MSI Radeon R9 290X Lightning Edition In The Works – PCB Pictured
Just the other day we were talking about how disadvantageous it was for AMD for not having it’s AIB partners make any custom-designed GPU’s based on the latest R9 290X, the GTX 780 Ti KPE would have been all over it, but thanks to MSI that might not be the case. According to the latest tid-bit, MSI is working on a certain ‘R9 290X Lightning Edition’ (though it still not is a ‘true’ custom-designed PCB due to AMD’s restrictions), which will take on Nvidia’s top dog, the GTX 780Ti and it’s custom-designed counterpart, the GTX 780Ti KPE.
Not only that, the purported R9 290X Lightning Edition’s PCB has also been pictured. So, without further ado, we’ll address the question that’s on your mind, how do we know it’s the R9 290X? The memory layout and the missing CrossfireX fingers are proof enough. Moving on, the PCB in question as been subjugated to some ‘custom’ treatment by MSI. The PCB features two 8-pin and one 6-pin PCI-E power connectors to run, and since it already runs hotter than usual, you might be wondering why MSI opted for it. The reference R9 290X ran at 1.25V, one of the reasons for it’s high temperature. With the new R9 290X Lightning Edition, MSI has opted for a 12+3+2 phase power design, making it more stable than it’s reference counterpart, and a beast for overclocking. Regardless, it still is one short of overkill, since the TDP itself is more than 500W. MSI will also provide V-check points to measure GPU, memory and auxiliary lines voltages. This isn’t surprising, since almost every ‘Lightning Edition’ GPU is packed with these. The GPU will also features MSI’s ‘Military Class’ components and a impressive cooler design for the looks and to keep it at the optimal temps. Last but not the least, the display outputs on the GPU include two DVI ports, one HDMI and one Display Port.
There is no word on it’s launch, but early next year is a launch date to yearn for. The ultimate showdown is incoming between the Green Team and the Red Team, it’ll be interesting to see who wins the battle, since both the GTX 780Ti KPE (GK110) and R9 290X Lightning Edition (Hawaii XT) are nothing short on equal footing.