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MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition Review

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Qwatkins 3rd June 2011, 14:23 Quote
This card is also attractive to DCC applications that use CUDA acceleration mainly because of the 3 GB memory. The reason for that has to do with programs like 3DS Max and scene size (poly count and texture size or render frame output size) if the scene is too large to fit in the VRAM then the render will fail. In fact the Quadro cards have historically been the only CUDA capable cards with large VRAMs but also hefty premiums. The only other card I know of that isn't a Quadro but has this much memory is the 580 GTX from Gainward (Palit in US)
xaser04 3rd June 2011, 14:24 Quote
Impressive card but at a ridiculous cost.
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
Despite being a DirectX 9 title, Arma II is very demanding, and even with a super-high-end card such as the Lightning XE, we only saw a minimum frame rate of 29fps at 2,560 x 1,600 with 4x AA. This was still an improvement of over 10 per cent over a standard GTX 580 1.5GB - given that the overclock alone is between 3-8 per cent, it looks as if the extra video memory has helped with this game. In fact, it was fast enough to outpace a dual-GPU AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB with its Antilles Unlocking Switch active.

The way this is worded makes it seem that the Lighting is faster than the HD6990 in ARMA II.

The HD6990 is a mere 2fps down on the minimum framerate whilst a significant 20fps up on the average.

That is a very strange description of "outpacing"!

I do wish graphs showing framerate against time would be used in the FRAPS benchmarks (ARMAII and BFBC2) in addition to the bar charts - even if only at one resolution. Absolute minimums and averages on a bar chart don't really tell us half the story and in certain cases (not talking about Bit here) can be very mis-leading (HD5970 and BFBC2 for example).
lga45 3rd June 2011, 14:48 Quote
Wow thanks for the review. Timing couldnt have been more perfect, I was in the market for a 580 and went shopping this afternoon (in Singapore) - found these on the shelves out here for only GBP29 more than the standard 580, so I picked one up not knowing anything about it. Jeez I hadnt even heard of it till I saw it on the shelf, and I spent several weeks researching what card to buy. Now suddenly, all the reviews are out. It must be brand new huh?

Given that its total price here is only GBP 415, I think it's much better value for the performance on offer. I have a new 30" ultrasharp arriving tomorrow; cant wait to put it through its paces. I think I'll go for a medium overclock though - yours sounds too extreme :))) I'm not going to be LN2ing however, or water cooling it - that's never been my thing.

The 590 or 2x580 SLIs were my other choices, but I was worried about dodgy drivers, as you indicate could be a future issue. Tempted though I still am, 2 of these bad boys would cost me the same as my entire ultrasharp however, and they'll be obsolete in a year no doubt.

Still I'm totally excited about my first foray into the world of 30" gaming, and (for the price I paid), it seems like the perfect card to get started with.
xaser04 3rd June 2011, 14:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lga45
Wow thanks for the review. Timing couldnt have been more perfect, I was in the market for a 580 and went shopping this afternoon (in Singapore) - found these on the shelves out here for only GBP29 more than the standard 580, so I picked one up not knowing anything about it. Jeez I hadnt even heard of it till I saw it on the shelf, and I spent several weeks researching what card to buy. Now suddenly, all the reviews are out. It must be brand new huh?

Given that its total price here is only GBP 415, I think it's much better value for the performance on offer. I have a new 30" ultrasharp arriving tomorrow; cant wait to put it through its paces. I think I'll go for a medium overclock though - yours sounds too extreme :))) I'm not going to be LN2ing however, or water cooling it - that's never been my thing.

The 590 or 2x580 SLIs were my other choices, but I was worried about dodgy drivers, as you indicate could be a future issue. Tempted though I still am, 2 of these bad boys would cost me the same as my entire ultrasharp however, and they'll be obsolete in a year no doubt.

Still I'm totally excited about my first foray into the world of 30" gaming, and (for the price I paid), it seems like the perfect card to get started with.

For only £29 more than the standard GTX580 that is a cracking deal! If it was £370 or so in the UK it would be a relative steal but £100 more again is well above HD6950CF pricing (£400).
facwit 3rd June 2011, 15:22 Quote
Im off to Singapore soon. Is it cheaper than the UK for cards?
Claave 3rd June 2011, 16:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by facwit
Im off to Singapore soon. Is it cheaper than the UK for cards?

