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Item#: N82E16814127581

MSI Radeon HD 6970 DirectX 11 R6970 Lightning 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

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  • 2GB 256-Bit GDDR5
  • Core Clock 940MHz
  • 2 x DVI (1 Single Link, 1 Dual Link) 1 x HDMI 2 x Mini DisplayPort
  • 1536 Stream Processors
  • PCI Express 2.1 x16

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  • Overview
  • Specifications
  • Warranty & Returns
  • Reviews

The new member of MSI Lightning Series family, the R6970 Lightning is tailor-made for extreme overclocking. MSI introduces the unique Power4 Architecture to provide the most powerful and stable power for the R6970 Lightning, thus leading to significantly increased overclocking potential. The R6970 Lightning is also rich in exclusive features, including the new Twin Frozr III dual-fan cooling with innovative Propeller Blade technology, Triple Overvoltage through MSI’s Afterburner software and top-quality Military Class II components. MSI R6970 Lightning is designed to offer the ultimate in overclocking capabilities and is the superior choice for overclocking enthusiasts seeking to set new world records!

  • newegg MSI Power4 Architecture for Overclocking Reliability The R6970 Lightning inherits the impressive Power4 architecture from previous Lightning series cards along with improved components and design in four areas. Besides the robust 18 phase PWM design, the PWM module is twice as large as before and provides double the amount of current to the GPU. Memory has its own independent power supply using an 8-pin connector for minimum interference to greatly increase overclocking potential. The next-generation Proadlizer capacitor (*4) increases signal stability by leaps and bounds while CopperMOS, with 2x high current capacity, provides the GPU with a large and stable power supply. Combined, these features provide extreme overclocking enthusiasts with a more stable operating environment and the best performance out there.
  • newegg Twin Frozr III and Propeller Blade Technology for Supreme Cooling The all new Twin Frozr III cooling design utilizes the innovative Propeller Blade technology to create 20% more airflow compared to conventional fan blades. The airflow also covers a large surface to remove heat quickly and effectively, and coupled with nickel-plated copper base, twin 9cm PWM fans, SuperPipe technology, and the form-in-one heatsink, the result is 26°C cooler and 12dB quieter than the reference design under full loads.
  • newegg GPU/Memory/PLL(VDDCI) Triple Overvoltage The MSI R6970 Lightning comes with MSI's exclusive Afterburner overclocking utility, which not only adjusts GPU and memory clock but also manage the GPU/Memory/PLL(VDDCI) voltages to maximize overclocking potential. Thanks to Triple Overvoltage, the overclocking capability of the R6970 Lightning can be boosted 20% up when compared with the reference board.
  • newegg Extreme Overclocking Functions For hardware enthusiasts, the MSI R6970 Lightning graphic card comes with exclusive extreme overclocking features. Apart from V-Check Points and V-Switch for monitoring and adjusting the GPU/Memory/PLL(VDDCI) voltages in real time, Dual BIOS design enlarges 2.5x PowerTune Range and maximizes CCC limit. PWM Clock Tuner and OCP Unlocker also help to increase overclocking potential. All these functions come together to make the R6970 Lightning the ultimate graphic card for extreme overclocking.
  • newegg Top Quality Military Class II Components The MSI R6970 Lightning graphic card uses top-quality Military Class II components including All Solid Cap for overclocking and full-speed operation, SFC for 10% higher efficiency, and 30% increase in maximum current, as well as Hi-c Cap with Tantalum core which boasts 8 times the lifetime of conventional solid capacitors. These high-quality components not only increase the graphic cards' overall service life but also enhance GPU stability.
  • newegg LPL (Lightning Power Layer) Independent circuit design for GPU, memory and power layer decreases noise between different signals to ensure extreme power stability.

Learn more about the MSI R6970 Lightning

Warranty, Returns, And Additional Information
  • Warranty
  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 3 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 3 years
  • Read full details

Customer Reviews of the MSI R6970 Lightning

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  • Adam L.
  • 2/22/2015 2:34:19 AM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGood for Crysis

Pros: High memory bandwidth, high quality construction.

Cons: None

Other Thoughts: Thermal paste dries out over time. Replacing it can help drop temps quite a bit.

Needs a properly ventilated case to breath.

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Michael L.
  • 1/14/2013 5:18:58 PM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

1 out of 5 eggs

Pros: This card powered three monitors simultaneously - 2xDVI ports and 1x(active) Mini-DisplayPort to DVI adapter. Graphics in good detail.

