MSI GeForce GTX 970 GAMING 4G Video Card Review

The MSI GeForce GTX 970 GAMING 4G video card is making the GeForce GTX 780 and AMD Radeon R9 290 obsolete. This $349 video card puts up a fight and punches in a win at this price. The overclock alone is somewhat staggering. If you are about to spend money on a GPU, don't miss this one.

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Evaluation Method

We evaluate what each video card configuration can supply us in terms of a playable gaming experience while supplying the best culmination of resolution and "eye candy" graphical settings. We focus on quality and immersion of the gameplay experience rather than how many frames per second the card can get in a canned benchmark or prerecorded timedemo situation that often do not represent real gameplay like you would experience at home. Then we will follow with apples-to-apples testing in with minimum, maximum, and average framerates.

Test System Setup

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For the new GeForce GTX 970 we are using the latest public released beta driver of 344.16. For the GTX 780 we are using the latest public driver available for that GPU which is 344.11.

For the AMD Radeon R9 290 we are using Catalyst 14.7 RC3 which is the latest publicly released driver from AMD.

We are using a reference GTX 780 and reference R9 290 for the comparison. This is our initial evaluation of the GTX 970 and we had no idea what performance to expect, so we need a baseline. At $329 GTX 780 and R9 290 made the most sense for comparing due to price. Future retail reviews may include custom factory overclocked retail video cards for comparison as price dictates.