So in short, I don't want to order things via internet, and the store nearby has the Radeon 6970HD in these two forms: EAH6970 DCII/2DI4S/2GD5 and MSI R6970 LIGHTNING 2GB.
I most likely will not be playing with the clocks, but do intend to buy a second card of the same kind to crossfire eventually.
Any thoughts on which I should go for?
EDIT: I normally would've opted for the MSI card, but I read a review about it being unstable in crossfire and that's freaking me out a little, but on the other hand, it might be that fellow's card(s) were faulty?
What you are reading it that the AMD cards not all but some tend to micro stutter when in cross fire. It is not the brand that causes it. MSI isn't that bad of a card.
The other card is a Asus card and that is not a bad card either. Infact if that card has two fans on it, that would be the one I would get. This is what I found on your card. Is this the card for sale at the store?
With the asus you are looking at using 3 slots with the card , if you wish to xfire in the future it may become a restriction if you dont have the room between slots to fit a second card.
Both cards have excellent cooling so you cant go wrong in that department, I would choose the MSI Lightning, with the comments you read about xfiriing them being unstable , it could be just one persons exeprience, sometimes multi gpu set ups do cause problems in some games due to drivers, heat etc and can happen with any brand of card.
Both cards have dual fans. The lightning has a slightly higher clock.
Frankly what it comes down to is DirectCUII (Asus) vs Twin Frozr III (MSI) cooling, as the price difference between the cards is negligible.