MSI R7970 Lightning review

Since the inception of the MSI Lightning brand it’s been a favourite with enthusiasts. Higher frequencies better cooling and best-in-class power delivery… what’s not to like?

This is the best performance AMD card on the market.

The Lightning 7970 has picked up where the Lightning 580 left off but with a few new features for good measure. Back again are MSI’s critically acclaimed Military Class III components delivering extremely stable power helping extend the lifetime of the card. A new addition to the Lightning 7970 is an expansion board dubbed GPU Reactor — this promises cleaner power which can be critical when squeezing that last few MHz out of a card.

The biggest enemy of achieving high frequencies is heat which MSI has addressed by donning the card with its Twin Frozr heatsink a massive dual-fan cooler which is more than capable of dissipating any heat thrown its way. Not content with the stock frequency of 925MHz MSI has bumped it all the way to 1070 MHz but from our experience there’s still some MHz left in the tank for those keen on overclocking.

To accommodate excessive amounts of power delivery componentry the size of the card has been extended over a normal 7970 but this may not suit users with small cases. Furthermore due to the increased width the GPU Reactor adds to the rear of the card it has to be removed when the cards are placed in three or four-way CrossFire configurations.

If you want the absolute best performance AMD card on the market you can’t go past the 7970 — and as far as we’re concerned the MSI Lightning 7970 is the new king of the crop.

Pros : The highest performing graphics card on the market today.
Cons : GPU Reactor can be a nuisance when running CrossFire.
Verdict : 9/10 (Highly Recommended)

Contact : MSI
Online :
Price : $679

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