While most of our coverage regarding video cards lately has been focused around the release of the new R series from AMD, we wanted to take a step back and test a video card that popped up recently from MSI. The GTX 780 Lightning 3GB was a model that we were excited to look at, and today we're finally getting the chance to see just what it's capable of.
Before we start to see the new AMD R9 290 and 290X video cards arrive, it seemed like now was the perfect time to test the card out. The GTX 780 is really going to have to prove itself in the coming weeks, as not only do we see companies send reference versions of the new R9 290 and R9 290X, but also custom non-reference designs that are bound to follow in the weeks and months after.
With the model being part of the Lightning series, it means one of the main things we want to focus on today is the overclocking side of things. Before we do that, though, we need to check out what's going on with the package and then move onto a closer look at the card.
Let's not delay any longer and just get into it and see how NVIDIA's top GTX 700 series based card is performing today as we prepare for an onslaught of models from AMD.
Normally when it comes to the Lightning boxes, we expect something that opens up and gives us an absolute wealth of information. Looking above, though, you can see we have just a standard box setup here. The front gives us the model and mention that it's part of the Lightning series. Turning the box over, you can see some of the main features that are offered.
Those main features include the Tri Frozr cooling solution, Pure Digital PWM Control, SuperPipe Technology, Dust Removal Technology, along with Military Class 4 Components which include DrMOS 4, Copper Mosfet, Hi-C CAP, New Super Ferrite Choke and Dark Solid Capacitors.
Opening the box up, you can see the packaging is a little fancier than usual. We've got the inside box that opens up giving us a look at the card and below that you can see we have a draw that holds the accessories. This reminds us of one of the very first HAWK cards we saw many years ago, which had a box with this kind of design.
Moving into the package, you can see all the usual suspects including the Military Class 4 Certificate, Quick user Guide, extra-long SLI bridge, two 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe power connectors, DVI to VGA connector and three V-Check point cables. We'll talk about using these when we take a closer look at the card.
Outside of that, you can see we've got an extra bracket. If you're going to be using LN2 cooling on the card, you'll have to remove the cooler and the bracket for the card that cools the memory and PWM.
Because of that, MSI has included another bracket that can be installed with your LN2 pots that will help cool those two areas. On the back we have thermal tape installed to help transfer the heat off both the memory and PWM area.