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MSI R7970 Lightning Review: AMD's HD 7970 Gets the Treatment

Author: Josh Walrath
Manufacturer: MSI

Results: Battlefield: Bad Company 2

 While Battlefield 3 has taken center stage, this is still a very good title for testing. I think it holds up well in terms of graphics quality and is a nice and well optimized game. Ultra quality with 4X AA and 16X AF with HBOA disabled. A manual runthrough with FRAPS was captured.

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It looks as if this particular benchmark is primed to be retired soon as well! This particular game was previously quite friendly towards NVIDIA cards. Now we see the R7970 taking a nice lead over the N580GTX, but really only at the highest resolution. It is not a huge lead on the NVIDIA card, but when compared to the R6970, it appears much more impressive to consider what AMD has done under the hood.

March 31, 2012 | 10:00 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

There is a CFG setting you have to manually put in with Afterburner to get the memory and PCI-E bus to over volt.

http://forums.overclockersclub.com/index.php?showtopic=182403

Surprised the memory doesn't go any higher than that for you. Also, put power tune to + 20%. That essentially increases the amount of available power to the GPU. Powertune was put in place so in corner cases like Furmark, the board/chip would not exceed the rated TDP (and shut down).

March 31, 2012 | 11:12 AM - Posted by nabokovfan87

Nevermind. I can OC the memory now. In the msi utility, to the right of the core voltage there is a small arrow, hit that and you can get the other 2 voltage settings.

March 31, 2012 | 12:48 PM - Posted by nabokovfan87

I got it up to 1220/1520 The memory is about done. Even 5 MHz and I get corruption. I don't know whether to add a ton more voltage (I have slider space for 75 mV). I tried 1240 on the core, but got some severe image corruption.

I think I will try some stability testing, just let it run for an hour or so instead of 5-10 loops on the metro benches, and see if anything ends up happenings in terms of corruption. As far as voltage goes, I'm not sure if there is a "less is more" type approach, or if you simply add more when you reach corruption.

From my Computer Engineering background I know a bit about how the ripple and stuff affects everything, and I'm not sure just how much ripply is being introduced and so forth, but, needless to say...

925 -> 1220 = 31.89% OC
1375 -> 1520 = 10.55% OC

April 2, 2012 | 08:33 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Wow, not a bad overclock at all. I had overclocked the one I have to 1100 MHz... but I was using Oblivion to play, so I don't know if the vid card was causing problems or that rather unstable game was...

I'm betting the game.

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