With the launch of the GTX 780Ti Kingpin Edition, many were suspecting and began to worry about the possibility of a non-referance AMD R9 290X to be out of it, since, as well all know, the red team has very few AIB partners who design extreme GPUs. Speaking of extreme, MSI has pulled one up and launched the much awaited R9 290X Lightning edition card. The card is a non-referance GPU, and as part of the premium ‘Lightning’ lineup, it is an absolute beast.
As aforementioned, the card is based on a custom-PCB design, which sports AMD Hawaii XT GPU and 12+3+2 phase VRM design. The card packs 2816 stream processors, 176 TMUs, 64 ROPs and 4GB GDDR5 memory over a 512-bit wide memory interface. The GPU, as expected, is overclocked, with core clock sitting on the 1080 MHz mark. Although not much, but the card is capable of reaching even higher clocks, and given the custom-PCB, as well as the new LN2 BIOS available (which should disable any hardware limitations), the card will be a beast of an overclocker. Display connectivity is well covered, with two DVI ports, one HDMI port and one DisplayPort.
The card is highly modified in the power section as well, allowing for a headroom of up to 250W. The card is supplied power through 2×8-pin PCI-E and a 6-pin PCI-E power connectors and packs a 12 phase VRM design. Surprisingly, the R9 290X Lightning does not include a GPU reactor.
The list doesn’t end here, though. As expected of a high-end MSI GPU, the R9 290X Lightning features MSI’s Military Class IV components, which include Copper MOS, Hi-c capacitors, new SFC design and Dark Solid capacitors to ensure maximum performance and reliability. The new TriFrozr cooler makes its debut on the R9 290X Lightning, with three 80mm fans. It makes use of Triple Level Signals and Pure Digital PWM Control, with adjustments to fans possible with an exclusive MSI Fan Control utility designed only for R9 290X Lightning. Not to mention, it looks extremely good.
Last but not the least, the card is equipped with on-board V-check points, 3x OC kits, Triple Temp Monitor and Triple Overclock. The card is packs TwinBIOS that allows users to switch between gaming and LN2 settings without any hassles.
There is no information about the pricing of the card, but with the recent mining craze and largely inflated prices of AMD cards, a price of $799 or above is expected.