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MSI GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z 11GB Review

Our GPU test system has been built with the intention of benchmarking a variety of graphics cards from mid-range to high-end. Each GPU is tested in a number of 3D applications and games at 1080p, 1440p and 2160p (“4K”) resolutions using Very High or Ultra detail presets.

Test System Components

General Test System Notes

  • AMD Graphics cards were benchmarked with the AMD (Crimson ReLive Edition) 17.4.2 drivers (17.10.1711 Beta 5) except the RX 570 and RX 580 GPUs which were benchmarked with a special press release driver (17.10.1030 Beta 8).
  • Nvidia Graphics cards were benchmarked with the Nvidia (GeForce Game Ready) 381.65 driver.
  • To tune the test system appropriately for acoustic measurements the case was stripped of its original fans and fitted with ultra quiet Noctua fans.
  • The CPU cooler, the Corsair H100i v2, was set to a fixed low fan speed to further reduce the base noise level while the pump was left to operate at full speed since it produces no significant noise output.
  • The CPU was left to default Intel Turbo behaviour, disabling ASUS enhancements such as all-core Turbo to minimise heat output inside the case and non-GPU related power consumption. The CPU voltage was also negatively offset (read: reduced) by a measure of -0.15 to further reduce non-GPU related heat and power consumption and keep CPU temperatures down to accommodate for the ultra silent CPU and System fan profiles.
  • Each 3D benchmark or game is run 3 times at each resolution with an average result of the three runs taken as the final result for the graphs. Where benchmark screenshots are shown note these may not match the graphed figure since the graph represents the average of three while the screenshot is a single of those three values.

Comparison Graphics Cards List

Software and Games List

  • 3DMark
  • Ashes of the Singularity
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Furmark
  • GPU-Z
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Metro Last Light Redux
  • MSI Afterburner
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Steam
  • SteamVR Performance Test
  • Unigine Heaven

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  • Lelisevis

    I don’t know…..everyone raved about the triple fans on the Sapphire R9 290X Vapor-X in reviews but I had to live with the thing for 3 years and believe me in real life that thing was like a caged bee. I’ve just made the move to a MSI GTX1080 Gaming X plus with the Twin Frozr and those much larger dual fans are way more quiet.
    I like to think of it like this, when picking a radiator given the choice we would all rather have a 140mm over a 120mm, it’s cooler and quieter. Some of those triple fan GPU’s look like they have squeezed a third fan in and when they ramp up…..in the real world be it from a warm CPU or hot sunny day you may live to regret it.

  • Allan

    ryan did stress in the review this card isnt too loud mind you. Sometimes i find it can be fan pitch or vibrations, or turbulence between some fans can be the most annoying.

  • Lelisevis

    Yeah it’s just crazy how we all spend a fortune on the biggest slowest fans we can possibly get then we are a happy putting a 90mm, 1400rpm fan on the hottest component in our PC, that’s before the overclock. We’ll be going back to NForce chipset fans next πŸ˜‰

  • Dennis Zweverink

    3000 units worldwide? Seems like a shame for such a solid card. In any case, great review guys! I’ll try to keep an eye out for this card.

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  • Berdugo

    Well I just installed my GTX 1080 Ti Lightning (the X version with “slower” clocks) and the fan “issue” (where the fans start spinning loudly for 3 seconds then slow down) is quite annoying… I can believe there is no workaround…

  • bonomork

    From MSI forum:
    You can prevent the spin ups when you disable Zero Frozr in Gaming APP and thus keep the fans spinning permanently