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MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC Video Card Review

MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC Video Card Review

This is a NIGHTMARE situation for AMD. Find out exactly why with our review of the brand new MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC video card.

@ShawnBakerTW
Published Fri, Sep 19 2014 12:10 PM CDT   |   Updated Thu, Jul 30 2020 4:20 PM CDT
Rating: 94%Manufacturer: MSI

Introduction and Package

Introduction of the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC

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VIEW GALLERY - 38 IMAGES

Having just come off the launch review of the brand new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 4GB, which we found ourselves extremely impressed with, it's time to move on to the other half of the launch. The GTX 970 4GB that has a $329 price tagged attached to it is probably the product that is really scary for AMD working up towards this holiday season.

While we can't deny the simple fact that at the end of the day most people would prefer to buy the highest-end option, priced at over $200 more, the GTX 980 4GB could be out of reach for a lot of people. $329 is an extremely reasonable price for what is the second highest model in the new GTX 900 series.

The big question, though, is, what does a saving of over $200 force you to lose? That's exactly what we intend to find out today with the MIS GTX 970 3GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC. This new model has our attention a little bit more than usual because of a few things. The first is, of course, the price point. While the MSRP for the reference GTX 970 4GB is $329, we don't doubt for a second that this version from MSI is going to carry a premium of about $20 on top of that.

The other reason this model is standing out a bit more than usual is due to the fact it's the first MSI video card that is using the new Twin Frozr V cooler. While we saw a look at the shroud during Computex, the simple fact is that it didn't really tell us much. Today, though, that changes as we finally get to take a close up look at the final version that is hitting the market. Unlike our GTX 980 4GB review, today, we're reviewing a full retail card, so we'll be moving from here straight into the package. Let's do this!

Package - What comes inside the box

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Taking a look at the front of the box, you see the overall design is pretty similar to what all our other Gaming cards have looked like. Across the top, we've got the MSI, FNATIC and G Series logos. The middle gives us the model, in this case, the GTX 960 Gaming 4G, and below that, we have some of the main features which include 4GB GDDR5, PCI3 3.0, Overclock and the new Twin Frozr V cooler.

Turning the box over, you can see straight away that the main feature MSI is promoting is of course the brand new Twin Frozr V cooler. The first big feature is the brand new Torx Fan, which is designed to keep the card cooler. We have the new SuperSU Pipe which helps improve heat dissipation off the GPU better than ever, and the new Zero Frozr feature, which stops the fans spinning when the card isn't under load, or at a temperature that warrants them spinning.

You can also see that MSI is promoting the Gaming App which is designed to make overclocking an absolute breeze via three built-in settings. Finally across the bottom, you can see the main NVIDIA features are listed, along with the minimum requirements and main specifications.

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Moving inside the box and taking the time to look at the bundle, you can see we've got a Quick User's Guide and a product catalogue showing off some of the other Gaming series products. We've got the standard driver CD, DVI to VGA connector and a 6-Pin to 8-Pin PCIe power connector to round things off.

PRICING: You can find the MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G Graphics Card for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G Graphics Card retails for $359.99 at Amazon.

Video Card Details and Specifications

Close up with the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC

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Moving past the bundle and onto the card, you can straight away see the size of the Twin Frozr V cooler. It's not a small cooling unit at all, as you'd expect, and you can see it towers both over the top of the card and past the back of the PCB. We've got two massive 100mm fans in the middle of the card sitting on top of a huge heat sink. Sitting at the bottom and top of that huge heat sink, you can see a number of copper heat pipes that come off the GTX 970 core.

Being a Gaming series card, we've got the black and red color scheme that looks great, especially against the black PCB that MSI is using here. All in all, the new Twin Frozr V cooler looks to be might impressive and a nice move up from the Twin Frozr IV that we've been seeing from MSI for ages. What it will all really come down too, though, is how it performs. That we'll cover a little later when we move into our testing.

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Taking a look around the card, we get to see the new Twin Frozr V heat sink from another angle, and you can again see just how serious it looks. Here, though, the main thing we're looking at is the power connectors, which sees a single 6-Pin and single 8-Pin PCIe power connector. This is slightly up on the reference GTX 980 4GB which sees a dual 6-Pin PCIe setup. As for the reference GTX 970 4GB, while we haven't got one here, we do know that it also carries a dual 6-Pin PCIe power connector setup. So looking above, it's obvious that MSI has chosen to increase the amount of power going to the card.

