ ultra settings 5760x1080 51c mav temp on vrm1 48 max on 2
 
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#12
So I'm running my 7970 lightning at 1150/1600 on stock volts and that's about the max core it will do before needing more than 1.17v. I gotta say... this card rips. Handles BF3 really well on maxed settings. Very smooth gameplay, well above 70fps in every situation (I'd say the average is more near 80-85fps). Load temp's barely touch 60c. The price hike is worth it in cooling/sound ratio alone.

Verdict - Awesome card.