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MSI GTX 770 Lightning 2048 MB

W1zzard

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#1
MSI's GeForce GTX 770 Lightning uses a completely re-engineered PCB design with a large dual-fan cooler. The card is also overclocked out of the box, which gives it an additional performance advantage.

Show full review
 
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#2
Nice review - I must admit I do not like the GPU Reactor thing - it seems like it's just for show.

I´ll wait till my shop gets the ASUS GTX 770 DirectCU II OC 2 GB....
 

svl7

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#3
Nice review, such a limited voltage control is a shame... especially for a board like this.
Can you please add the two vbios to the database?
 
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#4
Glad I went for the MSI Gaming version, the noise levels are excellent. Don't think it was worth the extra for the Lighning, the noise is higher and the extra overclock seems marginal (the Reactor thingy has to be a gimmick). Looking forward to the review/impressions of the Gaming.
 
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#5
As a GTX680 Lightning Duo owner, heh.... pfft.... ... *_* can i like... have two?
 

dlsmoker

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#6
Maybe it's a little off-topic, but should I wait for the Lightning to be in my shop or I can go with Gigabyte OC version(330€) (I heard it has great cooling and noise) or EVGA SC ASC(350€) ? I mean, is the MSI far superior to the ones I quoted ?
 

W1zzard

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#7
Maybe it's a little off-topic, but should I wait for the Lightning to be in my shop or I can go with Gigabyte OC version(330€) (I heard it has great cooling and noise) or EVGA SC ASC(350€) ? I mean, is the MSI far superior to the ones I quoted ?
so far none of the GTX 770 cards that I tested are much different from each other.

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/#gtx 770

I still have MSI GTX 770 TF Gaming and ZOTAC GTX 770 here to review, preliminary testing suggests TF Gaming to be significantly quieter than other cards (Idle: 24.3 dbA Load: 29.3 dbA)
 
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#8
6% performance above a 7970Ghz and same price isn't enthralling at this point, and does not warrant a 9.7? It a Lighting... with 23% OC'n yields a 9.8% nice, but not any heartthrob, no voltage control, not much of any extra from the memory. What does the MSI provide for $50 upcharge, not lower dBa’s while worse at idle temps though it does provide 9°C on load for 2dBa. It all seem a little off the mark.

This this just didn’t change the landscape much if at all. To me it like 10% improvement and $50 less than most GTX 680’s, but that's it? It ends up as a plug it in and set the fan a little higher and that's it!

As Wiz has never tested anything, but the reference 7970Ghz, hard to say how this measures up against say a Gigabyte GV-R797TO-3GD 7970 GHz 3GB with a Clock of 1100Mhz and its $450 price?

Consider right now there’s XFX Double D FX797GTDFC 7970 GHz Edition 3GB for $380 –AR$30 Shipping $3 and you get 4 games. A GTX 770 for $400-420 great purchase, this while anteing-up another 10% doesn't compute.
 
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#9
Thank you for the review :)

On the Overclocking tab there might be an error

Overclocking works very well and reaches the highest clocks of all GTX 780 cards we tested so far. What makes this even more impressive is that the real-life performance at this clock frequency is properly reflected in the scores.
 
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#11
@ W1zzard

When might we expect to start seeing 4GB version 770's?
 
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#12
@ W1zzard

When might we expect to start seeing 4GB version 770's?
AFAIK they do already exist, Zotac has a 4GB 770 model available.
 
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#13
fast card !! MSI lightning series are Always top notch for the " overclocked out of the box " graphics cards !
 
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#14
fast card !! MSI lightning series are Always top notch for the " overclocked out of the box " graphics cards !
Imagine what we could have without Nvidia Green Light...
 
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#17
I love the 680 Lightnings I havein SLI, pprobably the best overall cards I've owned. Originally had 2x 7970GE Lightnings for CFX but after a pair of EK blocks with manufacturing defects killed them, I got MSI to replace them with the 680s. I know that every sample is different, and I don't have any preference for brands, I just buy what performs best. That said, the 680 Lightnings are so much smoother in games than the 7970Ghz were it's unbelievable! I'm apparently sensitive to the microstuttering present in the AMD cards, as I couldn't play for more than an hour or so without getting a headache. Comparing frame time graphs between the 7970Ghz (CFX and solo) to 680 Lightnings (SLI and solo), the difference is absolutely astonishing.
The thing that made me really fall in love with the Lightning cards is their overclocking ability, whether on air, ambient water (Aquacomputer AquagraFX blocks for the 680s, Heatkiller for the 670FTW's, and EK for 7970GE Lightnings), or chilled water (either Hailea 1hp chiller or 2x MONSTA 560 rads in a 48gal cooler with a mix of water, crushed ice, and chunk ice), they are simply overclocking beasts!
With core clocks that range from 1462Mhz to 1644Mhz, and memory clocks between 7568Mhz and 8118Mhz depending on the cooling, I have yet to see any other cards clock so high and be perfectly stable for 24/7 use. Yeah, those are the day to day clocks, benches can let the cards loose up to over 1740Mhz with -21C water! I am even building my own 2-stage cascade phase change cooler for the cards that I'm predicting to cool to negative triple digits thanks to the crazy powerful (and crazy loud) compressors.
The 7970Ghz Lightnings were decent clockers, but for whatever reason, even with the extra voltage control and - 27C water, they would not get much past 1350-1380core and 6980-7040mem. The performance in benches was very good, and it took me about two months to get the 680s to beat the 7970s 3DM11 and Heaven scores... In games, though, they just didn't feel quite "right". It sucks not having the massive compute power of the GCN architecture anymore (hashing @ 1395core each = 997MH/s = 6.424 BC in the time I owned them = $983 profit), but what the Kepler chips lack in raw compute they more than make up for in actual gaming performance.
The only thing that I feel is holding them back at this point is the darn 256bit bus. The GK104 chips are the first GPUs in years where I've found that overclocking the memory is almost always equally important as the core. I know that with the cards I own, at least, doing a simple core clock of 1300 with the memory at "stock" 6208 provides around a 7 percent performance increase. Bump the memory speed up to 6800 and the increase goes from 7 to 16 percent. 1450core with 6208 memory is a 13 percent boost, but with the memory at 7998 that jumps to over 30 percent. The 7970s were very different, with nearly all of the performance coming from the core clock, and it's not until 4360x1440 (U2713HM landscape with a 1440x900 on either side in portrait) that the memory clocks start to show much difference outside synthetic benches. Well, at 1440p or 1600p, there's a difference, but it was only noticeable with at least 4xMSAA, and I rarely use more than 2x with 1440p or higher due to the sheer number of pixels making most aliasing imperceptible (with Nvidia cards, I don't bother with anything but FXAA, except for older titles like HL2 which I can run at well over 150fps even with 8xMSAA @ WQHD+ resolutions).