Staying across the top of the card, but moving closer to the front, you can see we've got a pair of SLI connectors. Unlike the GTX 980 4GB, the GTX 970 offers support for 3-Way SLI, instead of 4-Way SLI. This is pretty standard as NVIDIA has always reserved 4-Way SLI for their top models.

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Moving to the I/O side of things, I find myself slightly disappointed to see a connectivity setup that differs to the GTX 980 4GB. Taking a quick look, reference designed GTX 970 4GB cards carry the same single Dual Link DVI-I, HDMI and 3x DisplayPort 1.2 connector setup. So looking above, you can see that MSI has instead opted for the more traditional Dual Link DVI-I and Dual DVI-D ports, along with the HDMI and DisplayPort connector to round things off. It would've been nice to see MSI use the same setup that is offered on the reference card, especially as DisplayPort is a technology that continues to gain more and more momentum in the enthusiast market.

Specifications

Before we get into the details on the MSI version of the GTX 970 4GB here, we should quickly cover the reference specifications.

As you'd expect, some of the main specifications are reduced when compared to the GTX 980. Streaming Multiprocessors are reduced from 16 to 13, CUDA Cores from 2048 to 1664 and Texture Unites from 128 to 104. What does stay the same between the two models are the ROP Units that come in at 64 and the memory interface at 256-bit. Both cards also offer 4GB of GDDR5.

Core clock speeds is of course the main area that sees a reduction. While the GTX 980 carries a core clock of 1126MHz, which is then boosted to 1216MHz, the GTX 970 on the other hand comes in with a core clock of 1050MHz, which is then boosted to 1178MHz. As for the 4GB of GDDR5, that's been left alone, with both models carrying a massive 7000MHz QDR memory clock.

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Moving away from the specifications of the reference card and into the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC, you can see above that MSI has boosted the core clock a ton. They've moved from the 1050MHz base clock to a massive 1140MHz base clock, which is slightly higher than the GTX 980 4GB. That then pushes our boost clock a massive amount, instead of 1178MHz, we see a massive 1279MHz on the MSI offering, again, a number that is higher than the GTX 980 4GB reference card. As for the 4GB of GDDR5, that remains at the stock speed of 7012MHz QDR.

These are some awesome numbers and it will be really interesting to see how this version of the GTX 970 4GB from MSI compares against the reference GTX 980 4GB, which is clocked slightly lower, but does offer an increase in Streaming Multiprocessors, CUDA Cores and Texture Units.

Test System Setup & FPS Numbers Explained

Test System Setup

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

We've got a bunch of high-end video cards sitting here in our graphs today that will let us know just how the new MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC performs.

Starting from the bottom, we've got the older GTX 770 2GB reference card, along with the ASUS GTX 780 ROG Poseidon Platinum 3GB OC. Moving up from that, we've got the reference GTX 780 Ti 3GB that was awesome for a long time, but has finally been kicked off its perch by the new GTX 980 4GB.

On the AMD side, we've got the new R9 280X 3GB Vapor-X, along with the two main competitors to the new GTX 900 series cards: the HIS R9 290 4GB IceQ X2 Turbo and the HIS R9 290X iPower Ice X2 Turbo 4GB that we manually overclocked to a strong 1100MHz on the core and 5700MHz QDR on the memory.

Let's not delay any longer and just get stuck into it as I find myself extremely excited to see just how MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC stacks up against the competition.

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.

Why are some graphs incomplete?

Adding new game benchmarks is a long, tedious and time consuming task as every video card has to be re-tested in those new benchmarks. Because of that reason we have always just evaluated our benchmark line up every six months. To stay up to date and current with the latest benchmarks and games available, we've changed our approach to adding new benchmarks.

Our benchmark line up will progress and be updated as newer more intensive games with benchmarks comes to light. While this will mean that initially you may only see a single video card in those particular graphs, as the weeks go on and we test more and more video cards, the results will grow quickly. This will help keep our benchmark line up as up to date as possible as we introduce and remove games on a constant basis.

Benchmarks - 3DMark

3DMark 11

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

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Straight away, we see some awesome performance from the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC.

As you'd expect, it's a little behind the GTX 980 4GB, and at the lower Performance preset, you can see it's also behind our heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB. At the higher resolution Extreme preset, we can see the MSI offering manages to outperform the R9 290X 4GB which again is heavily overclocked by us.

This is an awesome start for the new GTX 970 4GB. Let's move forward and see if it continues to be this strong in the rest of our tests.

