The Lightning series of video cards from MSI are just one of those series that I look forward to probably a little bit more than most other series on the market. MSI are consistent with the series and we have never been disappointed with any model that gets the Lightning treatment.
The latest video card to get the Lightning treatment is the AMD Radeon HD 7970 and as always we hope it brings us some serious overclocking potential like previous Lightning models have. The HD 7970, though, is a good jumping point for MSI as the model itself has proved to perform quite well when it's come to overclocking. With the general MSI tweaks, though, we expect some serious clocks.
As always, though, our focus with the Lightning card isn't going to be its out of the box clocks. Instead we want to know what kind of OC we can achieve with it via MSI Afterburner. With that discovered we then want to see just what kind of performance we're able to get from the card compared to not only a stocked HD 7970, but also an overclocked one.
Of course, as always, there are a few things we need to do before we get into the real fun stuff. First we'll start off by checking out the packaging to see what MSI are offering us. Once we've done that we'll move onto the video card itself and see some of the special features that are on offer before we get into the specification side of things where we also take the time to overclock the card.
From there we'll move into our testbed setup and look at the other cards we'll be comparing the overclocked MSI HD 7970 Lightning against before we of course get into the performance side of things before wrapping everything up. As just mentioned, though, the first thing we want to do is check out the package.
In typical Lightning fashion MSI have put together a really nice box that opens up and not only gives us a bit of a peak at the card, but also shows of some of the main features that the Lightning based card brings to the table.
As for the bundle it's pretty strong. We've got the typical paperwork line up including the Military Class III certificate and driver CD. Along with that we've got a MiniDP to DP connector, CrossFire bridge, DVI to HDMI, two 6-pin to 8-pin power connectors and three voltage check point cables help round out the bundle.
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