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MSI Announces Beefy New R9 290X Lightning

By - Source: TechPowerUp | B 12 comments

MSI has announced a new Lightning series graphics card – the Radeon R9 290X Lightning. This graphics card is built to be the ultimate, zero-compromises overclockers' graphics card and it carries a non-reference PCB design, as well as a hefty cooler.

MSI has opted to power the graphics card not with the default single 8-pin plus single 6-pin PCI-Express power connectors, but rather with another additional 8-pin PCI-Express power connector. This yields an additional 150 W of power headroom to play with, bringing the tally up to 450 W. The GPU is powered through a 12-phase VRM circuit. The card also features voltage measurement points across the card for when you'd rather rely on your own multi-meter for ultimate precision.

Cooling is taken care of by MSI's TriFrozr cooler, which is built using a large series of aluminum fin arrays, seven 8 mm heat pipes, and three fans.  The cooler can, of course, be removed, the card switched into LN2 mode, and then be cooled with liquid nitrogen.

Regarding clock speeds, the GPU is clocked at up to 1080 MHz out of the factory, while the memory is clocked at an effective speed of 5.0 GHz. This is not actually all that far above the reference frequencies, but keep in mind that the hardware aboard this card should allow you to surpass extreme frequencies with ease (assuming you have the right cooling equipment).

The card is said to retail for a hefty $800.

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  • 11 Hide
    brandonjclark , March 5, 2014 7:30 AM
    I'm sure the miners will drive up the price to the point that gamers get screwed, again.
  • 4 Hide
    anthony8989 , March 5, 2014 7:59 AM
    Oh look, it has slightly different fans. I'm sure that'll make all the difference.
    The biggest difference is the 2 x 8-pin power source. The card is almost completely designed for the HSF to be removed and the unit put on liquid cooling.
  • -2 Hide
    tobalaz , March 5, 2014 12:01 PM
    I'm sure the miners will drive up the price to the point that gamers get screwed, again.
    They already have. That would be a $400 card without the miners.
  • 3 Hide
    anthony8989 , March 5, 2014 12:07 PM
    I'm sure the miners will drive up the price to the point that gamers get screwed, again.
    They already have. That would be a $400 card without the miners.
    The R9 290x had an MSRP of $550, so it would never have been $400. Generally cards with pre-build liquid cooling compatibility are 10-15% over MSRP or more.
  • 1 Hide
    rwinches , March 5, 2014 12:12 PM
    GIGABYTE GV-R929OC-4GD Radeon R9 290 4GB 512-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready Video Card $499.99 till 11:59pm PT on 3/6/2014!
  • 2 Hide
    Soda-88 , March 5, 2014 12:19 PM
    This card has been reviewed already and is best 290X to date.
  • 5 Hide
    XGrabMyY , March 5, 2014 3:29 PM
    Lol at 800USD it would be full-on retarded to buy this over a 780Ti. At the 550 or 600 price point it is a great buy though. A shame miners have ruined everyone's fun.
  • 0 Hide
    bigj1985 , March 6, 2014 12:36 AM
    LOL $800 no way Jose! I think they seem to forget sometimes that the people who buy these high end cards are at the very least semi knowledgeable about the worth of certain hardware. I know there are those that will pay $800 on a whim but most are gonna see the price tag and question why in the world they would pay $800 for this when for $50 less they can have an aftermarket 780ti that performs better; has more OC headroom, uses less power, AND stays cooler.Only miners will touch this card; or people with more $ than sense.
  • -1 Hide
    RedJaron , March 6, 2014 9:01 AM
    Did I read that right? They didn't replace the 6-pin with an 8-pin, they ADDED an 8-pin? So this thing takes two 8-pin and one 6-pin power cable?

    Right, that's not the least bit ridiculous.
  • -1 Hide
    Steveymoo , March 6, 2014 9:25 AM
    Cry me a riiiiveeeerr, cry me a riveeeer!Cry me a riiver. Cry me a rrrriiiveerr!
  • 0 Hide
    Blaise170 , March 6, 2014 12:10 PM
    Looks like it would be an excellent card, but not at this price point. I thoroughly enjoy my AMD GPU, but I don't think I'll be able to crossfire the way I had originally planned. It has gone up in price instead of down. :(