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MSI GeForce GTX 480 Lightning

W1zzard

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#1
MSI's GeForce GTX 480 Lightning promises to be an overclocker's dream. It is build around a completely redesigned PCB and thermal solution with overclockers in mind. The card offers unique features like control for up to three voltages, dual BIOS with liquid nitrogen support and easy to reach voltage measurement points.

Show full review
 
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newtekie1

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#2
Great review of a beast of a card. Sad it didin't overclock all that spectacularly, but I'm guess sub-zero cooling will yeild amazing results on this card.

All of the graphs have MSI N480GTX Lightning 1024MB though.
 

W1zzard

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#3
ugh .. time to remake the graphs
 
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#4
Is that 90 degree temp limit that low on the reference card bios? Overall I don't see anything that would make be pay such a notable price premium. I will give them credit for that vrm/ram sink as most non-ref cards have little or no sinking for that.
 

W1zzard

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#5
Is that 90 degree temp limit that low on the reference card bios
the limit is clearly at 90 or 91°. performance drops like 50% to keep that temp
 

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#7
So no point in getting this unless you're putting it under LN2?
 
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#8
First of all nice review and nice addition is the GPU clock vs temp vs Vcore chart.
Speking of which:

Once we reached a voltage of 1.150 V, the card ran into the 90° temperature limit set by the BIOS which will cause the card to throttle down. This means that maximum performance is available at 810 MHz, even though the GPU could probably run higher clocks if temperature was lower. At this point the fan was already running at 100%.
The graph is showing clock increases all the way up to 850 Mhz @ 88-90ºC. It's a typo or all those clocks were not stable/were throtling down too?
 
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#9
This card dosent seem great at all, i thought they would be higher binned chips or something but it seems that regular 480's can achieve everything this one does graphically and speed wise.
 

W1zzard

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#10
The graph is showing clock increases all the way up to 850 Mhz @ 88-90ºC.
and then at the next higher voltage, clock has to be dropped down due to heat

clarified in-article a bit
 
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#13
good job on the review as always wiz. I have digged it as well for ya :)
 
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#14
Just thought I'd add to those who like the voltage adjustment part you added and would like to see more.

At least the cooler is quite a bit quieter then the reference one.
 
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#15
love the new voltage graphs. That's one beast of a card but unfortunately totally out of my budget :eek:
 
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#16
wow it consumed less than the reference design card that's damn impressive,just one watt more @ maximum and there also a 50mhz oc, can't wait until gf110/gf100b comes out, those will probally be great!

wizz plz put it under LN2 and oc the shit out of it1

nice review man
 
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#17
very good performance! closer to the 5970

BUT W1ZZ you tricked me i loaded techpowerup and i saw a pic of a gpu and the "new" on it and was like YES! a 6870 review! then i read the title :(
 
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#18
My card can get 850Mhz with the max voltage and stay around 84C while gaming with fan around 80-90%, that is with stock heatsink, why put all these components and be limited to air? This card tops at 825? Fail. This should have been LC'd.

This card should have a higher voltage limit and be able to reach 950-1000Mhz and be WCd
 
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#19
very good performance! closer to the 5970

BUT W1ZZ you tricked me i loaded techpowerup and i saw a pic of a gpu and the "new" on it and was like YES! a 6870 review! then i read the title :(
same here :(
My card can get 850Mhz with the max voltage and stay around 84C while gaming with fan around 80-90%, that is with stock heatsink, why put all these components and be limited to air? This card tops at 825? Fail. This should have been LC'd.

This card should have a higher voltage limit and be able to reach 950-1000Mhz and be WCd
Every chip is unique
 

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#20
This should have been LC'd.
No graphics card should have to be liquid cooled. Unless you're in the business of not making money of course.
 

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#21
excellent review as always W1zzard, but alas it is a pity about the stock clocks.

for such an agressive card I was hoping to see 800 core, and 4200 effective memory, I've heard of a lot of people with stock GTX480's getting to those clocks and above, not to mention cards like the KFA2 GeForce GTX 480 Anarchy, which did something like 900 core after voltage tweaks and temps were still WELL in check.
 
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#22
whyyyy???

my stock cooled evga gtx 480 could easily reach 850 mhz core with 1.137 volt limit on the bios. fully stable!! and with unlocked bios and 1.183 volt it was reaching 880 mhz core again fully stable but with 100% fan. why on earth this card could 'nt pass 810 mhz?? do you test stablity with furmark? i think the reason of throttling is that furmark pushes card's temperature way beyound the necessary level( i mean way beyound any game can push). and the cooler can't manage it. have you tested stablity with higher clocks (but with crysis warhead or other games, not furmark) to see how it manages the temperature?
 

W1zzard

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#23
have you tested stablity with higher clocks (but with crysis warhead or other games, not furmark)
i used the stability test in gputool which is less demanding than furmark but more demanding than most games.

relying on games to be low load so the card stays cool and then overheats in crysis 2 and framerate drops to gtx 460 levels is not the way to go

if you think you can live with an unstable card just add like 5% to all oc numbers you see
 

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#24
WTF, 6+8+8 pin power connector !!! speechless
 

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#25