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MSI R6970 Lightning Twin Frozr III Review (18 Phase PWM)

Rating: 9.5.

AMD’s HD6970 has been a popular card since it was launched and some partners have been releasing modified versions based on the AMD reference design. Today we are looking at a rather spectacular design from MSI which features the latest update on their high performance Twin Frozr cooler.

KitGuru has looked at many of the Twin Frozr designs in the past, and we have found that they always deliver class leading cooling performance while emitting very little noise.

The MSI R6970 Lightning Twin Frozr III graphics card has the newest version of the cooler with improved heatpipe design and the world’s first 18 Phase PWM design. With a generous overclock to 940mhz, is this the best HD6970 available on the market today?

Product AMD HD6970 MSI R6970 Lightning TFIII
Core Clock speed 880mhz 940 mhz
Primitive Rate
2 prim/clk
2 prim/clk
Shader Architecture
Stream Processors
24 SIMD/1536 ALU
24 SIMD/1536 ALU
Texture Units 96 96
ROPs/Z-Stencil 32/128 32/128
Frame Buffer 2GB GDDR5 2GB GDDR5
Memory Width/Speed 256 bit, 5.5 Gbps 256 bit, 5.5 Gbps
Power Connectors 8 pin & 6 pin 8 pin & 8 pin
Display Outputs 2xDVI + 2x mDP + HDMI 2xDVI + 2x mDP + HDMI

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  • Frankie

    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, thats a hell of a card again from MSI

  • Malfronic

    That cooler design just keeps getting better. the V2 of the frozr was one of the best, but they have really overhauled the heatpipes on this one. wasnt expecting a 6970 to be loaded when gaming under 60c!

  • Naddy

    MSI get overlooked for graphics cards, but its like ASUS and GIgabyte. when these boys want to play, no one can compete. its all the motherboard engineering teams they have on hand to create the custom designs. wicked.

  • Trev

    A metal cooler, you dont often get that. I was reading the HIS review last night and it looks thin plastic. both work, but very different design concepts.

    Never bought an MSI graphics card before, I take it their warranty would be good?

  • John

    Its expensive, but they have certainly done the ‘full monty’ with the design. no stone left unturned !

  • Vinnie

    The fan design is unusual. I noticed also that there are voltage options on the PCB. that is one sick friggin card.

  • P1n3apqlExpr3ss

    Wow thats a nice card..

    Real reason for commenting: That stone giant benchmark… Wasnt kitguru the one that posted an article about two months ago now that talked about biased benchmarks? One of them happened to be stone giant yet youre still running it in all the GPU reviews?

  • Hi. Yeah we had an interview with Richard Huddy in AMD who said that they are running a very high level of tessellation in Stone Giant which isnt indicative of a ‘real world’ situation.

    We use it sometimes out of curiosity, but I wouldn’t think many people rely on it as a buying decision….

  • Fainstj

    keep watching the stores, this will go up soon and it will sell out too. loads of people waiting on this monster board.

  • Tatters

    Thats a fucking serious gfx. hopefully they do the same for the 590 🙂

  • Ned

    Frozer iii ftw !

  • Joe

    Considering the extras it’s worth the extra 45 quid. The cooler is what AMD should do for the reference boards!

  • Jack

    Apparently this card is discontinued due to too many problems. Just read through the Feedback on NewEgg’s page:


    Shame on you for giving a misleading positive review. Did MSI pay you off?

  • Our sample was great. Loads of positive reviews around, even on the link you sent.

    You expect us to review hundreds of cards to find a problem? We only get a single sample for a handful of days, we arent a retailer.

  • Adrian

    Newegg.com is still selling this product and it is hard to get one. I just got mine today and it is beautiful!