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.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Quality including Design and Build||95%|
|Bundle and Packaging||85%|
|Value for Money||98%|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||94%|
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!
- Page 1 [Introduction and Package]
- Page 2 [Video Card Details and Specifications]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup & FPS Numbers Explained]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - 3DMark]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - 3DMark Sky Diver & Catzilla]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven & Phantasy Star Online 2]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2 & Just Cause 2]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks -Metro Last Light & Nexuiz]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2 & Sleeping Dogs]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution & Tomb Raider]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite & Battlefield 4]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - GRID Autosport]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - 4K - 3840 x 2160 Testing]
- Page 15 [Temperature & Sound Testing]
- Page 16 [Power Consumption Testing]
- Page 17 [Pricing, Availability, and Final Thoughts]
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