Quantcast
 
 


MSI GeForce GTX 580 Lightning Review

Author: SKYMTL
Date: May 1, 2011
Product Name: MSI GTX 580 Lightning
Part Number: N580GTX-Lightning
Warranty: 3 Years
 
Share |

Flipping the Lightning…DIP Switches Aplenty



Turning the Lightning over reveals a PCB that is far from the reference design in every way possible. Instead of lengthening the PCB to incorporate their high end components, MSI has added extra width by incorporating a small ˝” lip on the card’s leading edge.


MSI has gone the same route as Gigbayte does with their Super Overclock series by equipping the Lightning with a quartet of NEC / Tokin Proadlizer. Laid out in a 3+1 GPU to memory configuration, these chips provide high capacitance and low ESR to ensure the cleanest power possible gets to each section of the graphics card while providing 1000 uF of capacitance.


Along the PCB’s edge are three DIP switches with a fourth being located near the PCI-E slot connector. The main grouping of three includes an OPC Unlocker that allows the core to ignore any power limiter that has been placed upon it, a V-Switch for quick voltage tuning and a PWM Clock Tuner which essentially overclocks the PWM clock to 310Mhz from the reference 260Mhz. The fourth switch is dubbed XtremeCool for working around the GTX 580’s “cold bug” and should be used when overclocking with LN2.


Next to the three main DIP switches is a toggle used for quick BIOS switching. The Lightning holds two BIOSes onboard; one of which houses the standard overclocked file and another which is tailor-made for high end cooling solutions since it implements aggressive voltage presets. When used in conjunction with the XtremeCool toggle, this should allow extreme overclockers to completely bypass the dreaded GF110 cold bug.

Naturally, these are only the most visible features which hint at the Lightning’s overclocking prowess. Below the heatsink, there is a long list of upgraded components that will allow overclockers to really push this card to its absolute limits.
 
 
 

Latest Reviews in Video Cards
June 28, 2016
Fast, efficient and well priced, AMD's RX480 8GB is looking to dominate the mid-range. It may only cost just $239 but the RX480's performance strives to compete against NVIDIA's GTX 970....
June 15, 2016
Among the first custom GTX 1080 cards on the market is EVGA's Superclocked ACX 3.0, a pre-overclocked high performance GPU that costs less than NVIDIA's Founders Edition...
May 31, 2016
AMD has finally lifted the covers off of their new Polaris architecture in the form of their upcoming $199 RX 480. In this article we go a bit more in depth about the card and its potential performanc...