CeBIT 2012: MSI Presents R7970 Lightning Graphics Card

Asus' Radeon HD 7970 DirectCU II Top has some competition

MSI’s high-performance Lightning series of graphics cards will soon get a new addition in the form of the R7970 Lightning, a highly-customized Radeon HD 7970 solution targeting enthusiasts and overclockers alike.

The graphics card was showcased by MSI at the company’s CeBIT 2012 booth where it was spotted by the guys from Lab501.

Pictured above, the card uses the latest iteration of MSI’s TwinFrozr cooling system, which has five copper heatpipes to draw the heat away from the GPU into a massive aluminum heatsink topped by two 90mm fans.

The PCB was also heavily modified from AMD’s reference design and it now features a 16-phase PWM, independent memory power, and Military Class III components (Hi-c CAP, SFC, Solid CAPs).

Since we are dealing with a Lightning-series graphics card, MSI has added a wide variety of overclocking features to the card, including a series DIP switches for disabling the card’s over current protection or to unlock the GPU and MEM voltages.

Furthermore, the top edge of the PCB also houses a series of headers that were specially designed to allow enthusiasts to connect a multimeter, which can be used for monitoring the GPU, VMEM and other card voltages while running.

Sadly, MSI hasn’t mentioned anything about the operating frequencies of the R7970 Lightning, but the graphics card will definitely come overclocked from the factory.

AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 is based on the Tahiti XT core, which includes 32 Compute Units for a total of 2048 stream processors that are joined by 128 texture units, 32 ROP units and a 384-bit wide memory bus.

This is linked to 3GB of DDR5 video memory and the GPU is manufactured using TSMC’s advanced 28nm node, which enables it to be one of the coolest and most energy efficient high-end graphics card around.


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