It has been little more than three months since NVIDIA launched their GeForce GTX 780 with great success. The card uses the same Kepler GK110 GPU we have seen on the GTX Titan, but with fewer shaders. The new GPU and NVIDIA's new Boost 2.0 algorithm allow the card to offer significant performance improvements over the GeForce GTX 680.
Today, we are reviewing the MSI GeForce GTX 780 Lightning. As the company's flagship, the graphics card comes with massive cooling power, powerful VRM, and several features for overclockers.
With 980 MHz, the MSI GTX 780 Lightning runs a large overclock out of the box. All these improvements do cost $770 though, making the GTX 780 Lightning the most expensive air-cooled GTX 780 available right now.
GTX 780 Market Segment Analysis
| ||GeForce |
| HD 7970|
|MSI GTX |
| HD 7990|
|Shader Units||1536||2048||1536||2304||2304||2688||2x 1536||2x 2048|
|ROPs||32||32||32||48||48||48||2x 32||2x 32|
|Graphics Processor||GK104||Tahiti||GK104||GK110||GK110|| GK110||2x GK104||2x Tahiti|
|Transistors||3500M||4310M||3500M||7100M||7100M||7100M||2x 3500M||2x 4310M|
|Memory Size||2048 MB||3072 MB||2048 MB||3072 MB||3072 MB||6144 MB||2x 2048 MB||2x 3072 MB|
|Memory Bus Width||256 bit||384 bit||256 bit||384 bit||384 bit||384 bit||2x 256 bit||2x 384 bit|
|Core Clock||1046 MHz+||1050 MHz||1006 MHz+||863 MHz+||980 MHz+||837 MHz+||915 MHz+||1000 MHz|
|Memory Clock||1753 MHz||1500 MHz||1502 MHz||1502 MHz||1502 MHz||1502 MHz||1502 MHz||1500 MHz|
You will receive:
- Graphics card
- Driver CD + documentation
- 2x PCIe power cable
- DVI adapter
- 3x voltage measurement cable
- Long SLI bridge
- VRM heatsink for watercooling / liquid nitrogen
MSI's new cooler gives the card a more boxy look than previous Lightnings. The GPU reactor on the back is now black instead of blue. Dimensions of the card are 13 x 27 cm.
Installation requires three slots in your system since the cooler extends about 0.25 slots above the slot cover. The GPU reactor on the back also increases the card's thickness, which shouldn't be an issue since you will need an extra slot between cards to accommodate the thicker cooler.
Display connectivity options include two DVI ports, one HDMI port, and one DisplayPort. You may use all outputs at the same time, so triple-monitor surround gaming is possible with one card.
The GPU also includes an HDMI sound device. It is HDMI 1.4a compatible, which includes HD audio and Blu-ray 3D movies support.
Two available SLI connectors allow you to combine up to three GTX 780 cards in a Triple-SLI, multi-GPU configuration. NVIDIA decided to disable Quad-SLI on the GTX 780, so that feature is reserved for the GTX Titan only.
Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front
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