Here's the spec:
Core Clock Speed(OC Mode)
Core Clock Speed(Gaming Mode)
Core Clock Speed(Silent Mode)
Memory Clock Speed(MHz)
Support & More:
Power consumption (W)
Recommended Power Supply (W)
DirectX Version Support
OpenGL Version Support
NVIDIA Geforce GTX 970
PCI Express x16 3.0
1140MHz Core (Boost Clock:1279MHz)
1114MHz Core (Boost Clock:1253MHz)
1051MHz Core (Boost Clock:1178MHz)
2 (Dual-link DVI-I, Dual-link DVI-D),
2560 x 1600 @60 Hz.
1 (version 1.4a/2.0)
4096x2160 @24 Hz (1.4a), 3840x2160 @60 Hz (2.0)
1 (version 1.2)
4096x2160 @60 Hz
1x 8-pin, 1x 6-pin
1x 8-pin Power Cable, 1x DVI to VGA Dongle
269 x 141 x 35
What comes in the box?
The top of the GTX970 Gaming 4G shows off an illuminated MSI logo coupled with their gaming dragon design. This is complimented nicely by the 3 hex screws that are used to hold the lighting in place which gives the card more of a rugged aesthetic and stops the lighting from softening up the design. Other than this we see a glimpse of the two 8mm Superpipes featured within the cooler that we will see later, one of which is their Bi-directional SU-pipe. On top of this we find both an 8 and a 6 pin PCIe connector for powering it's 145 Watt rated power consumption and a pair of SLI connectors for the supported three way SLI. I really like the design MSI are going for and the red and black accents tie in in well together but we can already see internal fan and lighting cables which detracts from the overall aesthetic. I much prefer an all enclosing cooler design that hides
The two 100mm fans we have already mentioned have been designed to provide absolutely maximum performance both in cooling and noise, having been tailored to fit the heatsink it will be working alongside. These 100mm fans overlap the heasink slightly so as to maximise airflow over as much of the heatsink as possible and they also featured two different types of blades, a 14 blade mix between standard and their new dispersion blade styles. This is meant to lower noise by 5% and while I can't back them up on that specific claim, as I will discuss noise overall in the performance section this card is EXTREMELY quiet. The only thing left to really mention is the "Dragon Army" stamped into the cool expansion bracket, a nice addition.
Product: (Reviews linked)
Thermals, Power and Noise:
During our temperature test, with the cards fans maxed out, the card was noticeable but honestly not even close to unbearable. Thanks to the large 10cm fans and the fact they are non-blower style, the pitch was also on the perfect level for it to fade into background noise which I was very happy with.
Without changing any settings in MSI's Afterburner, our card's fans would not even spin up till temps had passed 60 degrees celcius and would spin back down and stop when they were back below 50. This meant that when we weren't gaming or using the card intensively, it would feel like we didn't even have the graphics card in the system at all which is absolutely perfect for a noise freak like me. Thank the Twin Frozr V cooler and MSI for being intuitive enough to support this and then thank them again because even when the card does spin up, the dual 100mm fans and array of 8 & 6mm heatpipes means that when the fans actually are running, they are extremely quiet.
Graphics performance was also amazing due to the overclocked GPU. We saw Far Cry 3 hit basically 60fps on ultra settings with 4x Anti Aliasing turned on, 75 on Metro Last Light Redux (Very high with no AA) and 76 on Crysis 2 making all the games we tested without a doubt perfectly playable. With Metro Last Light Redux we only saw an issue when we turned AA on during our 4x AA test. Here the game wasn't playable with only an average of 19fps however I personally don't see this as a huge issue due to the amazing none-AA performance.
Aesthetically speaking the GTX970 Gaming 4G is also great however the styling definitely backs the card into a corner, that is if you care about how your system looks, and even moreso with the card lacking a backplate. Despite how good I think the card looks, the red and black angular styling limits the card to only fit in well with other red and black angular components which while this is a large portion of the market, means if you wish to choose a different colour scheme, you would have to either mod this cards shroud or choose something else. I feel like the previous Twin Frozr II cooler was definitely open to a lot more styling options (disregarding the performance side of the matter). MSI have more than compensated for this with a huge line of other gaming components that will work with this graphics card but even this is still limiting. That being said, this is pretty much the worst thing I could find about the product and it's not even close to being a negative point.
All in all the MSI GTX970 Gaming 4G performs extremely well in game and is so good at handling cooling and noise that I would happily continue to use it in my everyday pc or my HTPC without thinking twice about it. Despite being the first official card to be reviewed on this website, we have tried to award and rate the card based on long term personal experience within the GPU market and therefore the card has been rated as best as currently possible. With 78/90 The card achieved our Silver Award, Barely missing the Gold award by the tiniest smidgen, a more inclusive shroud design and a backplate would alone have bumped this card up to a gold award.
Features & Compatibility:
Aesthetics & Packaging:
Value For Money: