MSI GeForce GTX 970 Gaming 4GB + MSI SLI Bridge

Introduction

Micro-Star International Co., Ltd or MSI is a Taiwanese multinational information technology corporation founded in 1986, headquartered in New Taipei City, Taiwan. It designs, develops and provides computer hardware, related products and services, including laptops, motherboards, graphics cards, All-in-One PCs, servers, industrial computers, PC peripherals, car infotainment products, and so on.

 

Official product link:

http://www.msi.com/product/vga/GTX-970-GAMING-4G.html#hero-overview
http://www.msi.com/product/vga/2WAY-SLI-BRIDGE-L.html#hero-specification

Packaging and accessories

The MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4 GB model is packaged in a box with a black background and red & silver accents.
On the front side of the box is printed the MSI Dragon, the symbol of the Gaming line, here we also find the manufacturer’s name and the name of the product and some features of the graphics card. In the lower left corner there is printed the cooling system “Twin Frozr V”.

The back of the box presents in detail the product and enumerates the specifications & features of the motherboard.

On the sides of the box we find printed the model of the graphics card and the name & logo of the manufacturer.

MSI 2-Way SLI Bridge

The SLI Bridge comes packaged in a black box with silver and red accents.
The front side of the box presents the product using an overview image of it, on this side we also find printed both the name & logo of the manufacturer and the name of the product.

The backside of the packaging presents the two variants of the product and its features.

Accessories

The product comes with the following accessories:
–    1x Manual
–    1x Driver CD
–    1x PCIe 6-Pin to 8-Pin power cable
–    1x DVI to VGA adapter

 

Specifications

Name: MSI GeForce GTX 970 Gaming 4GB
Model: GTX 970
Graphics Processor: GM204
Transistors: 5200M
Shader Units: 1664
Interface: PCI Express x16 3.0
Boost / Base Core Clock:
–    1279 MHz / 1140 MHz (OC Mode)
–    1253 MHz / 1114 MHz (Gaming Mode)
–    1178 MHz / 1051 MHz (Silent Mode)
Memory Size (MB): 4096
Memory Type: GDDR5
Memory Interface: 256 bits
Memory Clock Speed (MHz): 7010
DVI Connectors: 2 (Dual-link DVI-I, Dual-link DVI-D), Max Resolution: 2560 x 1600 @60 Hz.
HDMI Connectors: 1 (version 1.4a/2.0), Max Resolution: 4096×2160 @24 Hz (1.4a), 3840×2160 @60 Hz (2.0)
Display Port: 1 (version 1.2), Max Resolution: 4096×2160 @60 Hz
Maximum Displays: 4
HDCP Support: Y
RAMDAC speed (MHz): 400
DirectX Version Support: 12
OpenGL Version Support: 4.4
Multi-GPU Technology: SLI, 3-way
Card Dimension (mm): 269 x 141 x 35
Card Weight (g): 814
Power consumption (W): 145
Recommended PSU (W): 500
Power Connectors: 1x 8-pin, 1x 6-pin

Features:

–    Twin Frozr V – Cooler, Quieter, Better GAMING: The new Twin Frozr V is smaller, features stronger fans, generates less noise, keeps your graphics card and its components cooler and matches perfectly with your MSI GAMING motherboard including some funky LED lighting.
–    TORX Fan Technology: Traditionanl Fan Blade Maximizes downwards airflow and air dispersion to the massive heat sink below them. The Dispersion Fan Blade intakes more airflow to maximize air dissipation to heat-sink.
–    SuperSU PIPE – Enhanced dissipation efficiency: The GPU is cooled by a massive nickel-plated copper base plate connected to Super Pipes (8mm heat pipes) on the MSI GAMING series graphics card. Additionally, the new heat pipe layout increases efficiency by reducing the length of unused heat pipe and a special SU-form design.
–    Zero Frozr – Smart cooling, stay quiet: ZeroFrozr technology eliminates fan noise in low-load situations by stopping the fans when they are not needed.
–    Military Class components: MSI only uses MIL-STD-810G certified components for its Gaming cards because only these components have proven to be able to withstand the torturous circumstances of extreme gaming and overclocking.

