MSI RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z Graphics Card Review

/ 5 months ago

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A Closer Look

The card is certainly quite striking, and it’s so over the top, it’s actually pretty garish.

Personally, I hated it when I first saw it, but I think I’m warming to it. I actually like the absurdity of the size of it now, and the carbon, and the gold trim. It would look like a giant beacon of ridiculous in my PC, and that’s fine by me. Perhaps most buying such an expensive card would design their build to match though, it may blend in a tad more…


That huge TRI-FROZR cooler means serious business though. With a triple fan design, it is capable of shifting some serious air when required. However, when things are cool, they can shut down for completely silent running. That’s hardly surprising though, as for passive cooling it has an extra long, and triple slot thick radiator design under there. That’s easily one of the biggest GPU radiators I’ve ever seen.


The stunning backplate has a carbon finish, that’s really impressive. I do love a good aluminium plate, but this really does look amazing. Plus, the added strength this provides the card can’t be fussed about; this is a big card, and you don’t want it to droop! Furthermore, with those two lightning bolts carved out of it and they’re RGB backlit too; obviously!

Fat and Wide

There’s nothing subtle about the Lightning Z. It’s a triple slot thick card, so make sure you have a chassis that can accommodate it. Furthermore, it sits out a fair bit wider than the PCIe bracket, so again, measure twice before you buy this thing. I love that the backplate is all-black too, it blends in nicely; until you see the carbon and gold card behind it, then it doesn’t blend in, ha!


For those who want to add some extra visual flair, there’s plenty of RGB on the back of the card, as well as the fans. It’s customisable with the Armory software too. However, the most important customisation is that OLED display. By default, it shows clock speeds and temperatures, etc. However, you can tinker with it through the software also.

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