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MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G Review

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MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G Testing:

After seeing what MSI brought to the table with the GTX 980 Gaming 4G, my expectations were fully met and exceeded with the performance and overclocking delivered by the MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G. As an MSI product, one of the features you get are military spec parts that are used to improve the energy efficiency as well as extending the lifespan of the product at hand, this time the GTX 970 Gaming 4G.

When you look at the build quality of the card, it's just well done aesthetically to provide the aggressive look desired with gaming builds. As far as looks go the card fits the bill. After installing the GTX 970 Gaming 4G, the first thing you really notice is how little noise there is emanating from the chassis. After that first thought you pop the chassis side panel off to verify that the fans are indeed spinning and keeping the card cool. MSI spent 18 months making sure the latest implementation of its Twin Frozr cooling solution was up to the task. Employing a pair of 100mm TORX fans with a series of special dispersion blades, airflow is improved while noise is reduced, thanks not only to the fans but MSI's own Airflow control technology that further improves cooling while keeping noise levels in check. The combination of the Twin Frozr V cooling solution and Maxwell architecture make the GTX 970 Gaming one of the coolest running non-liquid cooled, high end video cards I have tested to date.

Thanks to the Twin Frozr V cooling solution, 6+2 phase VRM, and Military Class components, MSI's GTX 970 Gaming 4G delivers excellent overclocking results all the way around. This card is the highest clocking card I have tested to date, reaching boost clock speeds on the core over 1600MHz and over 2050MHz on the 4GB of GDDR5 memory. What this can do for you is generate an increased level of FPS that drives performance to a level close to if not equal to the results of the GTX 980 Gaming 4G. In the 3DMark Fire Strike test the GTX 970 Gaming 4G outperformed a stock GTX 980. That is pretty impressive, to say the least. Doing some quick polls around different websites it seems that the 1607MHz clock on this core seems to be at the upper end of the range for overclocking on air, with the majority of clock speeds in the mid 1500MHz range. Still not bad.

Any way you cut it MSI has built a great card that easily takes the place of the GTX 770 and in some games would give the EOL GTX 780 a run for its money after seeing how it fares against the GTX 780 Ti. Against the R9 290X, the GTX 970 Gaming 4G has some hits and misses from a performance standpoint, mainly in games where AMD hardware traditionally delivers higher FPS performance. But even so the GTX 970 Gaming 4G is right on its heels.

Priced at $349, the MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G is price competitive with most of the R9 290X variants, save the ultra high end cards. But even then the GTX 970 Gaming 4G is going to be the better bargain when you look at the overall price/performance picture. MSI has a winning combination in the GTX 970 Gaming 4G. It delivers great baseline performance results that are easy to improve upon with a bit of overclocking using Afterburner or the MSI Gaming App. If you are looking for a GTX 970 as your next video card upgrade, you cannot go wrong with the GTX 970 Gaming 4G.

 

Pros:

  • Quiet
  • Impressive overclocking 
  • Looks
  • Performance
  • Military Class components
  • Twin Frozr V
  • DirectX12 support
  • New technologies

 

Cons:

  • None


 

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