A Ti­tan in Dis­guise

MSI N780 Light­ning GeForce GTX 780

HWM (Singapore) - - Performance - WONG CHUNG WEE

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.

There’s also what MSI dubs

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