The Lightning series from MSI never disappoints, but there's some really interesting results from the AMD HD 7970 GHz Edition. When this new AMD model is overclocked, it shows the dominance that AMD have at 2560 x 1600. Saying that, you at times see the difference is only a single FPS and when the GTX 680 does come out ahead, it's normally by more than 1 FPS.
Looking at the numbers here today, though, we can see the Lightning version of the NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 680 does wonders to performance where a couple of times we saw ourselves able to get out of that non-playable area to a playable region thanks to the overclock on offer. For people who are on 120Hz monitors as well who want to be closer to that 120 FPS mark as well, the extra grunt on offer from the card is going to be really appreciated.
Outside of the performance, though, there's so much more. The cooler is fantastic and the numbers we see it give off when overclocked to these levels is really quite amazing. Along with that we've got the GPU Reactor and just generally better quality components throughout the video card.
At $599.99 the Lightning version of the GTX 680 from MSI is the third most expensive GTX 680 listed at Newegg with only the 4GB EVGA FTW+ Edition and Water Blocked Hydro Copper version also from EVGA costing more. Compared to the Lightning version of the HD 7970, it is $70 more expensive, which we think is a fairly reasonable amount and we'd have no problem opting to spend the extra money for the GTX 680 version.
I think what's going to be interesting now is where we see MSI go with the Lightning series. I'd like to see an Extreme version come from them again which carries 4GB of GDDR5 like we saw with the GTX 580 while I'd also like to see the new AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition get the Lightning treatment as well.
If you're after a really good GTX 680 and you're happy to spend the associated money that goes with buying a quality Lightning card, this is a really good buy. If you've used the Lightning series before you'll probably already know what they're capable of and if you're in the mood for an upgrade, then this is a great option to consider.
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- Page 1 [Introduction and Package]
- Page 2 [The Card and Specifications]
- Page 3 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - 3DMark 11]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Mafia II]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator]
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