Cons: This video card, under diagnostic, after 6 months, reported hardware failure. Could no longer play games on it. Still ran my three monitors and allowed me to do work though.

Other Thoughts: Card by now, after 9 months, is completely dead. Gave it to my father for his new build (he doesn't game), and it came to life (fans spinning), but no video displayed. I'm buying 2 sapphire cards this week for Crossfire to replace my nVidia card (I prefer the Eyefinity display setup).

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued Customer,

We apologize for the issues that you are having with this product.

Please kindly visit the URL below to set up a RMA with the following information.

1. Full name (first, and last)
2. Telephone #
3. Physical address
4. Email address
5. Serial number (located on the box, or the back of VGA card, eg 602-xxxx-xxxBxxxxxxxxxx)
6. Symptoms you are having onto the Special Remark section (as detailed as possible)

Once your information and warranty coverage are verified then we can proceed with this RMA for you.
Our turn-around time is typically about 2 weeks and our system will notify you automatically at every stage of your RMA process.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the product, please do not hesitate to contact us directly at and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Best Regards,
MSI Review Team |

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Anonymous
  • 11/3/2012 7:49:12 AM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsVery Nice Video Card

Pros: Very fast, and supported by Windows 8. I recommend getting the driver for it from AMD's website instead of the manufacture's. Supports significant overclocking very easily.

Cons: I'm sure someone will find some, but my only issues with it are my own preferences, and not the video card's fault.

Other Thoughts: My computer is limited by its weakest link, and right now that is certainly my CPU. I've got an Intel Core2 Quad Q9650 @ 3.0 GHz. I know this is my bottleneck, since overclocking the video card does not increase frame rates, and in fact, I can under clock my card by 20% and STILL get the same frame rates! The catalyst control panel shows my card at 70% - 80% load running the Unigen Haven benchmark at default settings running at 30-35 FPS (1920x1080), and my CPU is at 100% load (on the single core that the engine is using anyway).
I Wish I could afford a Core i7.

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • bonnie m.
  • 7/25/2012 6:25:17 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

4 out of 5 eggsHopes to enlighten some people.

Pros: See other thoughts for important notes...
Top build quality with no compromises on the PCB.
Handles a lot of games maxed out at 1080p and will have room for more... That being said it "struggles" with Metro 2033 and crysis 2. (Struggles means that you can max detail the games but when you add AA and stuff your going under the 35-60 FPS butter zone. Scales well with 2 haven't tried with 3+

Cons: It's heavy! The problem I had mine after a few months is that the screws that hold the cooler are only 4 around the GPU die that is quite a lot of metal to hold up with 4 SPRING screws now I say spring because they are spring screws that don't tighten fully on the PCB. Now this lead to sky rocketing temperatures and maybe the reason that many are RMA. See other thoughts for a simple and cheap fix

Other Thoughts: To fix the sagging SPRING Screw issue is to remove the heat-sink and take it to your local hardware store... I say take it to you local store because if you just take the screws they are not long enough to identify what thread and size they are. (I have forgotten what I bought 4 months ago) once you get screws and washers that are appropriate (I got a metal and a rubber to put for a secure and snug fit) replace the TIM (used Nochtua) and your set... Now my temps are actually lower than new!
To shorten the card just remove the heat-sink and then you have access to the 4 screws for the fan "shroud" also saves weight...

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • DAVID J.
  • 7/19/2012 11:47:36 AM
  • Ownership: more than 1 year
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggs400 bucks wow oops

Pros: Great for new vegas

Cons: Locks up on skyrim

Other Thoughts: This thing needs a roll cage or some sort of REAL Protection for the GPU
I wish it was a brick but this construction is more of a floating Glue sandwich that can crush Expencive parts

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued MSI Customer,

We would like to apologize for the issue you have experienced with this particular VGA. Please email me directly via or call us at 1-626-271-1004 Press 1 your VGA's serial number and your complete contact information, subject heading "MSIR6970". I would like to help you get this resolved.

Best Regards,
User Support
MSI Product Support

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Andy H.
  • 5/7/2012 5:19:14 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsReally nice Card

Pros: runs cold runs fast runs good
runs bf3 just fine,

Cons: runs best with AMD cpus

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Karl M.
  • 5/2/2012 5:18:00 PM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsDON'T BUY MSI

Pros: Fairly quiet fans. Although they don't exhaust out of the case...