3DMark Fire Strike

Version and / or Patch Used: 1

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Taking a look at Fire Strike, you can see at the lower Standard preset, the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC falls just behind the heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB.

Crank up the resolution, though, and you can see in the Extreme preset that the MSI offering outperforms the R9 290X 4GB.

Benchmarks - 3DMark Sky Diver & Catzilla

3DMark Sky Diver

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.1

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We mentioned in our GTX 980 4GB review and other high-end reviews that Sky Diver is aimed mainly at mid-range cards. Because of that, we see high-end offerings perform quite closely to each other. While the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC does fall back here, its overall performance is exceptional.

Catzilla

Version and / or Patch Used: 1.3

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Catzilla is one of our new benchmarks, and because of that, you can see we're missing results from a couple of cards. With that said, the most important card is here and that's the heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB, and at both resolutions, you can see that the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC has no problem outperforming it again.

Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven & Phantasy Star Online 2

Unigine Heaven Benchmark

Version and / or Patch Used: 3

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Heaven performance is awesome for the new MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC, which sees a win against the heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB at the lower resolution.

While it does fall back a little at the higher 1920 x 1200 resolution, it's worth remembering that the card we should be really comparing the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC against here is the R9 290 4GB, and that is just left for dead at both resolutions.

Phantasy Star Online 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

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PSO 2 performance is magnificent on the new MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC. It's not all that far behind the reference GTX 980 4GB, and it's significantly ahead of the AMD Radeon offerings. Compared to the R9 290 4GB, the performance is nearly double.

Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2 & Just Cause 2

Lost Planet 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

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Across the board, we've just got a clear win for the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC under Lost Planet 2. These numbers are just so far ahead of what AMD is offering at the moment that it's looking truly scary for AMD.

Just Cause 2

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

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Just Cause 2 is a bit older, but looking above, you can see that the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC lines up perfectly with the heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB at the highest resolution. Moving down the resolution table, you can see the FPS just sky rockets itself ahead of the AMD video cards.

Benchmarks -Metro Last Light & Nexuiz

Metro Last Light

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

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Metro Last Light performance is strong at 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200 with solid playable numbers seen. At the highest resolution, we see the card fall short of the 60 FPS number we want for a solid gaming experience, like all our other setups here.

Against the competition, you can see it's sitting between the R9 290 4GB and heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB, with the lean being more towards the higher-end AMD offering than the lower-end one.

Nexuiz

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

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Nexuiz performance I've found is a little weird on the new GTX 900 Series cards. In this case, you can see numbers that fall in line with the R9 280X 3GB Vapor-X. We're not sure if it's the driver or something else. It's probably fair to say, though, that Nexuiz isn't a game that NVIDIA is paying a ton of attention to.

Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2 & Sleeping Dogs

Sniper Elite V2

Version and / or Patch Used: Standalone Benchmark

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Solid, solid numbers are seen under Sniper Elite V2, which see the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC sit not all that far behind the reference GTX 980 4GB. Playable numbers aren't an issue and you can again see that the MSI card here manages to outperform the top AMD offerings without a single issue.

Sleeping Dogs

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

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At the highest resolution, we can see the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC and heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB score an even 129 FPS to give us some ultra-smooth gameplay. Moving down the resolution table, though, the new GTX 970 4GB just flies ahead here.

Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution & Tomb Raider

Hitman Absolution

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

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Thanks to the FPS wall being hit later on the NVIDIA cards, we see the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC outperform the AMD offers easily at 1680 x 1050 and 1920 x 1200.

At the highest resolution, you can see that the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC lines up with the R9 290 4GB with a minimum that is slightly up and an average that is slightly down. Overall, though, at 2560 x 1600, the FPS are extremely solid.

Tomb Raider

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

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Tomb Raider performance is really strong here and at the lower resolutions, we see numbers that line up with our heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB. At the highest resolution, we see a strong minimum and an average that is just a little too low for our liking. Compared against the competition, though, you can see it's slightly ahead of the R9 290 4GB again.

Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite & Battlefield 4

BioShock Infinite

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

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BioShock Infinite numbers look fantastic across the board. At the highest resolution, you can see our heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB managed to just sneak past the 60 FPS barrier with a 61 FPS average. The MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC, on the other hand, just flies past the 60 FPS range and offers a solid 71 FPS.

Battlefield 4

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Origin Update

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Battlefield 4 numbers are awesome on the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC and you can see that it has no problem coming out ahead of the top AMD offerings here.

