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This review is from: MSI GeForce GTX 970 GAMING 4G
Pros: OVERVIEW: I basically decided to get this card solely for the purpose of being able to play Assassin's Creed Syndicate. That being said, my self-built PC consists of a i5-4670K (not OC), MSI GTX 760, Seasonic M12II 620 W, an SSD & HDD, and RAM.
GPU POWER CONSUMPTION: According to an online PSU calculator, it was estimated a power consumption of 449 W for the GTX 970, which is very surprising since the power draw for the MSI GTX 760 is 456 W. This card is definitely worth the purchase just for this.
COOLING: I have five case fans: two 140 mm (intake) in the front, two 200 mm (exhaust) on the top and one 140 mm (exhaust) in the back of the case. So my case airflow is plentiful. I've run benchmarks in the guise of everyday usage tests, which means running high demand games for about 30 min to an hour. I didn't run the standard benchmarks such as Unigine, 3DMark, etc since I will never be using my PC to that extreme. The GPU temperature never went about 55 C, even under high loads which was very satisfactory for me.
BENCHMARKS: Just a sampling of what I experienced while gaming. I was able to run Assassin's Creed Syndicate at ultra high graphics settings without any problems. I got an average of about 60 FPS, which is very good considering that it is almost on par with the GTX 980 (main reason I did not buy the GTX 980). I then tested Rome Total War and got an average of 80 FPS (I'm a huge total war fan so I had to test it). So overall, I am very pleased with this card. I did not test some of my other high demand games such as Arkham Knight, etc because I used AC Syndicate as reference.
SUMMARY: Overall this is a very good card. If you expect a high graphics experience at 1080p, then this card will not disappoint you. I game at 1080p since I have triple monitors at 1080p and don't really relish having to buy three monitors just for a higher resolution. Truth be told, I personally cannot justify upgrading to a resolution higher than 1080p. I chose the MSI branding because my previous GPU was an MSI. Moreover, unintentionally the color theme of my PC build is red and black: MSI Gaming 5 motherboard, RAM with red heatsink. Besides, when researching video cards, the MSI cards generally are always cooler than their competitors, which is my main requirement. If you are looking for a gaming experience at very high/ultra graphics settings with a 1080p resolution, then the MSI GTX 970 is well worth the price. I do know that approximately $325-350 is quite high, but this is under assumption that you keep you card for at least 3-5 years. I had an ATI X850 XT PE for ten years!!!
Hope this review helps.
Cons: Not really a con, but more like me forgetting to think properly. Prior to installing my new video card, I took the time to clean out my case. That means disconnection of all outgoing cables. I then cleaned the case using a can of compressed air (this is a must have). I hadn't cleaned my case since I built it (two years), so there was a lot of dust built up on the components and especially the fans.
I then installed the GTX 970 and installed the proper drivers: all good so far. Then, when I ran AC Syndicate, the PSU fan began to kick in at high RPMs. This had never happened to me, even while using my old video card the GTX 760. So, I began to run every game I had--all high demand games would cause the PSU fan to kick in.
It took me nearly half the night to figure out the problem. When I cleaned out my case, I forgot about the bottom. There is a vent with a mesh screen where the PSU fan (intake) is located. It was caked with dirt completely. After cleaning it and the PSU fan, I fired up my system. With crossed fingers I ran AC Syndicate and after three hours game time, my system was very quiet. The loudest noise comes from my case fans. The MSI GTX 970 fan noise cannot be heard even under load!
As I said in the beginning, this is not really a con, just something to be aware of. I thought something was wrong with my new GPU and even began an RMA process.
My PC case is an NZXT Phantom (510?). It is the mid-tower case in their lineup.
