MSI GTX970 Gaming Review

MSI GTX970 Gaming Review


Mon Dieu. C’est un morceau de matériel très puissant. So much so we’ve become French for a moment.

We know that the trend in hardware is towards lighter, thinner, more efficient, cooler, quieter and all the other things that help make our daily lives more tolerable and the likelihood of the future for this Earth being a better one. To a lot of respects our desires are way ahead of where technology currently is. Because of this we expect that there will be a performance drop off in the quest for efficiency until the boffins work out how to do it without compromising performance. Similarly to how early city cars were wheezy things full of rattles and misery but nowadays a VW Golf has more power than a 70s Ferrari and yet is capable of low emissions, high comfort and excellent fuel consumption.

So what has all that got to do with the MSI GTX970 Gaming? It’s simple really.

The underlying nVidia Maxwell architecture does most of the initial work. We have a graphics card that draws 150W, barely more than the low-power GTX750Ti, and yet is otherwise a match for the hungrier Kepler GK110. When you take something that doesn’t cost the earth, both literally and figuratively, and then give it to the people at MSI to drape their Gaming brand over, you end up with something amazing. The big factory overclock gives plenty of performance in nearly all of our tests. In fact it’s only when really ramping up the resolution that there is a small drop off in the average frames you can expect when compared to some other cards such as the GTX780Ti. We’re pretty sure that a handful of FPS are a small price to pay for smaller electricity bills, longevity thanks to the cooler running, and the joy of near silent gaming.

It’s that last thing that is very much the star of the show here. The GTX970 is excellent as it is, but the MSI Twin Frozr V is a wonderful piece of design. It’s thinner than nearly everything else on the market which has enormous benefits if you plan on running a couple of cards in SLI. The cooling capabilities are excellent with a mere 63°C under loading. Above all that is the excellent PWM design which can stop the fans entirely if you’re just browsing the internet bringing some much needed peace and quiet to our lives. The ability to run only one fan rather than both if necessary, and the quietness even with both fans running hard, means that even when you’re gaming the card is still a joy to live with.

Compared to the GTX770 it’s not even a contest. The MSI GTX970 Gaming annihilates it. It regularly beats the MSI GTX780 Gaming and in certain tests runs with almost anything you care to bring to the party. Our only caveat would be that there is, on average, a drop-off in performance switching from 1080P gaming to 1440P, but that’s a tiny thing on an otherwise excellent package. It even looks just like the latest MSI Gaming motherboards for that harmonious system we all enjoy so much. It’s an MSI Gaming product, and yet another in their long line of excellence. Gold.  


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