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MSI R6970 Lightning

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#1
The card just arrived, thank you so much to MSI for the opportunity to test this. In the meantime, how about some photos.


























 
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#2
Testing Components:
Intel Core i7 2600K
MSI P67-GD55
G.Skill Pi 2x2GB 2400mhz 9-11-9
MSI R6970 Lightning
CPU Cooling: Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme
Silverstone Strider 1000w PSU


Testing everything at stock. Like the setup is being run for the first time out of the box, other than setting memory speed, timings, and voltage.
















Next, I bumped the CPU multiplier up to 42x to check for CPU scaling with stock card clocks. Obviously some benchmarks will scale more than others with only a CPU frequency increase. I was actually surprised to see such a gain in Heaven though, given how GPU-dependent the benchmark is. That would seem to indicate a bottleneck somewhere between the ~3.5ghz used in the first round of testing, and the ~4.2ghz used in this one.











Next I started testing some card clocks. Obviously, 1000mhz was a piece of cake with stock voltage. I still have the BIOS switch set to "Silent" and the card is exactly that. With the CPU still running on the 42x multiplier, I did some quick tests at 1000mhz core, 1500mhz memory.





And with the CPU on the 50x multiplier.









 
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chuchnit

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#3
Man MSI is starting to fire on all cylinders. There motherboards are rapidly improving, their lightning series is hot hot hot since the 275. Now they just need to learn how to bring product to market a tad sooner and refine their motherboards. Looks like they did the latter on s1155. Can't wait to see benches!!
 
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#4
Looks awesome, this was the card I wanted to get but I couldn't be bothered waiting any longer, so I got the MSI HD6950 Twin Frizr II:toast:
 
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#5
we want juicy details :p
what is triple voltage? what are on the "performace" side clock speed e.t.c amd the "silent" side ?

sexy card!
 
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#7
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#8
6970 Bios

Save the Bios dude, so people with the 6950 twin frozr can flash there bios.
 
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#9
It was brought to my attention MSI may have forgotten to tell me about NDA until around the 25th. Thanks W1zzard :)
 

wolf

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#10
possiblt the best 6970 that will exist, time will tell
 
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#11
non disclosure agreement! oh nos! my eye candy's gime back my eye candy's :p ohh lucky you google ad no time to "cache" the post :p
 
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#12
NDA is done, testing coming very soon :D
 

FreedomEclipse

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#13
great review -- but sorry to throw a stone in the works but could you re-bench with the clocks at 4ghz? Imo 5.2Ghz on the CPU clock kinda exaggerates the score a little. otherwise the scores look pretty amazing.
 
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#14
Dude, I haven't even written the review yet, so far it's a bunch of pictures and a few screenshots ;) I'm not really into 4ghz runs, they're not what this card was designed for :p
 

cadaveca

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#15
Dude, I haven't even written the review yet, so far it's a bunch of pictures and a few screenshots ;) I'm not really into 4ghz runs, they're not what this card was designed for :p
Sure, but this isn't XS, and people want benches they can easily duplicate.
 
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#16
I'm running on air so far, so I'd say my clocks are pretty easy to duplicate :toast:
 

cadaveca

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#17
I'm running on air so far, so I'd say my clocks are pretty easy to duplicate :toast:
Sure, if you got Sandybridge. but for those without, there's no point of reference with such high cpu clocks.

I mean, myself, I can match your clocks, of course, but I have found this point specifically to be a common issue for many readers...not too interested in really high OC's...many people knocking using LN2 even...and not many people here have SB, and very few are interested in competitive benching. I mean you are right, this isn't really 24/7 OC card, but we have a 24/7 OC crowd.


Anyway, interested in you final clocks on the VGA. 1000mhz core 24/7?
 

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#18
^what he said

dont forget not everyone has an SB CPU and running the CPU at 4Ghz would serve as a better reference as the high OC skews the results. everyone knows faster clockspeeds is always a good thing but 5.2Ghz means the review is semi pointless. However it does show us what the card and also the CPU are capable of but a good review is one that people can directly compare their own results to. you might not like doing 4Ghz runs, and thats cool. but I must remind you that you are writing a review, not entering a contest.

If you can bring the CPU clocks down to 4Ghz I would very much appreciate it. if not then GG to you sir
 
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#19
Okay, I'll get some 4ghz results for you. It'll be nice to see scaling with CPU speed anyway.
 
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#20
Adding results as we speak, I'll keep updating as I'm able to do more testing.
 
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#21
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#22
This card comes with the same voltage and speeds i set 24/7(rbe) for my referance 6970...

Very interesting seeing what the card can do against the competition in a legitimate review at these speeds, even though the chip is running on a revised pcb...(the lightning)
 
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#23
When your done with da card, can you pls send it my way:D:D:rockout: I mean seriously, 1.1Ghz on da GPU is boobies to my face:laugh:
 
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#24
My reply to a post at XS, may be helpful.

Sorry if I'm too noob for this graphics card and can't figure this out, but I'd really appreciate your help.

I have this same card. I purchased it because it was ~$30 more expensive (for me, where I shop) than a reference card, and it comes with a dope cooler. I recently stopped using liquid cooling and am back to all air cooling.

I have a question that maybe you can answer about the BIOS switch. I almost RMA'd my card because my system wouldn't POST, and it had to do with the switch position.

If you orient yourself with the switch so that you are looking at the back of the card, and the switch lever is pointing at you (I edited your PIC), the Left position will not let my system POST, the Middle and Right work just fine. What is the difference between the Middle and Right positions?

Is it like this:

  1. Left = Not Used
  2. Middle = Performance Fan Profile
  3. Right = Quiet Fan Profile?

I wish I were an "expert user" so I could figure this out; I called MSI and they treated me like a dumbass instead of just helping me find the information.

As you can see, the information that came packaged with the R6970 Lightning is lacking. The position of the switch in this picture is the same position that won't let my system POST; the VGA_LED stays lit solid.
MSI actually saw your post and sent me an answer to this. They'll also be including this in the FAQ for this card. Gotta love MSI's support :up:



L = Reserved for Future Function (Switch to this position, the external device is needed to boot up the card) … currently, no design, so if you switch to “L”, the card wont be able to boot.

M = Boosted BIOS setting to 2.5x PowerTune Range and Maximize CCC limit for higher overclocking capability.

R = Default BIOS setting