Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts
Coming in at $449.99 at the time of writing, the MSI GTX 770 2GB Lightning is the most expensive 2GB version of the GTX 770. This doesn't come as much of a surprise, though, considering the amount of work that goes into creating the MSI Lightning models. Compared to other options, though, the next cheapest is $409.99 after rebate and comes in the form of the EVGA GTX 770 2GB SuperClocked with ACX cooling. That's a great video card and we found ourselves extremely impressed with it when we reviewed it.
If you head over to Newegg, you'll see a number of GTX 770's that come in at $449.99 with the most expensive offerings costing $519.99. It's important to remember, though, that these are 4GB models. So, at the cost of the Lightning model, you can grab yourself a 4GB version. While we can't really comment on how a 4GB model compares to a 2GB model due to the fact we haven't tested one yet, we can with confidence say that you should see very little difference, if previous testing of larger memory video cards is anything to go by. We're not talking about a 1GB card moving to 2GB, instead we're talking about 2GB, which is already a very decent amount of memory, and moving to 4GB.
Would we choose this video card over a 4GB version? In a heartbeat. It's really not something that we need to think about at all. If you're happy to spend mid-$400 on a GTX 770, we'd much prefer to go down the path of this Lightning card from MSI verses a 4GB standard version from another company.
Stepping away from the pricing side of things and getting into the actual performance, it's the fastest GTX 770 that we've tested to date, and with the highest core clock. We actually managed to get a 3DMark 11 benchmark run with the core as high as 1250MHz, but it wasn't stable anywhere really outside of 3DMark, though, so it wasn't a number we could use. If you're doing some benchmarking, though, you're bound to have a ton of fun. Crank the fan speed up to 100%, throw on the air conditioners or open up the windows if its winter, and you're going to get some great performance.
Features and build quality wise, the MSI GTX 770 2GB Lightning has it. It is really packed to the top with quality components. It's that reason it is the most expensive 2GB GTX 770 currently available and also the reason why it's also the highest clocking one we've tested to date.
The bundle isn't huge, but you do get everything needed to get up and running with no problem. The inclusion of the longer SLI cable is handy if you're going to be running two or three of these cards together. The V-Check Point cables, while very cool, are something that most consumers will more than likely not use.
While a little on the pricier side, the cost is easy to justify. You're not simply paying more money for a strong out of the box overclock and a fancy cooler. You're paying extra money for a video card that is going to perform stronger than the competition because of the high quality components MSI has used. The MSI GTX 770 2GB Lightning is the clear benchmark for what creating a near perfect video card should look like.