MSI has launched their much-anticipated GeForce GTX 980Ti Lightning, one of the premier overclocking GTX 980Ti’s around. As part of the overclocking Lightning lineup, the card is designed to push the GPU to the limit and is the flagship OC product of MSI. To meet those high expectations, the card features a whole host of features and tools.
Starting off the bat, the specifications are actually a bit better than previous leaks had alluded to. A minor improvement is in the number of power phases to 16 in total, up from the 12+3 from the leaks. Other than that, the board largely remains the same, with Military Class 4 components, dual BIOS (LN2 tweaked). Cooling is provided by 5 nickel-plated 8mm “SuperPipes” paired with a massive heatsink cooled by new Torx fans in a TriFrozor setup and directional airflow. While technically a dual slot card, the Lightning pretty much will take up 3 due to the massive cooler. The card also features a memory and MOSFET heatsink as well as a backplate.
On the GPU side of things, the core is clocked to 1304 MHz boost but can drop down to 1203 MHz. The 6GB of GDDR5 will run at an effective rate of 7096Mhz. Interestingly enough, these speeds are the exact same as those offered by rival EVGA’s GTX 980Ti K|NGP|N Edition, another overclocking-focused offering. Given these similarities, it might be that Nvidia is restricting their partners to certain limits, or that this is simply the sweet spot for the GTX 980Ti. One allure that the K|NGP|N offered was ASIC binning so it will be interesting to see if MSI did any ASIC binning themselves as well. Given the fierce competition in the overclocking world, it will be interesting to see if the Lightning will surpass the K|NGP|N.