We're a fan of the Lightning series and this version of the card really gets rid of the issues we had with the first one where the advertised clocks could only be achieved with the MSI software being installed. There's also no AirForce Panel with this one which is good for two reasons; the device on a whole is a bit of a pain and secondly it helps keep the price down, a definite plus.
Performance on a whole is pretty good; we saw a consistent boost over the GTX 275 and with the Lightning Afterburner application included in the bundle you can do a bit more overclocking yourself if you feel like getting even more performance out of the card.
We have to admit, though, when it came to the temperature we became a bit worried that the fancy aftermarket cooler was doing nothing but looking good. But once you have a look at the next graph and see the noise levels the cooler puts out you can't help but be impressed with the cooler on a whole.
If you're looking for a GTX 275 that packs a bit more power, carries with it one of the quietest active cooling solutions on the market and some overclocking software to boot, this GTX 275 is actually pretty good.
The Lightning series looks like it's going to become something special. We're not sure if companies are mixing it up a bit in preparation for the new GT 300 models or simply because they're bored, but we always like to see this happen with models that have been around for a while as a freshening up.