MSI actually had two setups at CES this year. The consumer products were on display on the show floor while the component side of things was being demoed at their suite at the Wynn Hotel. We stopped by the suite on day three of CES to see what MSI had in store for the new year.
MSI began by showing us some of their video cards on display. First up was the R5870 Lightning which features a 10-layer wider PCB and 12 phase PWM to enhance overclocking and overall performance. The card comes equipped with 1 GB of GDDR5 memory and uses Twin Frozr II cooling with two 80mm fans and an array of heatpipes. V-check points are present that allow overclockers to monitor the card's voltage in real time using a multimeter. The R5870 Lightning is scheduled to be released in March but no price was available.
MSI also showed us their R5850 Cyclone card, complete with a large 90mm open-style cooling fan. According to MSI, since this fan is larger than that of the reference design, it only generates half as much noise as the reference cooler would. Specs on this card were a bit sparse, but MSI says "all components of R5850 Cyclone are “Military Class” with SSC, Hi-c Cap, and Solid Cap to offer best stability and longer product lifetime." No price or release date was available for the R5850 Cyclone.
Finally we have the R5770 Hawk which MSI brands as their middle / high-end card that is more affordable than the R5870. This card features 6 phase PWM, a similar Twin Frozr cooling (fewer heatpipes than the R5870) and the same V-check points to monitor voltage on-the-fly. This card is more for users who are just getting into overclocking and want to experiment. Look for this card to drop in march at around $100.
Motherboards just ahead...