Late last year when NVIDIA announced its GeForce GTX 980, enthusiasts and gamers waited patiently for MSI to announce its Lightning edition GTX 980, but it never happened. The company released multiple GTX 980 products which were all great, but the icing on the cake wasn't there.
Just a few weeks ago, we started hearing credible rumors that MSI would release a GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning, and those rumors turned out to be true. MSI skipped the GTX 980 in favor of the GTX 980 Ti, and it has seriously paid off. Here we have the cherry-picked GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning, and it is one of the best video cards I've ever used.
MSI doesn't just don any of its video cards with the "Lightning" branding, so this GM200 GPU must have been something special. The card is built for overclocking and enthusiasts, where it has 2 x 8-pin and 1 x 6-pin PCIe power connectors for the very serious overclockers out there. More so, it packs LN2 parts in the damn box ready for some liquid nitrogen adventures.
I could go on forever about how this is going to be a kick ass card, but instead of that, let's dive headfirst into the review and take it slow.
The GPU in question is still the GM200, but a cherry-picked GM200 GPU. MSI worked closely with NVIDIA on securing itself the crème of the crop GM200 that was more than capable of being pushed far beyond the stock limits. This is why we have an insane amount of power going into the card, as well as LN2 compatibility.
MSI's GeForce GTX 980 Ti Lightning requires not just 2 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors, but a single 6-pin PCIe power connector, too. The 2 x 8-pin PCIe power connectors provide 150W each, while the 6-pin PCIe connector draws 75W. This means that the GTX 980 Ti Lightning can consume up to 375W on its own, which is insane.
Availability & Price
MSI has the cards available right now, with a not-so-bad price of $729. It's a premium card, with a not so premium price. We even feel that MSI could have charged more as this is a card for the true enthusiasts out there.
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