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MSI N580GTX Lightning Review

The N580GTX Lightning arrives in a stealth bomber style box indicative of MSI artwork for this specific range of cards. It is a gatefold design and it folds open to reveal some of the specifications.

Our bundle was rather spartan, but it seems to be a well circulated ‘review’ sample so bits and pieces such as the driver CD have clearly gone missing over the last couple of months. According to the official documentation there are 3 Voltage measurement cables supplied, we received 2.

The card is a two slot design and is built around a black PCB and the card is heavy due to the metal construction of the cooler.

There are three measurement points on the PCB which allow the enthuasiast user to measure specific voltages to aid overclocking. The card requires two eight pin PCI E power connectors to operate properly.

The N580GTX is SLI capable in 2,3 and 4 way configurations.

The card is equipped with two DVI ports, a single full sized HDMI port and a single full sized Displayport. You can only use two displays with this card simultaneously. The HDMI connector supports audio – DTS-HD, Dolby TrueHD, DTS and 7.1 channel audio with 192 khz, 24 bit.

The cooler is a substantial design with 5 thick heatpipes running from the center.

The card is a custom, proprietary design from MSI featuring a 16 phase PWM design which was the world’s first 16 phase implementation when the card was released. The card is specified with MSI’s full range of ‘military class’ components with Super Ferrite chokes delivering 10% better power efficiency and 30% higher current capacity. There are Hi-c Capacitors onboard which offer 15x less leakage and are (according to MSI), used on Space Shuttles and satellites.

An overview of the hardware according to GPUz. highlighting the overclocked core and memory figures.

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