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Pros: Before getting this MSI 970 I had tired a GIGABYTE and an ASUS. This one overclocks higher and more stable then both of the other 2 with some other advantages. The MSI is the quietest out of the 3, is the lightest and also is the shortest by almost 1 inch. The fans, like the ASUS, do not spin up until it reaches either the default temperature limit or you can set it with any current overclocking software like Precision-X or MSI Afterburner. So basically dead silent until about 60c for me. The fan RPM ramping is very gradual up and down. Even at 100% fan speed, with my open air test bench its very, VERY quiet.
Performance wise at 2560x1440 I am able to max out games like War Thunder, BF4/BF3, Planetside 2 at 60+ FPS no problem. That is NOT overclocked. For me this card will hit nearly 1500Mhz Core. But I have no reason to run it at that frequency currently. Its that good.
Cons: There are 3 cons in my opinion.
-No back plate
-Plastic fan housing
-Only 1 Displayport
Some may be concerned about flexing given it has no back plate. Its a very lite weight GPU. I wouldn't worry at all about that.
Other Thoughts: The GIGABYTE GTX 970 G1 Gamer is by far the most robust of the 3 I tried. It has a nice metal fan housing, back plate and 3 Displayports. Unfortunately, I got a bad one and had to exchange it. If you have the space (its huge) that is my runner up. The ASUS model I did not like. The aftermarket heatsink was very loosely attached and I had some metal buzzing when the fans ramped up. It also had much louder fans.
So the third times a charm?!.. YES it is. Even though this MSI model may not have the robust construction of the GIGABYTE and some preferred extra Displayorts, it's the most stable, compact and quietest. I would recommend this one all day.
Pros: First off let me say I purchased these from a local retailer when Newegg was out of stock. So this review does not reflect badly on Newegg, you guys are great.
As far as frame rates at 5760x1080 in game like BF4, Planetside 2, War Thunder... all settings on Ultra, an SLI config is breathtaking. I never drop below about 75 fps. I have also used a single card just out of curiosity and it performs surprisingly well at that resolution. About 45 fps slightly overclocked with a mix of HIgh and Ultra settings and AA turned down to 2x. My problems with these GPU's were a mechanical flaw that showed its ugly face about 10 days in.. Read below>
Cons: I bought 2 for SLI running 3 27" ASUS monitors in Nvidia Surround via Displayport at 5760x1080 and for the first week or so, they ran flawlessly aside from a few early Nvidia driver issues. Last night I sat down to play some games and could not get my right side monitor to pick up a signal from the top Displayport on the GTX 970 in PCI-E slot #1. Unplugged it from the GPU and tried a different Displayport and it worked fine. Then the third Displayport on the GPU, also worked fine. I ended up testing both cards individually with fresh drivers and all available ports to find one Displayport on each GPU was NOT sending out a signal anymore! Contacted Nvidia Tech Support thinking I was going crazy and after about an hour of troubleshooting, Indeed I had 2 bad Displayports. One on each GTX 970. I have since contacted GIGABYTE's Customer Service to alert them of the issue. They actually got back to me in a reasonable amount of time but with a very generic response which didn't surprise me. Basically telling me to send them my system spec. and gave me a ticket #. By that point, already anticipating a lengthy warranty process, I took advantage of my return policy from the retailer and exchanged them for a single GTX 980 from ASUS. Didn't feel like taking another chance.
I have owned GIGABYTE GPU's from the 600, 700 and now 900 series and this is my first ever problem. But 2 in a row is alarming and a sign of something gone terribly wrong from either faulty hardware or lousy quality control and testing.
Other Thoughts: Up until this Model from GIGABYTE you would have heard me talking them up and recommending them left and right. I simply can no longer do that unfortunately. Im really hoping that this is a first run issue and that with enough bad review GIGABYTE will look into the flaws we are having and devise a solution.. Until then my hard earned money with be spent elsewhere.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: I owned 2 of these for SLI that I purchased from my local Micro Center. Other than a few driver issues early on they are amazingly quite and powerful for gaming. I have a widescreen setup at 5760x1080 and even just one of them is powerful enough to play most modern games on High and Ultra settings. They overclock very well also. My problem with this model is mechanical *read below*
Cons: So like I said I purchased 2 of these at the same time from my local electronics retailer. I was using 2 Displayport on one card and one from the other in SLI for my Widescreen setup. No problems there aside from minor micro-shuttering. Then the other day I took my rig to my friends house for a LAN party with just one monitor. Plugged into the top Displayport on the GPU in PCI-E slot #1 and nothing, black screen. Then tried the other 2 Displayports and they worked fine. I remembered that when I had it all hooked up to my Widescreen setup at home that I had never used that top port before. So I decided it was a good opportunity to individually test all of my GPU ports with one monitor and sure enough, the second GTX 970 also had a non functional Displayport! Thinking I either had the worst luck in the world or was just going crazy, I got on a live chat with Nvidia Tech Support for about an hour last night and sure enough after quite a bit of troubleshooting, I indeed did, get 2 bad videocards! I have owned GIGABYTE GPU's for 3 generations now and never had a single issue. Guess it was my turn.
Other Thoughts: Moral of the story is, test all of your ports. I may havd not found out that I had bad ports for quite a while and at that point, it could have been to late for me to exchange them.
I realize most people will never use all 3 Displayports but that's no excuse for GIGABYTE to have lousy quality control.
Hope this heads up (not really a review) helps a few people :)
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