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MSI N275GTX Lightning - an overclockers graphics card

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#1
I'd like to thank MSI for sending me this card for testing.



A few specs unique to this card:


................... N275GTX Lightning ..... Reference GTX 275 ..... Reference GTX 285
GPU Clock .......... 780 mhz ................... 633 mhz ........................ 648 mhz..........
Mem Clock ......... 2300 mhz ................. 2322 mhz ...................... 2484 mhz........
Mem Size ........... 1792 mb ................... 896 mb ......................... 1024 mb..........


The black and green box sports the Lightning line's jet fighter and lightning bolt theme. The illustrated feature set is on the back. Inside the box, we find an MSI N275GTX Lightning graphics card, quick user guide, quick install guide, dvi to vga adapter, dvi to hdmi adapter, pci-e power connector, lightning afterburner software, driver and applications cd, and a cool booklet detailing all of the products features.










The first thing you notice about the card is obviously the non-reference, MSI Twin Frozr II cooling solution. Second, we see there are connections for DVI, HDMI, and VGA cables, so with a single display setup, no adapters are needed.












With five heatpipes, copper base, numerous tightly-grouped fins, dual 80mm fans, and an attractive fan shroud, this cooler definitely looks the part. On removal, we see that MSI didn't overlook anything in keeping the remaining vital components cool. On removal of the cooling plate, we can now see it making good contact with the components under it, as shown by the deep impressions in the thermal pad. Here we see the 1792mb of memory packed onto this card.







This card also features a 10 phase PWM, which when coupled with MSI's APS (Active Phase Switching) combines stability and power saving by allowing the card to switch between 3 phases, 6 phases, and 10 phases. There are phase indicators on the back of the card, showing the APS current state.








Now we all know the importance of a smooth, or at least flat, heatsink mating surface. This has hardly that. There are actually deep round grooves throughout the Twin Frozr II's base. How much does this affect performance? I plan on finding out exactly when I sand it flat later in the week. Hopefully the thermal paste will do it's job and fill in the gaps that would otherwise exist between the cooler's base and the GPU's IHS.






Want to adjust your card's voltage but don't want to take a soldering iron to it? No problem! Through MSI's Lightning Afterburner software (and other 3rd party applications) you can adjust the vGPU to just over 1.3v under load. MSI has even included read points on this card for both vGPU and vMEM, in the form of jumpers with meter probe sockets on the end.










The Lightning Afterburner software allows you to adjust the voltage (as previously mentioned), GPU core clock, memory clock, and fan speed, has pre-defined settings for game mode and power saving mode, as well as slots for 3 overclocking profiles.
The GPU core clock can be adjusted from 700mhz all the way to 1000mhz in 1mhz increments.
The mem speed can be adjusted from 1150mhz to 1200mhz in 1mhz increments.
Why the core goes so high and the mem stops at 1200, I have no clue. I used Rivatuner for the rest of the memory clocking, over 1300mhz without a hiccup.
Fan speed adjustment is from 40% to 100%. 100% was still what I would consider silent, especially if you're running this inside a computer case.
If you would like more voltage than the MSI Lightning software provides, see this link.






At 770/1300, the GPU core temp topped out at 66C during 3DMark 05 with the fan at 100%.



 
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#2
Testing configuration for the following benchmarks:

MSI N275GTX Lightning @ 770/1300
Intel Core i5 750 @ 4200mhz
Gigabyte P55-UD6
G.Skill Ripjaws @ 2100mhz, 8-9-8-20 1T
CPU cooling - TR Ultra 120
WD Raptor 36gb
Corsair HX620w
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
















More testing is on the way...
 

p_o_s_pc

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#3
looks to be a sick card.
 
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#4
ME WANTS!!!

nice photos skill BTW
 
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#6
You mean other hardware?
 

aCid888*

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#7
Hardware if you want, but I was thinking more along the lines or games. ;)


GTA being one of them to see what the difference is over the stock 275 with 896mb vRAM.....I expect it being a few frames better @ 1920x1080.
 
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#8
I'll do some more game testing this weekend. Start posting up what you guys want to see and I'll get it done. Best I can do for comparison right now though is a GTX 260.
 
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Processor Intel 6700K
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Cooling Noctua NH-L9x65
Memory 2 x 16 GB G.Skill TridentZ @ 3200 MHz
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX 1070 Mini
Case Thermaltake Suppressor F1
Power Supply SilverStone 600w SFX
#11
Which driver version are you using?