MSI RTX 2080Ti Lightning Review
Branding is something which has always been incredibly important, but how now seemingly spread across to other genres.
The most vital part of it is to have a company name, or ideal, or product which is instantly recognisable as yours, and hopefully of enough quality that people who live their lives without obsessively checking which is the best place to buy, or the right thing to buy, will come to you because your brand is strong enough that they trust you.
It is also an element of identity. We all have our favourite streamers or Youtubers, or even just bands, and the way that they are and the product they put out is their identity or brand, and thus the thing that keeps us coming back to them. If a new title is out and you want to know how good it is you might avoid those places that obviously give high scores to major advertisers regardless of actual quality, the Kane and Lynch scenario, and stick with people that you trust.
What's all that got to do with a new graphics card you ask? Well the MSI Lightning is one of the Kings of brands. It has, since its inception as a GTX 260 model way back when our hair wasn't grey and this website was blue, been a touchstone for quality and innovation. Every subsequent model has built upon this legacy until it has reached a level of fame and performance that each new iteration is eagerly anticipated because we all know it will show what the underlying GPU is truly capable of. Or at least that's our expectation.
Now the wait is over and the MSI RTX 2080Ti Lightning is here in our hot sweaty hands it's time to discover if the Lightning brand is as strong as ever. It might be freezing cold outside but we're wearing our special trousers for exciting moments so let's get down to business.
In plain specification terms the MSI RTX 2080Ti Lightning is a lot like the other RTX 2080Ti models we've seen, with a full amount of CUDA Cores, the all important Tensor Cores and of course the RT elements that give the RTX its name. Eagle-eyed readers will also see that the Lightning will never be left requiring more power with three 8-pin PCIe power connectors allowing for a total consumption of 350W if you want to push the boat out.
Although we'll be looking at it in more detail on the next page, it's good to see an exploded view of the cooler. There is no doubt that the PCB is heavily braced to ensure that there will be zero flexing or warping when you're chasing world records.