MSI's 15-Phase R5870 Lightning Graphics Card is an Overclocker's Wet Dream

Shopping for a high-end videocard? Then you've probably been scoping out ATI's Radeon HD 5870, the fastest single-GPU card on the planet. Adding to the hype (deserved, mind you), MSI has just announced its R5870 Lightening graphics card, the only HD 5870 "built to be perfect."

Already a killer card, it's not like the HD 5870 needs a whole lot of marketing jargon or performance enhancements, but MSI took the liberty anyway, and we're not complaining. Just as we're prone to get a little bit giddy over a decked out motherboard, MSI zeroed in on premium parts in constructing its R5870.

To begin with, there's the 15-phase (13+2) power supply design, an industry first according to MSI, and a decent upgrade compared to the 7-phase (5+2) design found on reference cards. This helps provide the GPU with more power, which is also aided by two 8-pin power connectors. This is capped off by a dedicated LPL (Lightning Power Layer) design, which MSI claims helps increase stability and reduce noise.

Overclockers and enthusiasts alike will also appreciate the inclusion of Hi-c capacitors, which supposedly offers up to 8-times the lifespan of most traditional solid-state caps, lower temperatures, and better transmission efficiency. Technical jargon aside, these should, in theory, result in better overclocking headroom.

As is typical with MSI's Lightning series graphics cards, the R5870 comes equipped with the company's Twin Frozr II heatsink with dual 8cm PWM fans and 8mm heatpipes (or SuperPipes, as MSI likes to call them).

Rounding out the marketing bullet blitz, you'll also find a pair of dual-link DVI ports, HDMI output, a DisplayPort, HDCP compliance, MSI's Afterburner overclocking utility, and other odds and ends you're welcome to check out here.

What you won't find, unfortunately, is any word yet on price or availability, though we suspect that to change once CeBIT rolls around next week.
Via:  MSI
rapid1 4 years ago

This brings up two points to me the first relating to the card being upgraded, but being open rather than having a shroud which thereby moves the heat out of the case, rather than leaving some of that heat in the case and conducting some of it out of the case as this seems to be the followed practice on this hardware. This is especially a concern on a card which is primed for over clocking and would therefore make more heat.

The second point being Cebit, will anyone representing HH be going to Cebit? As in many cases, but on an even wider foot print focused on product releases, it is often an even larger release conference than at CES is. Cebit also in many cases shows more exactly where we as a society are going technically speaking for the remainder of the year.

Zestia 4 years ago

Rapid 1 makes a good point. While I doubt that the amount of heat that is dissipated into the case would be enough to change the temperature significantly, it is something worth considering. Future temp benchmarks, anyone? That aside, I believe this card will provide long term value for anyone who is not looking to upgrade or replace their graphics every year or so. Premium parts, Hi-c capacitors and gold plated connectors to name a few, make this a card you can reliably invest in for the long haul. Ironically, Overclockers, the intended market audience, tend to be a bit more fickle about their vga love affairs and won't hold onto them long. However, if MSI delivers on its durability promise, the R5870 Lightning should retain its resale value - everybody wins!

bighorse 4 years ago

This looks like a really nice graphics card. MSI is definitely trying to make some high quality pc equipment as of late. This graphics cards has more premium parts than I have in my entire house. Hopefully it will the HH bench soon for some real fun.

Marius Malek 4 years ago

"SuperPipes" XD

Okay this is definitely a good looking card, both in terms of raw power and physical beauty. Every time I see tech like this released I just keep thinking to myself how amazing the next couple of years (and beyond) are going to be. 

realneil 4 years ago

OK,....I'll buy two of them for CrossFire and see if it's faster than my Apple IIe. Wink  (he wakes up to realize that he's still dirt-poor but happy anyway)

D.Dragoon 4 years ago

this card is a beauty yet the price tag will probably turn some ppl from, with great power comes great cost

RyuGTX 4 years ago

Question: Does it really matter if it is using a fully enclosed shroud in the design? As long as it is put in a decent case with cooling, it shouldn't make too much of a difference right?


Anyways, here's my initial thought. Let's assume that most cases have a front 120mm fan that blows air through the hard drives and then to the graphics card. Grahpics cards are pretty big and one could say that it almost creates its own little pseudo cooling chamber. Though the back of the card do get hot, but I'm not sure by how much. At least not nearly as much as the front I would imagine. Sure, heat would escape around the side of the card where there is a gap between the card and the side panel of the pc case. But if you look at this card, it looks like it has a bigger width. This would decrease the size of the gap. Now if you just remove the pci metal plates on the case (unless you got those aero slots like in some of the Silverstone cases or like in the Antec Nine Hundred Two), then it would be more efficient to have hot air exhausted through that then one tiny slot of vents from the stock 5870. It would create a nice wind tunnel. Obviously, my first assumption can be easily argued. But a lot of cases have good cooling I think that the people who  do buy this card will at least have one of those cases.

Or... card manufacturers know that this is more efficient for the graphics card itself and therefore doesn't care about the other components. Works well because when people benchmark graphics cards, they just focus on the card itself and don't include its effect on the pc system as a whole.

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