There is a non-Xtreme Edition version of this card that uses the older Twin Frozr II cooler (rather than the III), and I think it doesn't have the LN2 kit either. Should still be a great card for that price though, even if it's not the XE version.
lga45 3rd June 2011, 16:49 Quote
Hmmm yeah I dont know why its so cheap in Singapore. Prices tend to vary around a bit here, and you normally go in store to purchase (Sim Lim shopping center) - there are no online websites like in the UK. You may be able to bargain them down a few bucks too.

- Scan doesnt appear to list it right now, but it lists the non-xtreme at GBP394.
- the Singapore price for the non-xtreme came out as GBP 381 at the same store I got my xtreme.
- Overclockers lists the non-xtreme at GBP 440

My conclusion is that overclockers.co.uk are ripping-off people off on both the xtreme and non-xtreme edition. Maybe prices will come down soon.
JCBeastie 3rd June 2011, 17:01 Quote
You didn't show off the colour changing fans!
Farfalho 3rd June 2011, 17:08 Quote
Well, although an ATi follower I must give kudos to MSI for delivering this monster. I bet in watercooled conditions you could down the temps and noise a lot, possibly even overclock it further.
Ask MSI to send you the ATI HD6950 Twin Frozr III 2GB and the ATI HD6970 Lightning. I'm eager to see that two monster fairying in your tests.

A great idea and achievement, doubling up de ram and the hardware
Action_Parsnip 3rd June 2011, 17:08 Quote
Is it not time now boys to drop Black Ops? I mean really look at the numbers on that 2560x1600 chart, slowest card gets 33fps min? :P
Baz 3rd June 2011, 17:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Action_Parsnip
Is it not time now boys to drop Black Ops? I mean really look at the numbers on that 2560x1600 chart, slowest card gets 33fps min? :P

We'll be switching to a whole new array of graphics benchmarks, with new games, for the next round of launches. Doing so right now, with no new architectures on the horizon, would mean a whole load of extra testing for not a lot of extra info.

Oddly enough, the Black Ops pages usually do the best traffic in these reviews, so some people must be interested :)
Baz 3rd June 2011, 17:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBeastie
You didn't show off the colour changing fans!

Alas, I did. The fans are heat-sensitive, and turn white above 45°C to let you know the card's running too hot.

Needless to say after a hard overclocking session, the rear fan was more white than blue :D
Paradigm Shifter 3rd June 2011, 17:56 Quote
To be honest, that's not a whole lot more money for that card than it is for the other 3GB GTX580s. And given that the other currently-UK-available 3GB GTX580s are Palit and Gainward (essentially the same thing, one with a fancier cooler) I'd opt for the MSI-3GB-LN2-insanity-card over either of them, because it's got great VRMs, etc.

Do want two for my Surround setup. :D
wuyanxu 3rd June 2011, 18:44 Quote
Need more people click on BFBC2 benchmark, that's the only benchmark I read on any graphics card or CPU reviews.

I request BF3 benchmarks on new card releases!
Ph4ZeD 3rd June 2011, 19:16 Quote
+50% at BC2? Thats pretty remarkable.
bobwya 3rd June 2011, 22:04 Quote
nice card :-)
lilgoth89 4th June 2011, 01:48 Quote
are the power consumption numbers correct ?? uses less power than a stock 580 with an oc ? ( ableit only 9w at load )
if thats true msi has designed an absolutly amazing card
not sure it justifies an extra £100 tho... even if it is arguably the best looking gpu of all time ^_^
keep rocking MSI
G0UDG 4th June 2011, 15:20 Quote
I have this card and its awsum fah v7 reports estimate of just over 20,000 ppd in fah temps are great also 55c at 100% load I have it installed in a haf x case on an R3E motherboard
Toploaded 4th June 2011, 17:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Quote:
Originally Posted by Action_Parsnip
Is it not time now boys to drop Black Ops? I mean really look at the numbers on that 2560x1600 chart, slowest card gets 33fps min? :P

We'll be switching to a whole new array of graphics benchmarks, with new games, for the next round of launches. Doing so right now, with no new architectures on the horizon, would mean a whole load of extra testing for not a lot of extra info.

Oddly enough, the Black Ops pages usually do the best traffic in these reviews, so some people must be interested :)

Yeah, it's everyone that does not want to see blacks ops checking to see how pointless the benchmark really was [/toungeInCheek]

Wither 2 gonna join the fold?
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