Unlike the reference card, we didn’t find a metal plate covering the back side of R6970 Lightning’s PCB. There are, however, some additional components installed on this side, unique to MSI’s Lighting series.
A number of LEDs are lined up on the left most side of the PCB board. These will light up when the card is turned on to show the graphics load. More lights means heavier load. To the right, there are some DIP switches that regulate several parameters, namely the OCP Unlocker, PWM Clock Tuner, GPU V-Switch, and Mem V-Switch. They should come in handy in extreme overclocking scenarios that require some equally extreme tweaks.
Four Proadlizer (NEC Tokin) chips are installed on the back of the card, near the GPU socket, to optimize power supply during extreme overclocking.
Two Crossfire connectors can be found on the top side. Up to four similar graphics cards can be combined together in CrossfireX configuration. To the left of the connectors, there is the DualBIOS and P/S switches. The latter can be used to switch between two fan profiles: “Performance” or “Silent”.
R6970 Lightning uses PCI Express 2.1 x16 connector, of course. It’s backward compatible with older revisions, such as Express 1.0 x16.
The display output selection consists of two DVI ports, one HDMI, and two mini-Display Port 1.2 connectors.
We put the MSI R6970 Lightning side-by-side with a reference HD 6970 for a size comparison. The standard card measures to 275x110x38 mm , while MSI’s Lightning version is slightly larger at 310x127x40 mm. Make sure you have enough space to accommodate this card … if you’re planning to put it inside your casing that is.