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MSI Radeon HD 7970 Lightning 3GB Video Cards in CrossFire Overclocked - Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Overclocking

The only thing better than one MSI HD 7970 Lightning overclocked is a pair of them overclocked in CrossFire mode. Let's go!

| AMD CrossFire Articles in Video Cards | Posted: Apr 3, 2012 3:48 pm
Manufacturer: MSI

TweakTown image content/4/6/4641_99_msi_radeon_hd_7970_lightning_3gb_video_cards_in_crossfire_overclocked.png

 

We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS and Corsair.

 

Looking above you can see our testbed and there's nothing out of the ordinary when we compare it to previous ones. On the comparison front we've got a number of setups including both single card and dual card setups.

 

We won't go into too much detail as everything can really be seen in our graphs today. Before we get into the performance side of things, though, we do need to look what is going on in the overclocking department.

 

TweakTown image content/4/6/4641_01_msi_radeon_hd_7970_lightning_3gb_video_cards_in_crossfire_overclocked.png

 

Like our standalone review we took the time to overclock the two Lightning video cards to see what kind of performance we could get out of them. As always you never expect to get the same overclock when add another card into the mix and looking below we did take a slight hit from the original 1225 / 6300 QDR setup.

 

It wasn't much of a hit, though, with both cores still coming in at a very strong 1200MHz. As for the 3GB of GDDR5, we saw both cards also continue to offer a strong overclock with a clock of 6000MHz QDR being seen.

 

We'd rather see more of a hit taken on the memory then the core as the increased core clock helps boost overall performance more. With that all sorted now I think it's time we get into the performance side of things to see just what two Lightning cards are able to offer us.

 

Let's get started!

 

 

The FPS Numbers Explained

 

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

 

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

 

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

 

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

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