Anyway, although I have been pretty steadfast in my decision to skip this "generation" of cards, especially with the ridiculous price of the Titans, I have lately been questioning my decision....
Specifically, I am waiting to see if MSI can continue their perfect batting average with the Lightning cards in the form of a 780 Lightning. I was caught by surprise when the 780 came out somewhat, as I expected maybe a 15pct boost over the 680; needless to say, seeing overclocked cards neck and neck with overclocked Titans and even coming out on top in many instances, outside of 7680x1440/1600 resolutions, has me praying for an "Ultra Lightning Edition" of the 780.

While the 770 Lightnings are an incredible value, and quite frankly the only 770 that is really (in my eyes) anything more than a 680 with a new name, I really want that GK110 chip and 3GB VRAM! (FYI: most 680s and 670s, at least from "first tier" board partners, use IC's actually rated for 7000Mhz from the manufacturer, and were simply downclocked to the 6008-6208 speed you get out of the box; thus, there's around a 90-95 percent chance your 670/680 2GB card/s will do "+500" in Afterburner/Precision-X without issue; many will do 7200, a fair amount 7400, some 7600, and a few will get to 8000 and higher).

So, come on MSI! Release the GTX780 Lightnings with a nice beefy VRM section (how about 12+4 phases?), some highly binned VRAM IC's (7500 capable, minimum), and of course, fully unlocked voltage control at least on the LN2 BIOS. I will pay $725-750 for each one, if it's made as well as it can be and isn't crippled needlessly like the 770 and it's frankly ridiculous "voltage control".
If they release a card like that, I doubt it would take more than 24hrs for HWBot to have every single Top 10 list for 3D benches filled with 780 Lightnings.

I mean, with no voltage control, the 780 is already superior to the Titans in every way except for the VRAM capacity and a few CUDA cores (the latter seems to make very little difference, and the former only matters if you have $3300-4400 worth of the cards, overclocked to something like 1150core or more with a healthy bump in memory speed as well, and play on 3-5x 1440p or 1600p screens or 5x 1080p screens with a crapload of AA; even then, unless you can run a 3930K @ 5.4Ghz 24/7 and 32GB of memory at DDR3-2666 10-11-10-30 1T or better, and have a nice and crazy fast game drive array of 4-8x 840Pro/M5P Xtreme/Vector 150/etc 256-512GB (each) SSDs in RAID0, and whatever else you can do to eliminate any possible bottlenecks).

Anyway, looking forward to seeing your review of the supposedly upcoming 780 Lightnings! This is one of the best review sites out there, you and AnandTech are the kings of the tech reviews. Keep up the great work! And thanks!
 

rzepa10

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#18
W1zzard
Can you just whisper me (before full review) what OC u get on MSI 770 gaming version ?
I receive one day ofer from my shoop and i have to decide in next couple of hours which one 770 i buy. MSI twin frozr or Gigabyte WF3
Everything in your hands :)
 
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#19
If you are concerned by maximum OC then you aren't seeking a specific card, for example I've seen reference 7970s clock way higher than 7970 Lightnings (I used 7970 just as an example), it's all in the GPU silicon lottery, the specific card can't do much about it.

The only thing that grants you a certain higher clock speed is the factory OC.

Get a highly clocked factory 770 and be done with it :)

Chances are that some reference 770s will clock higher than any aftermarket 770 out there, it's random.
 
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#21
That's a very capable card, to be honest I'd recommend you to try and increase your clocks by 10 Mhz every gaming session you do.

If it is stable leave at that, if it is not then take it down 10+5 Mhz :)

Kepler doesn't have voltage tuning so it's easier to find the highest frequency :)
 

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#22
Are you doing away with the "This card requires two 8-pin power connectors..." part of the review? I haven't seen it in your last few reviews.
 

W1zzard

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#23
Are you doing away with the "This card requires two 8-pin power connectors..." part of the review? I haven't seen it in your last few reviews.
huh?
 

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#24
Nevermind, I hadn't had my coffee this morning when I read the two MSI 770 reviews this morning and for some reason missed that part in both reviews...