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Old October 12, 2010, 08:16 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Deep River Ont/Omaha NE
Posts: 166

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Default MSI R5870 Lightning II mini review

The original version of this card was MSI's first AMD gpu based card, in the Lightning series. However, as first attempts are famous for, they didn't quite get it right; hence the Lightning II.

Note: The vast majority of the reviews on the net are of the first version, which wouldn't overclock worth a darn, and you have to look long and hard to any reviews of the II.

MSI refers to this card as a "Military Class Concept." They use Hi-c tantalum capacitors, solid chokes and gold plated connectors, which would indicate that their built to perform and last.

I'm running 2 of these cards and with Afterburner I've been able to overclock the setup to Core 985, Memory to 1250, with the fans set at 100%. One point of note, @ 100% the fans aren't all that noticeable.

I ran 3DMarks Vantage, with the following results:

Graphics Score 32313
Jane Nash 97.22 FPS
New Calico 91.99 FPS

ORB - Compare

This mini review is indicative of that a single Lightning is capable of MSI Lightning II R5870 - Overclock.net - Overclocking.net Since my 950 is air cooled and I'm running two of these cards, I can't quite duplicate his overclocks but my results have been stone cold reliable.

FYI, my 950 was oc'ed to 4000 MHz, with HT enabled. The highest CPU temp reported by RealTemp was 74c and according to Afterburner the highest temp on either of the cards was 65c.

The reversions to the Lightning II, from the original version are in the area of cooling:
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Old October 13, 2010, 11:27 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 52

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Thanks for the review. What voltage did you need to reach that OC?

The price for this is a real turn off though, at $439.99 I'd rather spend a little extra on a 5970 or 480.
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Old October 14, 2010, 04:01 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Deep River Ont/Omaha NE
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1.295 volts.

I currently live in the states and was able to pick up a brand new one from Newegg for $359.99 and then a week later I managed to score an open box one for $310.99.

FYI, the reason I did this upgrade was that I was able to sell my ~ 2 year old GTX 285's for $250, per, which I thought was a pretty good deal.
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