MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning 2 GB 27

MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning 2 GB Review

Test Setup »

A Closer Look

MSI's cooler uses two huge fans and five heatpipes to keep their card cool.

The front side of the card (with the GPU) is covered by a secondary metal heatsink that cools the memory chip and voltage regulation circuitry.

MSI has installed some additional MOSFETs on the back of card to spread around the heat generated by the VRM circuitry. These components are cooled by this metal backplate that is installed on the back of the card, it also helps protect against damage while handling the card.

The card requires two 8-pin PCI-Express power connectors. This configuration is good for up to 375 W of power draw.

On the back of the card you will find MSI's GPU reactor. Which uses an additional PCB to provide extra voltage filtering to the GPU. It has been placed that way to be as close as possible to the GPU to maximize its effect.

A BIOS switch is used to toggle between the normal and LN2 BIOS. It is also useful to protect against failed BIOS flashes.

Three easy to use voltage check points are located near an edge of the card. They provide measuring access for GPU, memory and PLL voltage.

For voltage control the card uses a CHiL 8318. It offers extensive software voltage control and monitoring features, but is quite new, so support in overclocking software is limited. MSI's own Afterburner software supports it of course.

The GDDR5 memory chips are made by Hynix, and carry the model number H5GQ2H24AFR-R0C. They are specified to run at 1500 MHz (6000 MHz GDDR5 effective).

NVIDIA's new GK104 graphics processor introduces the company's brand-new Kepler architecture. It is NVIDIA's first chip to be produced on a 28 nanometer process, at TSMC Taiwan. The transistor count is 3.54 billion.
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