MSI GTX780 Lightning Review
Putting slogans on your packaging is something which occurs in nearly every walk of life from oven chips to De Beers diamonds. It's somewhat rarer in the world of computer hardware and MSI have gone straight for the jugular with the rather unequivocal "Built to be perfect". Blimey, that's a statement of intent. In keeping with the premium placement of the Lightning in the MSI range the box is extremely sturdy and replete with gold lettering.
Whilst most graphics cards come in this high-density foam, the rest of the packaging is a treasure trove of interesting things. We have all the adaptors you could possibly require, and of a much higher quality than the usual molex to PCIe adaptors.
This piece of metal is both inspired and curious. It's designed to help dissipate the heat from the power phases for those extreme overclocks, and is simply to install too. The curiosity comes from the fact it's not installed by default. When you're spending this much you don't want your first task to be removing the heatsink.
The card itself is gorgeous. The TriFrozr has three fans to keep the card cool, but they aren't your regular ones as we'll see on the next page. The black and yellow colour combination is gorgeous and perfectly matches the MPOWER MAX motherboard we looked at recently.
The Lightning logo changes colour depending upon the power loading. We've always felt this feature to be a double-edged sword. It's nice to know how hard your card is working, but we think that in general people would prefer a logo that lit up to match the rest of their system rather than varying between three colours.
As you would expect from such a high-end card there is a backplate to ensure the PCB is as stable as possible even under extreme scenarios, and adds yet more surface area for temperature control.
At the business ends we have the regulation 8+8 power inputs, and the DisplayPort/HDMI/DVI outputs that are now a staple of the nVidia designs.