MSI Announces Beefy New R9 290X Lightning

MSI has announced a new Lightning series graphics card – the Radeon R9 290X Lightning. This graphics card is built to be the ultimate, zero-compromises overclockers' graphics card and it carries a non-reference PCB design, as well as a hefty cooler.

MSI has opted to power the graphics card not with the default single 8-pin plus single 6-pin PCI-Express power connectors, but rather with another additional 8-pin PCI-Express power connector. This yields an additional 150 W of power headroom to play with, bringing the tally up to 450 W. The GPU is powered through a 12-phase VRM circuit. The card also features voltage measurement points across the card for when you'd rather rely on your own multi-meter for ultimate precision.

Cooling is taken care of by MSI's TriFrozr cooler, which is built using a large series of aluminum fin arrays, seven 8 mm heat pipes, and three fans.  The cooler can, of course, be removed, the card switched into LN2 mode, and then be cooled with liquid nitrogen.

Regarding clock speeds, the GPU is clocked at up to 1080 MHz out of the factory, while the memory is clocked at an effective speed of 5.0 GHz. This is not actually all that far above the reference frequencies, but keep in mind that the hardware aboard this card should allow you to surpass extreme frequencies with ease (assuming you have the right cooling equipment).

The card is said to retail for a hefty $800.

Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

This thread is closed for comments
    Your comment
  • alchemy69
    Oh look, it has slightly different fans. I'm sure that'll make all the difference.
  • brandonjclark
    I'm sure the miners will drive up the price to the point that gamers get screwed, again.
  • anthony8989
    Oh look, it has slightly different fans. I'm sure that'll make all the difference.
    The biggest difference is the 2 x 8-pin power source. The card is almost completely designed for the HSF to be removed and the unit put on liquid cooling.