MSI GTX580 Lightning Review

MSI GTX580 Lightning Review

Test Setup

The Lightning is on our standard GPU testbed. You all know what to expect by now.

MSI GTX580 Lightning
Forceware 266.58 drivers.
Intel Core-i7 950 @ 4GHz
ASUS Rampage III Extreme
Muskin Joule 1200w
6GB Mushkin Redline
Noctua NH-D14
Windows 7 Ultimate x64


Wow. If the overclock wasn’t impressive enough already we pushed it all the way up to 960MHz and it was rock solid. It’s worth mentioning at this point that we could easily go beyond 960MHz but past this point the scores seemed to drop off on our particular model. It’s definitely thing with the silicon lottery as we know one of our members has a card that benches consistently way past the 1GHz point.

As manufacturers have managed to supply chips with immense power but keep them cool at the same time it’s becoming more common to find processors, central or graphics, that drop off past a certain point even if they can continue to be overclocked further.

Regardless the Lightning is insanely impressive at hitting 960 MHz with ease. As it’s unlikely anyone will lay down such wedge on a card without overclocking it we will only be running at this speed today.

MSI GTX580 Lightning Overclocking


When we tested the GTX580 we were impressed with how well nVidia had solved the heat issues that blighted the GTX480. In comparison to the cooling capacity of the Twin Frozr III though it was hot. This, even with our overclock, quite happily churns through Unigine at 68°C.

MSI GTX580 Lightning Review Temperatures

It is not just the final result that is the impressive part. After all, two Delta fans will keep something cool but you wouldn’t want to be near them at the time. It’s the silence with which the Twin Frozr III runs that is the most amazing element. It’s just silent. Even running hard you barely hear the card and anyone with more than a couple of 120mm case fans probably wont hear it at all. Staggering.