MSI R5870 Lightning: A Top-Notch Radeon HD 5870

MSI R5870 Lightning

MSI’s R5870 Lightning is a very nice card with Military Class, custom black PCB, Twin Frozr II VGA cooler, a serious power supply and gold plated connectors!

MSI has followed US Department of Defense MIL-PRF-39003L guidelines for the card components that explains why the Military Class branding.

The R5870 Lightning comes with a 15-phase PWM (PWM = pulse width modulation) power supply: 12 phases for the GPU and 3 phases for the memory. The Radeon HD 5870 reference board has only 4-phase for the GPU. The following images show the difference between both PCBs:

MSI R5870 Lightning PCB
MSI R5870 Lightning PCB

Radeon HD 5870 reference board PCB
Radeon HD 5870 reference board PCB

The R5870 has a series of twelve LEDs on the rear of the card showing active vGPU power phases:

R5870 Lightning - LED showing vGPU power phases

R5870 Lightning - LED showing vGPU power phases

I like this kind of gadget 😉

The R5870 Lightning requires two 8-pin PCI-Express connectors:

R5870 Lightning PCI-Express connectors

Like the R5770 Hawk, only the GPU is factory overclocked:
– GPU: 900MHz (ref: 850MHz)
– Memory: 1200MHz
The TDP is 193W (ref= 187W) and the power consumption in idle mode is 27W.

And like the R5770 Hawk, the R5870 Lightning comes with V-Check points. But this time, there are 3 voltage check points: for the GPU core, for the memory and for the VDDCI (additional core voltage on Radeon HD 5870 boards: the voltage of the non-shader area of the GPU core):