 

Visual inspection

The MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4 GB model maintains the black-red color scheme characteristic of the Gaming line of products. The Graphics Card measures 27cm in length and 14cm in height.
In addition, this model uses the new Twin Frozr V cooling system.

 

In the case of the GTX 970, the Twin Frozr V cooling system uses 4 heatpipes of different sizes: the main two heatpipes have a diameter of 8mm while the other two have a diameter of 6mm, also the heatpipes are made out of nickel-plated copper.

 

The two 100mm Torx fans ensure the airflow of the card, each fan using 14 blades with different shape and sizes.

 

On the side, we find both the manufacturer logo and the MSI Dragon, the symbol of the Gaming line.

 

On the backside, the PCB of the Graphics Card is exposed.

 

Power delivery on the MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4 GB model is done through two PCI-Express power connectors: one 8-pin and one 6-pin, they are positioned on the right corner of the graphics card.

 

The SLI connector (Three Way SLI) is positioned in the opposite side of the power connectors.

 

On the rear of the graphic card, we find the following ports:
–    2x DVI
–    1x HDMI
–    1x Display Port  1.2

 

MSI 2-Way SLI Bridge

The SLI Bridge has an attractive design, using the same color scheme as the Gaming line of products. The build quality is good, the material used being metal.
In the middle, we find the MSI Dragon.

 

Testing

The following system was used to test the graphics card:
–    Processor: Intel i5 4690K @ 3.9 GHz
–    Motherboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 9 ACK
–    RAM: 8GB Crucial Ballistix Tactical
–    SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB
–    HDD: Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB
–    PSU: Antec Edge 550W Gold + InWin GreenMe 700W Bronze
–    Display: AOC i2769VM
–    Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe White
–    OS: Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1

 

To test the MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4 GB model, the GeForce 355.98 WHQL driver was used, being the latest Nvidia driver available at the time of writing the review.

All the games used to test the graphics cards are set to their highest quality settings with the resolution 1920 x 1080. Both the games and benchmarks used were run three times.
The software used to measure the temperature and frames per second (FPS) are the following:
–    AIDA64 Extreme V5.30.3500
–    GPU-Z.0.8.5
–    MSI Afterburner 4.1.1

 

In the case of the MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4 GB model, it achieved a maximum overclock of 1319MHz Base Clock and 1893MHz Memory.

The overclocking has been done using the default fan settings.
Each graphic card overclocks differently, thus the results obtained in the review can differ.

 

The test results are as follows:

Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0

 

Unigine Valley Benchmark 1.0 Score

 

Grand Theft Auto V

 

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

 

Tomb Raider 2013

 

Battlefield 3

 

GRID Autosport

 

Temp. Performance

 

The power consumption of the graphics cards is measured at the wall socket, the graphics card being powered by a separated Power Supply. The PSU in question consumes 10W.

 

The noise level was measured at three different distances from the fans (10cm, 20cm, 30cm.) the noise was measured with a margin of error of ± 5 db.

Accoustic Performance: idle

 

Sound Performance: full load

Final thoughts

The MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4 GB model offers excellent performance both in single and SLI use. The Twin Frozr V cooling system maintains the temperature of the graphics card under control being quiet at the same time even when the graphics card is under intense use. In addition, the two 100mm Torx fans will turn off when the temperature of the graphics card is below 60°C.
The SLI performance is good in most of the games, the graphics cards being easy to configure and the power consumption of the graphics cards is more than acceptable.
In conclusion, the MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4 GB model is a good choice for anyone who is looking for a high performance & silent graphics card with overclocking potential.
The only inconvenient of this graphics card is the lack of a back-plate, a thing that would provide an advantage in terms of both functionality and aesthetics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *