MSI R9 290X Lightning Review
We had a close look at the Lightning in our preview article, so we’ll just cover the basics here. It’s no surprise that such a high-end graphics card comes with every accessory you could ever desire, as well as plenty that you didn’t realise you needed, including a MOSFET heatsink for those of you who have a bottle of LN2 to hand and an eager glint in your eye.
So few cards stray from the black and red look that we still adore the Tri-Frozr cooler in yellow that adorns the Lightning. It marks it out as special straight away, and of course matches the MSI extreme motherboard colour-scheme. It’s no surprise that the Lightning comes with a sturdy backplate to ensure PCB stability.
It’s a massive heat-sink with one of the highest fin densities we’ve seen. Tucked away on the edge are three voltage monitoring points, giving a glimpse into the single focus of the Lightning.
Display outputs follow the regulation AMD selection, but the big eye opener is the triple power input. One six pin and two eight pins is quite a demand.
On the back are three LEDs to indicate the current power state of the card, depending upon how many cables you currently have plugged into it. Red = not enough power. Blue (2x 8 pins) = normal use or gaming. Yellow/Orange (2x 8pins + optional 6 pin) is for overclock mode.