The LIGHTNING Z Experience
Throughout all of our testing, the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z didn't go above 65C, even after hours of benchmarking and stress testing. For the most part, the card is totally silent until it goes under load, and then the fans will spin up slightly to keep it cool. It's only under heavy stress from increased voltages and GPU/VRAM clocks that the fans need to be increased in speed.
As for overclocking, most GeForce GTX 1080 Ti cards still hit a ceiling at 2050MHz, and the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z is no exception except for a few points. First, there's the LN2 mode that I can't play around with because I don't have liquid nitrogen sitting around. I think we might see over 2200MHz or so with crazy high voltages, and some tweaks to the GDDR5X RAM which I could get to 12Gbps.
The RGB lighting on the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z is actually captivating, and I left it on the rainbow swirl pattern the entire time as it just looks so damn good. There's plenty of room for tweaking the card through Mystic Light, something I'll be testing now and editing this portion of the review - so the Mystic Light for me right now, is a work in progress.
There are parts of the LIGHTNING Z that just aren't for me, which is the inclusion of plugging in a digital multimeter to check voltages, etc. - and the LN2 mode switch. For me at least, this is a boutique, limited edition GTX 1080 Ti from MSI. It has great overclocking ability, but in its stock form, it's no more impressive than competing GTX 1080 Ti cards, while it does have some of the best styling I've seen yet, especially with its RGB LED streak.
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