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MSI R7970 Lightning Boost Edition review: fastest HD 7970 yet

MSI's Lightning card tested and overclocked



Last year MSI launched the R7970 Lightning, a graphics card based on the AMD Radeon HD 7970 and aimed at overclockers. It has since been replaced by the R7970 Lightning Boost Edition. Same concept, same price, but with improved performance. Reason enough for Hardware.Info to also review this video card.

Basically two things were changed compared to the previous iteration. The R7970 Lightning Boost Edition is built around the AMD Tahiti chip, the same one used in the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. The other difference is that the Boost Edition has newer firmware and different clock speeds.

MSI R7970 Lightning Boost Edition

The standard GPU clock frequency of the Boost Edition is the same as that its predecessor, 1070 MHz. The Turbo mode automatically goes up to 1150 MHz when the load requires it. The memory clock speed has been raised from 1400 MHz to 1500 MHz, which means the new model is slightly faster than last year's.

Here you can see the differences between the old and new models:

Product nameR7970 LightningR7970 Lightning Boost Edition
DetailsProduct infoProduct info
3D chipAMD Radeon HD 7970AMD Radeon HD 7970
Graphics card seriesAMD Radeon HD 7000AMD Radeon HD 7000
DirectX versionDirectX 11.1DirectX 11.1
InterfacePCI-Express 3.0 x16PCI-Express 3.0 x16
Memory - Amount3072 MB3072 MB
Memory - TypeGDDR5GDDR5
Clock frequency - GPU1070 MHz1070 MHz
Clock frequency - Turbo1150 MHz
Clock frequency - Memory1400 MHz1500 MHz
TV tuner
Temperature sensor
GPU coolingActive (2x)Active (2x)
Memory cooling
Extra power connector
Power connector type(s)2x PEG82x PEG8
D-Sub connector
D-Sub output (amount)00
DVI connector
DVI output (amount)22
HDMI output
DisplayPort connector
Number of DisplayPort connectors44
TV output - Composit
TV output - S-Video
Video input - Composit
Video input - S-Video
Component output
nVidia SLI compatible
AMD Crossfire compatible
HDCP compatible
Audio through HDMI
DVI -> D-Sub convertor
DVI -> HDMI plug
HDMI -> DVI plug
Remote control

Product discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price
MSI R7970 Lightning Boost Edition

AMD Radeon HD 7970, DirectX 11.1, PCI-Express 3.0 x16, 1070 MHz, 3072 MB

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