MSI R9 290X Lightning Review

Slides

MSI R9 290X Lightning Review

Slides

Sometimes in the press documentation you get a slide that causes us to take pause for a moment. We understand that MSI are explaining how their choice of memory allows for higher overclocks, but are they suggesting that they're using both of the memory types? No its more the fact that they have tested them all! Samsung was apparently meant to be the best but they got much better results using Hynix and as you will see later we got better results than stated here!

MSI R9 290X Lightning Review     MSI R9 290X Lightning Review  

It's not only the memory that has been taken care of by MSI, with lots of high loading protection built in, as befits a card aimed at bonkers overclocks. 

MSI R9 290X Lightning Review     MSI R9 290X Lightning Review  

The Tri-Frozr cooler is, as always, spectacular. 500W of heat is a massive amount. Could this be the card that finally tames the Hawaii XT GPU?

MSI R9 290X Lightning Review     MSI R9 290X Lightning Review  

With three power inputs you'd expect the card to provide all the toys for those people seeking world record beating scores, and the Lightning doesn't disappoint.

MSI R9 290X Lightning Review     MSI R9 290X Lightning Review  

MSI R9 290X Lightning Review     MSI R9 290X Lightning Review  

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Most Recent Comments

04-03-2014, 09:00:21

tinytomlogan
http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...134221218l.JPG

MSI have two major lines, the regular Gaming edition and the hardcore overclocking Lightning. Today we're looking at the R9 290X Lightning.

Continue Reading

04-03-2014, 10:02:25

mike22122
Absolutely epic

04-03-2014, 10:18:00

SieB
Looks like MSI have done good with the Lightning
Anyone want to buy my Tri-X for 530 so I can buy one of these?

04-03-2014, 10:21:14

chrismjurd
Totally worth the wait Tom, thanks.

04-03-2014, 10:35:52

phallacy
Hey guys, new here but I'm a member on OCN with the same user name.

Anybody think this is worth it for watercooling. It seems to be made more for LN2. Currently running a trifire rig with 2 refererence 290x and 1 tri x oc. Also have an xfx 290x DD black that I'm going to be adding soon. Able to maintain 1200/1550 daily use OC while I can bench at 1250/1650. Will the 290x lightning be able OC to 1300+ 24/7 ? I might sell my xfx and get this one instead. Btw out of my three cards 2 are hynix (xfx ref. tri x) 1 is elpida (sapphire ref)

04-03-2014, 10:46:02

SieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by phallacy View Post
Hey guys, new here but I'm a member on OCN with the same user name.

Anybody think this is worth it for watercooling. It seems to be made more for LN2. Currently running a trifire rig with 2 refererence 290x and 1 tri x oc. Also have an xfx 290x DD black that I'm going to be adding soon. Able to maintain 1200/1550 daily use OC while I can bench at 1250/1650. Will the 290x lightning be able OC to 1300+ 24/7 ? I might sell my xfx and get this one instead. Btw out of my three cards 2 are hynix (xfx ref. tri x) 1 is elpida (sapphire ref)
There might not be a waterblock for it seen as it's a custom PCB. Unless EK have one in the works?
Seen as these aren't cherry picked cores though, there is no guarantee that you would get one that would be a better overclocker than your current 290s.

For watercooling a normal non ref 290 would be better, the reason for spending more on a card like the lightning is for the cooler. If you strip the card down and slap a waterblock on it, then it pretty much becomes a normal 290 with better Vram.

04-03-2014, 11:12:41

phallacy
Quote:
Originally Posted by SieB View Post
There might not be a waterblock for it seen as it's a custom PCB. Unless EK have one in the works?
Seen as these aren't cherry picked cores though, there is no guarantee that you would get one that would be a better overclocker than your current 290s.

For watercooling a normal non ref 290 would be better, the reason for spending more on a card like the lightning is for the cooler. If you strip the card down and slap a waterblock on it, then it pretty much becomes a normal 290 with better Vram.
Thanks for the perspective. I'm pretty sure the big buys (XSPC, EK, Koolance) will make blocks for this soon. Using xspc currently but I will wait for some more reviews on this card before I decide either way.

04-03-2014, 11:26:40

barnsley
I wonder if Sapphire will release a card like this now. They'll probably be annoyed that the crown of fastest 290x/290 has been taken.

04-03-2014, 12:18:34

mArTyN
It's really good to see a manufacturer has tamed this fire breathing monster in such a cool quiet way, well done MSI

04-03-2014, 12:25:17

Squidlorock
Awesome, is a beast. Big cost no doubt, but what a card! Great review Ttl man!

04-03-2014, 16:11:06

KakaoDJ
PLEASE test the mining performance, i can only imagine it being beastly because of the sick memory clocks.

