Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

MSI R7970 Lightning Video Card Review

MSI is launching its new flagship Radeon HD 7970 based Lightning series video card this week. This highly customized video card takes the Radeon HD 7970 and adds all sorts of features. Will the extra customizations like "GPU Reactor" add up to a stellar overclock? We'll put this video card to the test and find out.

continued...

Mass Effect 3

Released on March 6th, 2012, Mass Effect 3 is the third installment in the widely popular Mass Effect video game series. This action role-playing game is a primarily a third person shooter developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts.

We are using the full downloaded version of Mass Effect 3 from Origin with the latest patch update. It is a DX9 game that uses the Unreal 3 Game Engine. We are currently working on a full Gameplay Performance and Image Quality evaluation now so stay tuned for that.

Article Image

Unfortunately there are hardly any graphics options in this video game. The only ones available to us are Resolution, Window Mode, Brightness, Antialiasing, and Dynamic Shadows. Since we are so limited in graphics options we only have a highest playable settings test in Mass Effect 3. Our run through last approximately 10 minutes on Lesuss: Monastery and plays through the entire level.


Highest Playable Settings

Article Image

Article Image

Article Image

(Click Graphs for Larger Images)

As we mentioned above, Mass Effect 3 is very limited in graphics settings. Enabling the games AA setting turns on FXAA, which is a shader based AA that provides good image quality without a large performance cost. All four video cards in this evaluation played at 2560x1600 with FXAA enabled, 16X AF forced on through the NVIDIA Control Panel and Catalyst Control Center. Dynamic Shadows was also enabled for all four video cards.

At the max settings the game could provide, the MSI R7970 Lightning at stock settings averaged 125.2 FPS. This is 6.5% faster and 7.6 FPS higher than the reference AMD Radeon HD 7970 performed. The MSI R7970 Lightning was also 35.7 FPS or 39.9% faster than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580. Our overclock achieved on the MSI R7970 Lightning increased performance by 5.5% or 6.9 FPS, and averaged 132.1 FPS.