The GTX 970 Gaming 4G is a great-value card, with strong performance and impressive power efficiency.
The MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G is a slightly overclocked version of Nvidia’s reference GeForce GTX 970 design. To help with the overclock, the card has MSI’s Twin Frozr V fan setup to cool its GM204 graphics processor (GPU). The GM204 uses Nvidia’s 2nd-generation Maxwell architecture, which brings lower power requirements and better energy efficiency than last-generation Kepler-based graphics cards, such as the GeForce GTX 770, as well as more power.
It is undoubtedly a looker. The two tone red and black color scheme looks fantastic and we love the red vertical ‘flashes’ over the black section of the cooler.
The Geforce GTX 970 is equipped with 7Gbps memory. Those of you with higher resolution monitors, or running in a multi screen configuration will also be pleased to hear that there is 4GB of GDDR5 memory on the card, not 3GB – this memory will push 224 GB/s sec. Nvidia have added a new compression engine to reduce the demand on DRAM bandwidth.
The MSI GTX970 Gaming 4G has received a core clock enhancement to 1,140mhz, from 1,050mhz on the reference design. The GDDR5 memory remains untouched, as we would expect – its certainly not going to be a bottleneck.
- Twin Frozr V Cooling
- Zero Frozr Hybrid fans
- Military Class Components
- MSI Gaming App
- MSI Afterburner
- Factory Overclocked
MSI have also implemented a similar feature seen on their high end Lightning models – the fans are controlled independently by IC’s on the PCB and GPU. MSI claim the independent GPU and PWM cooling reduces noise by up to 1.9dBa.
MSI point out that the new cooler is a ‘Hybrid’ design and that they came up with this before ASUS did on their StriX Edition cards – which we really rate highly. They claim if the card is running below 50c then the fans will not spin at all, eliminating noise.
The MSI GTX970 Gaming 4G has two DVI connectors on the back (DVI-D and DVI-I), and a full sized HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort. This HDMI port will handle 4K resolutions at up to 60hz.
The GTX 970 finds itself sitting below the GTX 980 and also ever so slightly below the AMD R9-290X in terms of out-right performance. NVIDIA however are keen to point out the power saving features of the GPU along with MSI’s cooling ability. We have seen this before with both of MSI’s competitors the overclocked GIGABYTE Windforce GTX 970 and ASUS STRIX GTX 970 - so with the MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G’s clockspeed sitting between these two graphics cards we wouldn’t expect any performance differential. It could even be suggested that your decision upon which graphics card to buy will likely end up being a choice between brand loyalty or even styling/color! We will however give you the low-down on what makes this graphics card a serious competitor.
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