MSI R7970 Lightning is one of the first really extreme graphics cards based on AMD’s fresh 28nm GPU Tahiti XT. Three-fold Swedish champion in overclocking Jon “elmor” Sandström has shown what the card is capable of by reaching a GPU frequency of crazy 1.8 GHz.

AMD Radeon HD 7970 ships from factory with a pretty high frequency of 925 MHz, but also plenty of overclocking potential. Just using regular cooling and stock voltage we reached a stable clock at 1165 MHz. This is nothing compared to what elmor has done.

By throwing on a LN2 pot and feeding the graphics card with liquid nitrogen elmor could raise the GPU voltage to staggering 1.7V. This resulted in a final GPU frequency at almost unimaginable 1800 MHz and a memory clock at 7700 MHz.


The card stable enough to run through a turn of 3Dmark 11 and with a Core i7-3960X CPU at 5.2 GHz the socre was just as impressive. In Performance Preset elmor scored P15035 points with a single graphics card. The system consisted of a MSI Big Bang XPower II motherboard with 4x1GB DDR3 memory operating at 2314 MHz.


We will be looking closer at MSI R7970 Lightning here at NordicHardware with more overclocking to follow. Even if AMD will have a hard time keeping the performance crown there is plenty of power to collect for those with basic knowledge of overclocking.

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