A Titan in Disguise
MSI N780 Lightning GeForce GTX 780
The MSI N780 Lightning GeForce GTX 780 graphics card features the same Kepler GK110 GPU as the more powerful NVIDIA Titan. The card’s GPU has been generously overclocked to 980MHz, an increase of 144MHz over the reference clock of 836MHz, with its memory remaining at the default clock speed of 6,008MHz. Like the reference card, the N780 Lightning comes with 3GB of GDDR5 frame-buffer.
The card weighs in at almost 1.5kg; its bulk comes from its massive aluminum fin-stack that has a trio of Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) cooling fans mounted on. As such, fan speeds can be regulated centrally with a fan control application from MSI. The fin-stack features seven 8mm heat pipes that dissipate heat away from the GPU, while a fan shroud serves to direct air where needed. This card is also thicker than most dual-slot graphics cards, and blocked the adjacent PCIe expansion slot when installed in our test bed.
The card features power delivery components that meet the MIL-STD-810G standard. Marketed as Military Class 4 components, they comprise parts like copper MOSFETs, Hi-c capacitors, new solid ferrite chokes, and “dark solid” capacitors.
The card is also equipped with two sets of BIOSes; the default allows the card to operate at clock speeds under air cooling, the other will allow extreme overclockers leeway to push the card’s performance further. A switch at the middle of the fan shroud allows the user to conveniently switch between the two modes.
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