MSI Radeon R9 290X Lightning | GPU Upgrade Time!


What’s goin on guys Jerry Neutron here and today it’s GPU upgrade time. Thanks to AMD I’ve gotten my hands on the MSI R9 290X Lightning. This is a flagship 290X card built for extreme overclocking and I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to do it justice but I’m just happy to have it.

Anyway, I just wanted to quickly show you guys the card and what it comes with.

MSI R9 290X Lightning

So first off the presentation is ridiculous. The card comes in this toolbox-like case with Lightning branding on the outside and the gpu and accessories on the inside.

You get a certificate of quality & stability basically telling you that MSI is using high quality components for this graphics card.

As you can see you also get an extra heatsink for LN2 overclocking. If you aren’t looking to go that extreme I personally think this card would be great for watercooling and you’ll see why in a moment.

MSI also includes documentation, a driver CD and some extra power & voltage adapters.

As for the card itself, man this thing is beasty, it’s a triple slot card with a huge dual tower heatsink and black fan shroud on top. It’s got two 86mm fans on the outside and a small 70mm yellow fan in the middle which can all be controlled by MSI’s VGA fan control software.

MSI R9 290X Lightning

If we flip the card over you can see this nice premium backplate covering the PCB with Lightning branding which I think adds a nice touch to the card. Hopefully it adds some rigidity as well so we don’t have to worry about the card sagging.

Now this card has a 12+3 phase power design and two 8-pin connectors with an optional 6-pin connector for maximum power delivery.

There’s also a dual BIOS switch for swapping between the standard and LN2 BIOS.

If you want to get crazy with the overclocking, you have option to monitor GPU, memory and PLL voltage using these connectors.

On the I/O side you get two dual-link DVI ports, displayport 1.2 and HDMI 1.4a.

And what else does this card have? It’s got a 1080Mhz core clock, 1250Mhz memory clock, 4GB of VRAM with a 512-bit bus. Support for DirectX 11.2. It’s got separate voltage controls which allow you to manually tune the voltage for the GPU, memory and PLL. Mantle and TrueAudio are supported as well.

The card is just under 12 inches in length so it should fit in most full tower and mid-tower cases no problem.

MSI R9 290X Lightning

Overall it’s a pretty feature friendly, overclock ready card.

With the card installed you get a few blue LEDs that shine during operation. As I understand it more or less light up depending on the load on the GPU.

You get this Titan-like lighting on the side of the card which changes from green to blue to red depending on GPU load. I think it’s a nice touch but if I I let my OCD kick in a bit, I’d say I’m not too sure on the color choices being that the card is black and yellow.

So yeah, this is my card installed. It’s decently quiet at idle but can be a little loud while gaming but I guess that’s to be expected. Temps also stay under 75* in Valley benchmark so the cooling solution is working well.

MSI R9 290X Lightning

Benchmarks will come in a future video because I’ll be honest, I need a new CPU & motherboard before I can run any accurate benchmarks with this card. So if there’s vendors out there watching, hook a brotha up!

Don’t forget to like this video if you’ve found it helpful or entertaining, subscribe for more similar content and until next time…see ya!

MSI Radeon R9 290X Lightning



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