Cons: Extremely poor customer support! I have sent this card in four times now! Each time previous they sent me a non-working card. This one finally worked (for about two weeks) now the temperature sensor is on the fritz. It rapidly moves from over 100 C to around 80 C even as the GPU load is pegged at 99%.

Other Thoughts: MSI has not offered to ship a card in advance in order to save downtime. And they will not send me a brand new card after all this frustration. They did finally start paying shipping both ways at least, but that is about all I can say for them. I have not had a working card for about six months now. I would be satisfied if they would give me a refund or a new card (since their quality control is obviously extremely poor). I wish I could go back in time and buy a different brand, you think support would be better when you spend ~$700 with a company. Lame!

Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued MSI Customer,
“Please contact MSI customer service/RMA Team: Customer Service / RMA: 1-626-271-1004 Press 2 with your case details. Thank you.”
Best Regards,
Customer Service/RMA Team

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Daniel U.
  • 4/24/2012 6:34:55 PM
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month

5 out of 5 eggsamazing card

Pros: amazing card, it runs amazing with stock overclock, stock it ran bf3 on ultra 70+ fps in 1080p and didn't go over 65 degrees, overclocking barely raises the temps, quiet fans never went over 40%

Cons: HUGE, green led light on back, not cons for me but may be for some

COST 400 dollars is a bit outrageous and is almost as much as the new gen cards, 300 would be a great price for this

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Evan C.
  • 4/23/2012 9:01:17 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

1 out of 5 eggsThe only thing worse than this card is MSI's customer support

Pros: NONE. Believe the other reviews on here.

I wouldn't use another MSI product, even if it were given to me for free.

Out $450, about a month of wait time, and still no working gpu.

Cons: This card is bad. I've gone through two in 4 months. Built to be perfect? Hardly.

Ordered this card from, on recommendation of MSI from a friend. Tiger Direct in late October, 2011. From the get go the card couldn't run Skyrim, even with gimped settings and etc. Eventually I was going to update the drivers and it overheated sitting on the desktop. Never overclocked, or even stress tested.
This happened in Jan.

RMA process was tedious. I went online and tried to fill out an RMA form, but the RMA form did not list my card's serial number. After an email, no response. I called, and was sent on a goose chase trying to write down Phone # after # which were never repeated, by an Asian sounding recording. Called the specified number and couldn't get an answer for two days in a row.

Called a week later and was finally someone picked up. Set up an RMA. Had to send back $400 videocard on my own money; didn't even provide a box. With insurance on it, it was expensive to ship back.

Other Thoughts: Emailed on 2/1 they'd received my card. 11 days later I got the same email. I called RMA/Customer service to clarify what was going on and couldn't get an answer again. I left a message and lo and behold the next day they shipped me a new card.

I was very disappointed to receive what was almost certainly a refurbished card, in generic packaging, with no covers or other materials besides an anti-static bag. For $400, plus shipping costs.

Plugged in the card; and I was happy it worked. Even ordered extra fans for my NZXT Phantom case. However, almost a month to the day I started having overheating issues. When I click on Origin to log in to BF3, the fan spins to max, and then stops, etc. Can play for maybe two minutes before it's hitting 82*C and fails. Playing legend of Grimrock on Steam, the card revs to max fan on menu, and flickers black.
I have a high tech level. My frst PC was an old 386 pc back in the early ninties. I keep my case clean and dust free as possible.


Manufacturer Response:

Dear Valued MSI Customer,
“Please contact MSI customer service/RMA Team: Customer Service / RMA: 1-626-271-1004 Press 2 with your case details. Thank you.”
Best Regards,
Customer Service/RMA Team

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Trevor P.
  • 3/18/2012 9:18:55 AM
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat Card

Pros: Factory OC to 940, great cooler, handles Skyrim on ultra, Dirt 3 on ultra with 8x msaa, and anything else I throw at it on 21 in "average" monitor.

Cons: No real cons

Other Thoughts: Factory OC sort of diminishes the perceived OC ability of the card. It's also a long and a big card. Overall, it's a great card. I can stress test it and the temps don't go above 70 with overvolting. The price could drop soon with the release of the new generation of gpus, then it'll be an even better deal.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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Item#: N82E16814127581
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