MSI R7970 Lightning Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card Review

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Temperature & Noise Testing

Since video card temperatures and the heat generated by next-generation cards have become an area of concern among enthusiasts and gamers, we want to take a closer look at how the graphics cards do at idle, during gaming and finally under a full load.

Video Card Temps

We recorded temperatures during several scenarios on each of the cards we tested today and the benchmark results are shown above. The MSI R7970 Lighting had an idle temperature of 31C, which is great for being such a high-end enthusiast graphics card. Firing up Furmark the card heated up to 70C and after running a few loops of the H.A.W.X. 2 benchmark the card peaked at 58C. 

MSI R7970 Furmark

Here is a of the runs on Furmark that we did.  In this particular run the card hit 69C, but in the others it hit 70C and we average all of our test runs. We just wanted to show you how the temperature curve looked and how quickly the MSI R7970 Lighting with the Twin Frozr IV GPU cooler recovered from the heat.

Video Card Noise Levels

We recently upgraded our sound meter to an Extech sound level meter with ±1.5dB accuracy that meets Type 2 standards. This meter ranges from 35dB to 90dB on the low measurement range, which is perfect for us as our test room usually averages around 38dB. We measure the sound level two inches above the corner of the motherboard with ‘A’ frequency weighting. The microphone wind cover is used to make sure no wind is blowing across the microphone, which would seriously throw off the data.

Video Card Noise Levels

At idle the MSI R7970 Lighting came in at 44.1dB and peaked at 61.6dB in Furmark! Fan speed ramped up and down smoothly and we observed the R7970 Lighting at 1140 RPM at idle, 1520 RPM in games and 2293 RPM in Furmark. The MSI R7970 Lighting with the new Twin Frozr IV GPU cooler does really well for how fast this card is running, but as you can see it isn’t dead silent and you can hear it running in the system.

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