I find myself unconvinced that we still have a need for cards with 3GB of GDDR5, but if you're going to go down that path you may as well do it in style with something awesome like the MSI GTX 580 Lightning Xtreme Edition.
As usual, MSI bring us a quality product and it's no doubt going to be one that people have wanted. Need it or not, there continues to be a demand for ultra-high MB / GB cards and it's nice to see that MSI have chosen to address this by not just offering a reference 3GB card or even one with just the Twin Frozr II cooler, but instead they've opted to go all out and bring a 3GB model into the Lightning foal that performance users know and love.
I wouldn't say that this card can overclock better than the 1.5GB Lightning card, even though compared to our sample, it did. Generally speaking, you should find yourself getting a stronger clock than most reference cards, though, thanks to the ability to increase the voltage in more than one area.
While we don't have a price on the card at the moment, we know that it's going to be expensive, but hopefully it won't be too crazy. The move from a standard Twin Frozr II GTX 580 from MSI to the Lightning will set you back an extra $25 US, bringing it in at $525.99 US. If you jump on Newegg you'll see only one 3GB card; that card uses reference clocks and reference cooler. Compared to a reference 1.5GB card from the same company, the extra memory sets you back $80 US.
At around the $599 - $629 US price the Lightning Xtreme Edition is going to fall into a pricing level you'd expect. At $629 US it still wouldn't be the most expensive GTX 580 either with a 1.5GB water cooled card from EVGA costing you $699.99 US.
In the end, though, MSI have done to the GTX 580 what they do best to Video Cards in general; make ones that look and perform better than the competition. With the lack of 3GB cards also on the market, MSI have done a fantastic job of standing out from the competition.
If you've got the money to spend and you just want the extra memory, the Xtreme Edition of the GTX 580 Lightning is the card to own, and if you don't need the extra memory you can always just get the normal 1.5GB GTX 580 Lightning model which also kicks some serious ass.
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- Page 1 [Introduction and Package]
- Page 2 [Card and Specifications]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and 3DMark 11]
- Page 4 [3DMark Vantage]
- Page 5 [Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Resident Evil 5]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Mafia II]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Street Fighter IV]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Far Cry 2]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - Batman Arkham Asylum]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 15 [Benchmarks - PhysX Tests]
- Page 16 [Temperature Test]
- Page 17 [Sound Test]
- Page 18 [Power Consumption Tests]
- Page 19 [Total Performance Rating (TPR)]
- Page 20 [Final Thoughts]
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