MSI GTX 680 Lightning 2GB Graphics Card Review

/ 7 years ago

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Recently we’ve seen more and more GeForce GTX 680’s cropping up on the market, especially in a custom way, in terms of factory overclocks and unique cooling solutions, and now we see MSI doing the same, but on an extreme scale. Computex 2012 showed us a first glimpse at the Lightning series with the 7970 and now the flagship single core Nvidia card; the GTX 680.

Today the GTX 680 Lightning landed with us, offering a custom cooling solution and a factory overclock aimed at overclockers and enthusiasts alike with a custom PCB, Twin Frozr IV cooler and some extra added bonus features. The lightning series are considered the best of the best, and aren’t for the faint hearted, especially with a £530 price tag, but if you want the most powerful single core card in the world, you have to pay the price and that’s who this card is aimed at.

With the already fantastic success of the Lightning series, and the 7970 Lightning hitting the market by storm, it’s a very exciting time to see if the GTX 680 can follow on that trend and show us what it means to be part of the Lightning series of graphics cards from MSI.

Before we jump straight in and see how this beast performs, we need to take a look at the packaging and added accessories that MSI include. Afterwards, we can take a closer look at this mammoth of a card including its overclocked specifications and unique features.

Once that’s out of the way, we can delve further in and see how the card performs, with a key focus on how it compares to other overclocked cards we’ve tested.

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7 Responses to “MSI GTX 680 Lightning 2GB Graphics Card Review”
  1. Wince237 says:

    Page 11: “bain?”

    Bain, n. [F. bain, fr. L. balneum. Cf. Bagnio.] A bath; a bagnio. [Obs.] –Holland.

    You need to spell it correctly for it to have the desired meaning:

    1. a person or thing that ruins or spoils: Gambling was the bane of his existence.
    2. a deadly poison (often used in combination, as in the names of poisonous plants): wolfsbane; henbane.
    3. death; destruction; ruin.
    4. Obsolete . that which causes death or destroys life: entrapped and drowned beneath the watery bane.

    Who writes these articles?

  2. Bosniac says:

    How you manage a review on a OC specific card, without a mention of OC, and still stay credible is perplexing. This is a card that people will buy for mainly OC, and you fail to bench it!? LoL, what?

    • aruffell says:

      We were working on an overclocking specific article but afterburner doesn’t fully support this particular card. Msi have even admitted that 2.2.2 isn’t good enough and no sign of a new beta yet.

      Due to this the overclock we got was pretty shocking at only 1180mhz when we know this card can do so much more.

      We are still in talks with msi in regards to this.

      • Bosniac says:

        Fair enough. I fault MSi for advertising “unlocked voltage” on the product, yet not delivering. Reminds me of the EVGA GTX 580 Classified mishandling.

        • aruffell says:

          Yeah, afterburner etc… Shows 1.175 yet the multimeter shows 1.22 when connected to the v check points, though no difference was seen when overclocking and increasing the voltage as it simply didn’t increase.

  3. johnnyC604 says:

    It should also be appropriate to mention that if you are using these cards in SLI, you have to keep at least 1 card slot spacing between cards. This is for 2 reasons. 1) the fans do protrude above the shroud, and easily come into contact with the backplane of the SLI card unless you are very careful and use something to wedge between the cards to maintain clearance for the fans. Otherwise, the fans can, and will, jam, and will not spin. You will not notice this unless you look for it, or until the card overheats and shuts down. and 2) The card evidently needs “breathing room” for the cooler to work as designed because if you do install 2 or 3 cards in SLI without at least a slot spacing between them, they overheat and shut down within 30 seconds of running a stress test or benchmark. Therefore, you are essentially limited to 2 cards if you want to do an SLI. If you want 3-Way or 4-Way SLI, you need to look at custom cooling solutions.

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