Of course AMD does have the ability to run the game with Mantle, which will boost overall performance, but at the end of it all, the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC manages to achieve extremely playable FPS at all resolutions.

Benchmarks - GRID Autosport

Grid Autosport

Version and / or Patch Used: Latest Steam Update

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GRID Autosport sees some awesome numbers from the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC. Playable FPS across the board means this game is absolutely not an issue at even the higher 2560 x 1600 resolution.

Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF

High Quality AA and AF Testing

While we test all our games with maximum in-game settings, turning on Anti-Aliasing (AA) and Antistrophic Filtering (AF) helps take the intensity of our testing to another level.

Here we see video cards go from playable FPS to unplayable FPS and the real power houses continue to help break that 60 FPS mark we always aim for to provide a smooth gaming experience.

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Checking out Metro Last Light with AA and AF turned on, you can see the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC falls just behind the heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB here, but ahead of the R9 290 4GB by a decent margin.

More importantly, though, none of our setups here are offering playable FPS at either resolution, with these settings enabled.

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GRID Autosport sees some awesome performance and gaming at either resolution with 8x AA on isn't an issue for the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC.

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Sleeping Dogs sees the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC line up with the R9 290 4GB at 1920 x 1200 with a solid, playable 66 FPS.

While moving to 2560 x 1600 sees a number that lines up with the heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB, the 42 FPS average is too low for us to consider it playable.

Benchmarks - 4K - 3840 x 2160 Testing

4K - 3840 x 2160 Testing

4K monitors are the next step for gamers demanding the best in image quality. With 4x the pixels of a standard 1920 x 1080 monitor (meaning 4x the intensity); 3840 x 2160 brings with it a new level of intensity to video cards.

Wanting to make sure that you're buying the right video card for a monitor that offers such a large resolution, we test the latest and greatest video cards in a couple of benchmarks to give you an idea of just what kind of setup you require.

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Cranking up the resolution to 4K, you can see that MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC falls between the R9 290 4GB and heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB, like the higher-end reference GTX 980.

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Sleeping Dogs performance is strong and you can see while we do fall a little behind the heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB here, unlike the R9 290 4GB, though, the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC manages to offer playable FPS with its 70 FPS average.

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With the resolution cranked up, you can see that our numbers from the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC are pretty much in line with the R9 290 4GB here. Of course, those numbers aren't high enough for us to consider the game playable, at these settings.

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Tomb Raider sees almost identical results to what we saw above. While the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC lines up almost perfectly with the R9 290 4GB here, the overall FPS across the board aren't at a level where we would consider them playable. This is also an issue that is extended to the heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB and GTX 980 4GB.

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GRID Autosport sees some decent FPS against the heavily overclocked R9 290X 4GB, but numbers that again are just a little too low for us to consider this game playable with these settings. You're really going to want to venture into SLI land if you're gaming at 4K.

Temperature & Sound Testing

Temperature Test

The temperature of the core is pulled from MSI Afterburner with the max reading used after a completed run of 3DMark Vantage at the Performance preset.

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Taking a look at the temperature, you can see the load number is solid here coming in 10c lower than the reference GTX 980 4GB. While the idle is up, that's of course due to the fact that the fans don't spin when the card is under 50c.

Sound Test

Pulling out the TES 1350A Sound Level Meter, we find ourselves quickly yelling into the top of it to see how loud we can be.

After five minutes of that we get a bit more serious and place the device two CM away from the fan on the card to find the maximum noise level of the card when idle (2D mode) and in load (3D mode).

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Noise levels are solid with the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC sitting in the middle of the pack when it comes to load numbers. Of course, at idle, the card doesn't make any noise thanks to the fans not spinning when below 50c.

Power Consumption Testing

Power Consumption Test

Using our PROVA Power Analyzer WM-01--or "Power Thingy" as it has quickly become known as to our readers--we are now able to find out what kind of power is being used by our test system and the associated video cards installed. Keep in mind that it tests the complete system (minus LCD monitor, which is plugged directly into AC wall socket).

There are a few important notes to remember, though. While our maximum power is taken in 3DMark06 at the same exact point, we have seen in particular tests the power being drawn as much as 10 percent more. We test at the exact same stage every time, so tests should be very consistent and accurate.

The other thing to remember is that our test system is bare minimum--only an SSD hard drive is used with a single CD ROM and minimal cooling fans.

So while the system might draw 400 watts in our test system, placing it into your own PC with a number of other items will result in a higher draw.

