ASUS showed off their custom designed Radeon R9 290X graphics card yesterday and it appears that MSI didn't want to be left out of all the fun. MSI released an image of a prototype TwinFrozr IV GPU cooler on what many think is their custom AMD Radeon R9 290X video card. Some sites are reporting that the card will feature a somewhat clear see-through acrylic shroud, but that doesn't sound like the case. MSI originally posted up the image on their Facebook fan page and said that it is a prototype cooler and that we'll have to wait to see what the final design looks like. They also mentioned that clear fan shrouds discolor quickly and plain copper heat pipes oxidize, so we doubt the final design will look like the image below.
"When we work on our Thermal Designs we create various prototypes and though they perform well, they will not always offer the quality you expect from us. A clear plastic cover discolors quickly because of dust & heat and bare copper heat pipes easily suffer from oxidation and discoloration. Stay tuned to know what the final card ends up looking like." - MSI
It looks like the custom AMD Radeon R9 290X cards are a ways off as both ASUS and MSI do not have final designs completed. All of the images coming out this week might have something to do with all the heat related stories that have popped up recently about the Radeon R9 290X and that the retail cards don't perform as good as the press samples. A number of sites like PCPer, Toms Hardware , Tech Report, and Legit Reviews have all done stories on this, so maybe AMD is pushing their board partners to release the images to change the vibe a bit.