04-03-2014, 17:06:24

murphy7801
not suprised given how great my 2 gtx 780 lightnings are

04-03-2014, 17:11:59

nepas
Quote:
Originally Posted by KakaoDJ View Post
PLEASE test the mining performance, i can only imagine it being beastly because of the sick memory clocks.

O god,NO,fecking miners have ruined the market as it is.

05-03-2014, 01:22:30

Vlada011
Not bad card... It's ugly but excellent card... Best R9-290X without doubt...
And score is OK, 300 GPU Xtreme points less than mine GTX780Ti KP Classified... 150 P points less, I mean both out of box...OK these test is on i7-3960X monster and mine is on i7-3770K, that mean difference would be even bigger on my side, but nice card... Better option than any reference GTX780Ti. Probably...
That's it, we saw and that MSI R9-290X Lightening... Any way Hawaii is even hotter than GK110.
I don't know for users who play with side panel with similar cards.
Watercooling is highly recommended for such cards now and in future.

05-03-2014, 02:51:44

Kaapstad
Congrats TTL

Yours is the first and still the only site to get a review of the 290X Lightning done.

05-03-2014, 03:44:04

KakaoDJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by nepas View Post
O god,NO,fecking miners have ruined the market as it is.
As a benchmark, noone is gonna buy this pecker to mine with it

05-03-2014, 04:06:12

Excalabur50
Totally had to clean off my keyboard after watching this LOVE that card and wish I had two of them

05-03-2014, 05:33:44

nick9999
The cooler is really nice and the card is a beast.

But the blue and red light just sucks IMO, why couldnt they have used yellow or RGB

I mean the Z87 MPOWER is such an awesome looking board and this card just looks like a disco

05-03-2014, 06:05:30

neliz
Not sure if I'm allowed to say it yet, but a certain brand from the Balkan area will be making waterblocks for it

05-03-2014, 06:09:12

Kaapstad
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick9999 View Post
The cooler is really nice and the card is a beast.
Quote:
Originally Posted by neliz View Post
Not sure if I'm allowed to say it yet, but a certain brand from the Balkan area will be making waterblocks for it
Rip that cooler off, get a waterblock on it and whack some volts through it.

05-03-2014, 08:32:38

Detection
Are the FPS results on the Heaven benchmark, Max FPS rather than Average FPS as stated?

If not, how are all the results with my card, and noticed by my brother too who has the 780Ti, heads above what we are getting ?

05-03-2014, 08:47:54

Warchild
Quote:
Originally Posted by KakaoDJ View Post
PLEASE test the mining performance, i can only imagine it being beastly because of the sick memory clocks.
http://i61.tinypic.com/28j9u8g.png

05-03-2014, 11:57:10

KakaoDJ
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warchild View Post
That comic is obviously made by someone who didn't get their ass into bitcoins early enough Bitcoin has been stable for a while now

05-03-2014, 16:47:00

alexm116
Does anyone know how much this card will cost?

05-03-2014, 16:57:01

Snortan
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexm116 View Post
Does anyone know how much this card will cost?
It does say 529.99 in the review, and it's on pre-order at overclockers at the same price.

06-03-2014, 03:36:16

Warchild
Quote:
Originally Posted by KakaoDJ View Post
That comic is obviously made by someone who didn't get their ass into bitcoins early enough Bitcoin has been stable for a while now
I think the joke was intended at Mt Gox lost 350million dollars in bitcoins, but anyways I cant wait to see what people can do with this card underwater.

06-03-2014, 10:15:34

gdubc
So for the about the same price as a 780ti classified but not quite same performance? Maybe if it was around actual msrp I would be more interested.

06-03-2014, 10:40:38

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Detection View Post
Are the FPS results on the Heaven benchmark, Max FPS rather than Average FPS as stated?

If not, how are all the results with my card, and noticed by my brother too who has the 780Ti, heads above what we are getting ?
Not the same system is it....

10-03-2014, 05:10:25

Vlada011
Because GK110 2880 CUDA is better chip and complex than Hawaii, better for OC, about 10C colder and better performer. NVIDIA win this time. They should do that before one year when they decide to offer weaker card with more vide memory instead 2 models.
GTX785 6GB 2880 CUDA
GTX780 3GB 2304 CUDA
They should launch in same time, or under name GTX780/GTX770 only different specification.
Now we have 4 card from GK110. Classic tweaking performance.
Everything would be perfect and fine. Now many people overpriced their GTX780 and NVIDIA give us this fantastic GTX780Ti and they don't have that...
NVIDIA leave them with weaker and more expensive card than AMD.
I'm so sorry for them, I had in their position 3 months before upgrade.
Reply
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