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At a bit over 550 watts, the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC draws about 40 more watts than the reference GTX 980 4GB. That's due to the fact that MSI has opted to swap out the second 6-Pin PCIe power connector with an 8-Pin one, hence causing the card to draw a bit more power.

For a setup like this, we'd recommend a quality power supply around the 700 watt mark.

Pricing, Availability, and Final Thoughts

Ouch! After testing this video card and starting to write the graph explanations, I posted on our TweakTown Facebook page that the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC was/is a nightmare for AMD. After writing the rest of the review, my opinion on this card hasn't changed from that first thought. While not tested, I had hinted during the review on the GTX 980 4GB that the real killer out of this new launch was going to be the GTX 970 4GB, due to its awesome price point.

The first thing that needs to be mentioned is that the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC is going to carry with it a price premium when compared to the reference design. Say that price premium is $50 and the card comes in at $379, that is about the same price as the cheapest R9 290 4GB. Compared to the average price, though, it's about $50 cheaper. The problem for AMD is that, for the most part, you're not comparing it against the R9 290 4GB. Instead this card is being compared against the R9 290X 4GB that starts at closer to the $500 mark.

That's terrible news for AMD. Sure, you can turn around and say at 4K the NVIDIA offerings do seem to lag a bit when compared to the AMD ones. For the most part, we see the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC and the R9 290 4GB perform neck and neck at the massive 4K resolution. However, neither offer playable numbers, so it's irrelevant.

Every point where the FPS numbers are relevant, the MSI GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC pretty much kills the R9 290 4GB and is putting some major hurt on the much more expensive R9 290X 4GB. If you thought that the GTX 980 4GB was going to cause AMD to maybe think about changing the price point on the current crop of R9 video cards, the GTX 970 4GB is going to force it.

It's also going to create a snowball effect on the models below. The R9 285 3GB sits at around the mid $250 mark. That's a good $70 cheaper than what a reference GTX 970 4GB is going to hit at. The problem is the increase you get in performance over the R9 285 is considerable. How do we know that when it wasn't included? Because the R9 280X Vapor-X, which was included, comes in at about the same price point as the new GTX 970 4GB, and it's not even a card that is in the picture when comparing the results.

While the GTX 980 4GB was going to cause a headache to AMD, the GTX 970 4GB is going to cause a migraine to AMD and its AMD-only partners. How do you sell the R9 280X 3GB, R9 290 4GB and R9 290X 4GB now? I'll be the first to say that AMD offers some awesome bundles when it comes to the gaming side of things. That's great and everything, but the bottom line is, people want the card that is going to perform the fastest. That's what people are really looking at here today.

AMD need to do something and do something fast to counteract the devastating affect that these new GTX 900 series cards are going to cause them in the coming weeks and months. The biggest issue is that I feel even a price drop is going to be irrelevant. It comes back to how I said in the GTX 980 4GB review that people don't want a card that is nearing 12 months old - they instead want the shiny new thing just launched.

To put it bluntly, AMD need to either bring forward the R9 300 series video cards, so that they're here for the holiday season, or they may as well just send their staff off on a three month vacation, and let them start with a fresh mind in Q1, when the new R9 300 series are said to be coming out.

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 980 4GB is an awesome card. If you want the best, it's the card to buy, even more so if you're talking Quad SLI, since it's the only model that supports it. The GTX 970 4GB, on the other hand, is just something above awesome. If the MSI version we've got on hand sets the tone for what to expect with this new mid $300 priced card, I see nothing but one of AMDs toughest quarters as far as GPU's go.

If you're thinking about buying a new video card that sits in the mid to high $200 bracket, step back and look at your build, or start checking the couch for loose change. Spend the extra money, and buy a GTX 970 4GB. You're not going to regret it.

PRICING: You can find the MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G Graphics Card for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The MSI GTX 970 GAMING 4G Graphics Card retails for $359.99 at Amazon.

TweakTown award
Performance98%
Quality including Design and Build95%
General Features95%
Bundle and Packaging85%
Value for Money98%
Overall94%

The Bottom Line: NVIDIA's new GPU is trouble for AMD. MSI's GeForce GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Gaming OC offers some truly amazing performance and features at a price point that is just much lower than expected. Both NVIDIA and MSI deserve a huge pat on the back as this thing is just a beast. Just awesome!

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Shawn takes care of all of our video card reviews. From 2009, Shawn is also taking care of our memory reviews, and from May 2011, Shawn also takes care of our CPU, chipset and motherboard reviews. As of December 2011, Shawn is based out of Taipei, Taiwan.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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