MSI GTX780 Lightning Review

Introduction and Technical Specifications

MSI GTX780 Lightning Review 


The GK110 GPU that's been demolishing benchmarks since it first appeared on the GTX Titan, and then beneath the hood of the incredible GTX780 is unquestionably an enormous performer. It's so good that at first glance the idea of overclocking it out the factory seems to be a strange one, given the amount of potential it has at stock.

However, if we've discovered one thing in our testing of factory overclocked GTX780s that the GK110 Kepler GPU responds massively to a boost in clock speed, so having the benefits of a 3rd party cooler alongside a factory overclock should be enough to tempt even the most fiscally prudent amongst you.

Just tweaking the clock speed would hardly be enough for MSI to give this particular card their Lightning moniker and fortunately there is a lot more beneath that yellow cooler.

Technical Specifications

There is a big increase on both the Core and Boost clocks, up from 863/900 to 980/1033. That should see a large performance improvement when compared to the standard cards, even with the memory remaining at 6008MHz effective.

ModelGTX780 Lightning
Core Clock980MHz
Boost Clock1033MHz
Memory3 GB GDDR5
Memory Bit-Rate384 Bit
Memory Clock Speed1502MHz (6GHz)
CoolingMSI TriFrozr
Connectivity1 x DisplayPort
1 x Dual Link DVI-D
1 x Dual Link DVI-I
1 x HDMI
Power Phases16+3+1
Power Connectors2x 8 Pin PCIe
GPU Power250W
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Most Recent Comments

28-08-2013, 05:08:36

The MSI Lightning series has always provided some of the best versions of cards around. Today we see if the GTX780 Lightning keeps this streak alive.

Continue ReadingQuote

28-08-2013, 05:23:35

wow this thing is amazing!

cant wait till someone has it under sub-zero i wanna see what this thing can do!

Cheers TomQuote

28-08-2013, 06:01:36

Very cool , I've been waiting for your review on this card.

Edit : Thanks for the review Tom.Quote

28-08-2013, 06:09:58

If someone makes a nice water block for this very tempted (something like the xspc on).Quote

28-08-2013, 06:12:31

Originally Posted by MrKambo View Post
wow this thing is amazing!

cant wait till someone has it under sub-zero i wanna see what this thing can do!

Cheers Tom
I'm pretty sure 8-Pack has already done so over the last couple of days, breaking the Firestrike record

Originally Posted by murphy7801 View Post
If someone makes a nice water block for this very tempted (something like the xspc on).
I think EK are making one at the moment so i'm sure wee'll see that soonish. Dunno about XSPCQuote

28-08-2013, 06:45:28

But can it run Crysis?

Will be interesting to see how many records this card will break over the next few days/weeks. Most likely all of them
It's not badly priced either, I was expecting it to be around £100 more than a standard 780 but it's only £40 more. If you have enough to spend £550 on a GPU then £40 more isn't going to be a big deal to you.Quote

28-08-2013, 07:54:15

Very nice read and to think I had a chance at one of these makes me wonder if I should have taken it up.....SighQuote

28-08-2013, 07:57:05

That is one damn nice looking card!Quote

28-08-2013, 08:20:33

Let the classified or lightning argument begin..

I am going to assume that on LN2 the lightning will be better but for the average user on air or water I think it could be very closeQuote

28-08-2013, 08:24:01

Absolute monster, thanks for the review Tom Quote

28-08-2013, 10:08:35

Originally Posted by WillSK View Post
I'm pretty sure 8-Pack has already done so over the last couple of days, breaking the Firestrike record
yeah he set a new record on the 23rd with two lightning cards
but kingpin already beat it again with about 1.6k points more..Quote

28-08-2013, 15:30:06

This card looks rediculously awesome, Nerd Porn alert!!Quote

28-08-2013, 16:20:51

I would prefer a version with no LEDs at all.Quote

28-08-2013, 17:32:49

Originally Posted by NRG! View Post
I would prefer a version with no LEDs at all.
I agree although I wouldn't be so bothered if the lightning logo was white or yellow. As Tom said in his video review why they've gone for green, blue and red seems v strange. Rainbow rigs look tackyQuote

28-08-2013, 17:57:40


"i really do have to make a in video about the silicon lottery..." hahahaaha... u killed me with that one...

Nice review... as im going water cooling, i think ill just aim for the reference 780... still have to think a bit, as im buying two at the same time...


28-08-2013, 18:06:50

Dark NighT
I dont get that card, yeah the performance is there but that extra piece of plastic on the back blocks of any slots above the video card, so running sli could be tricky and having a pci-e 1x slot above that for audio cards or other things is useless as well, considering most msi boards have a 1x slot above the 16x slot it seems a weird decision.Quote

28-08-2013, 20:35:24

Looks like this is gonna need a custom block if on water - Probably why MSI didnt want you taking it apart... Nice review

31-08-2013, 18:44:15

Hi Tom and Forums,

I love the video reviews and love the in depth reviews on the site.

Are these graphs sorted in any specific way? Also, is it possible to sort by Low to High Avg. Fps, Score, etc. to make them a little easier to read?Quote

31-08-2013, 21:10:06

If I was doing a black/yellow build, I'd be getting this and the yellow MSI Mobo, along with the yellow SSD and RAM Tom pointed out in his video; all that together would look awesome

Great review as always Tom!Quote

02-09-2013, 20:01:21

Great card but not sure about the near titan price though...
I wonder if they'll do a water cooled version like evga? It would definitely make more sense since this is mostly aimed at extreme overclockers, and maybe make a slightly cheaper and more flamboyant version for the gamers with less over clocking stuff (cause the red version is honestly too plain and frankly is Asus colour)?Here's hoping Quote

02-09-2013, 21:30:46

No sure if this is what I was looking for !! Damit Tom you really hide good lol !!!Quote

02-09-2013, 23:53:30

Originally Posted by PhatboyHD View Post
No sure if this is what I was looking for !! Damit Tom you really hide good lol !!!
I can't find what you meant ......
Can you give any hint ?Quote

06-09-2013, 23:44:30

Very cool but it only just seems to edge out the MSI 780 Gaming?

The 780 Gaming being a reference design would obviously be a lot easier to find a waterblock for. With the results compared I'll go a 780 Gaming I think

Awesome review as always TTL, the most thorough, comprehensive and enjoyable reviews by far!Quote

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