MSI R7 370 Gaming 2G Graphics Card Review

The new wave of AMD cards have arrived, but can the R7 370 offer something new to the table?

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Conclusion

So throughout the entirety of the review, the MSI R7 370 Gaming 2G has been a mixed bag on the whole; I intend to make it clear and concise about my feelings regarding this card and the R7 370 release on the whole.  Upon writing this review, a couple of factors have changed my flight plan so to speak, but ultimately the question remains, what do I think of this card?  Is it the 1080p focused GPU that it’s hyped up to be?  Has AMD hit back hard against NVIDIA in the budget gaming category or have AMD got “lazy” and rehashed a card which has been rehashed twice before it?

Performance

The MSI R7 370 Gaming 2G has a lot going for it in terms of performance if you accept it for exactly what it is; a budget gaming card focused on the 1080p market.  Although this doesn’t mean the card will necessarily max out your favourite game at this resolution, it’s certainly powerful enough to run MOBAs such as League of Legends, DOTA2 and competitive FPS games such as Counter Strike with absolute ease etc.  I feel the biggest competitor to the R7 370 is the already released NVIDIA GTX 960 which features the same 2GB GDDR5 memory and fits into the same category; the main variant being the GTX 960 has slightly more grunt, but is quite a bit more expensive.  Although we didn’t obtain stupidly great overclocking potential with this sample, the performance increase for the % increase in clocks looks good to me!

Design

In relation to design and aesthetics, it’s well known that I believe the Twin Frozr V cooler to be pretty outstanding; I love the general look of it and the with the MSI logo lighting up with white LEDs, it sets the card off!  That being said, it would have been nice to include a back plate and it might get a little stale as I do say that quite often, but aesthetics wise, it certainly makes a GPU look classier.  Given the price of this card though, I can understand why it doesn’t come with one, but I can hope, right?

The semi passive design of the Twin Frozr V is another highlight for me, only ramping the fans up when needed; you can change this via the MSI Gaming App or setting a custom fan profile via your chosen and preferred overclocking software.

MSI R7 370 Gaming 2G 7

Value

This is where the review gets interesting, the MSRP is around £119 making this around £40-50 cheaper than some of the current NVIDIA GTX 960 models currently on the market; this represents excellent value for money in the grand scheme of things, especially for those intending to stick with the 1080p resolution.  When you take into consideration that this card is essentially a rebrand of a rebrand of a 3 year old graphics card, it does leave a little to be desired, but you do get a DirectX 12 capable graphics card which justifies its price greatly and I’m happy to give the MSI R7 370 our value award!

Final Thoughts

If you are currently in the market for a new graphics card, don’t want to spend the earth, but want decent performance at 1080p in a variety of games, then this is the card you want!  At £119, it’s a steal and offers much better £ to performance than NVIDIA’s GTX 960; there will be a 4GB model available in the not too distant future which should offer slightly better performance and higher stock clocks for those wanting a little bit extra performance.

Due to a few niggling aspects such as rebranding over and over again, taking into consideration the cooler attached to this card, I feel this card deserves our Silver award; it could have been so much better, but I feel AMD have limited this effect, even despite the fantastic price!

  • Silver Award – The MSI R7 370 Gaming 2G does deserve our silver award and maybe with a back plate, more VRAM and potentially higher overclocking potential, it could have scored a little higher; silver is still great for a card targeted at the budget end of the market and I feel the award is greatly justified based on price, performance and of course all the extra MSI goodness.
  • Value Award – For £120, you get a solid performing 1080p card and aside from the rehashed Pitcairn (now Trinidad PRO) graphics chip, I indulge you to find a better card for a better price offering as much performance as the 370 Gaming actually does.  The GTX 960 has a new rival in town and it’s called the R7 370!

awards-silver

awards-value

Huge thanks to MSI for sending the R7 370 Gaming 2G in for review.

  • Performance
  • Design
  • Value
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Summary

Pros:

– Solid general 1080p gaming performance
– Exceptional value for money
– Twin Frozr V cooler
– Rivals the more expensive NVIDIA GTX 960 in some games, for a much lower cost

Cons:

– R7 370 is nothing new which is slightly disappointing

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