Other Thoughts: I ordered this the weekend before thanksgiving, on a Saturday and I received it on Wednesday, the day before thanksgiving by noon. I've noticed that Newegg is pretty good about processing orders and having them delivered in a timely fashion (most of my build was bought on Newegg).READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: When I was shopping for a video card to go with my new PC build, I wanted a video card that would last me at least 3 years, with the ability to run the games of the previous year at the highest graphical settings. The game I was basing my requirements on was Rome II Total War on a single 1080p monitor. And I couldn't be happier with my choice. I am able to run all the Total War games on high without any lag or stuttering. Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag runs at a steady 45-50 fps; all my simulation games such as FSX runs smoothly at the highest graphical settings--granted, that FSX is a CPU intensive game, so this observation really has no weight. I cannot comment upon first person shooter games such as Battlefield 4, Metro, Watch Dogs, etc because I do not play them; neither can I comment on its video editing abilities. So far, it has been able to handle any game that I have thrown at it--granted, I have not tried certain GPU taxing games such as Skyrim, Hitman Absolution, etc.
I choose the MSI brand for two reasons: first, I previously built a PC using the MSI 270X and was really impressed with its cooling and how silent it ran even under load. Second, my motherboard is the Z97 MSI Gaming 5 and I wanted to keep with the red dragon theme in my build--you cannot go wrong with a black and red theme light with white LEDs.
I think the only downside to its performance would be if you combined it with sub par PC components, such as an older CPU. I have a i5-4670K, SeaSonic 620W PSU, with 8 GB of RAM and a ASUS 1980X1080, 60 Hz, 2 ms monitor. The draw on my PSU under load has never exceeded more than 300W and I believe that it drew 300W only once. The temps under load are also very low--40C-50C; it idles between the high twenties and low thirties. This low temperature range could be due to my cooling configuration in my PC case (NZXT Phantom 410). I have dual 120 mm intake fans in the front, and single 120 mm exhaust fan in the rear and 2 140 mm exhaust fans on the top of the case--all running at the high RPMs. The MSI blade design can be attributed to the low fan noise of the video card's fans. Under load, I can barely hear it even though the case is at waist level about 2 feet away; at idle, you would think that it's not even working--I had to open my case and take a peek inside, it's that silent!!!
Overall, it is a good video card for $250 as offered by Newegg. An added bonus is the free Watch Dogs gaming certificate that they offer with your purchase. And since it is overclocked from the factory, you do not have to worry about extracting the most performance you can for the price you paid. In terms of overclocking, I cannot offer any feedback since I did not attempt to do so. I conclusion, for the price and performance it offers, you cannot get a better deal than the MSI GTX 760.
Cons: In my pros, I did not state its performance or lack of it on dual monitors or monitors with higher resolutions than 1080p. I will be adding a second monitor shortly, but probably will not be using it for gaming except for FSX. I guess the only concern using dual monitors would be the increase in temperatures since the video card has to power the graphics to two monitors. I know that due to its 2 GB VRAM, it limits its ability to smoothly project graphics on higher resolutions such as 2160p or 4320p (4K). You might be able to solve it with the 4 GB VRAM version of this card, but due to the lower bandwidth, it would be better to go with a GTX 770 or 780.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Originally thought about going for a higher watt PSU, but after reading articles and using various PSU calculators; got to love (though I really hate the misinformation factor) Google, I found that I really don't need a higher watt PSU. For those looking to gauge their builds with what they need, mine is as follows: i5-4670K CPU, MSI Gaming 5 motherboard, GTX 760 2GB, 120 SSD, 1TB HDD, blu ray optical drive, 2 140 mm fans, 3 120 mm fans, and a NZXT Phantom 410 case. My CPU cooling is the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 Plus.
Concerning Seasonic, I am totally sold on this manufacture. Previously, I used Corsair TX 650M, but had to return the first one due to it being faulty. The M12II worked right out of the box!!! Power is consistent and steady. It works like a charm. I think that everyone should make the move to modular simply for the sake of case management. And before you bring the question of price, I paid $90, so there really is no drawback.
Cons: The only "con" that I can think of would be running an SLI configuration. Even though it supports SLI, for me to run 2 GTX 760s I need an average of 550 W, which in my opinion, is leaving only a very constrained margin of overhead. I theoretically would like at least a 100W of overhead room. But realistically, I would probably never run an SLI configuration, so 620W is perfect for me. For a single GTX 760, I only need 440W.
Other Thoughts: This is the perfect product for those who build their own systems; really great for either either first timers or the experienced. And from what I heard/read, Seasonic is probably the best PSU manufacturer and I am glad that my experience is proof of that statement.READ FULL REVIEW