MSI GTX580 Lightning Review


MSI GTX580 Lightning Review


Product names are a double-edged sword. Whilst they can be very evocative of previous successes and so come with a level of cachet built-in, that same anticipatory factor that might lean you towards a certain product over another also raises expectations. To use an example from the motoring world the Ferrari F70 better be amazing, and should Carrol Shelby ever release another Cobra we'd hope it was nothing but stunning.

So it is in the PC world too, and just hearing MSI Lightning automatically has us slavering, but expectant.

This doesn't disappoint on any level. In the introduction I asked if the combination of the best GPU and the best non-reference cooler would be a perfect combination and unquestionably is.

The Lightning covers all the bases. It's fast as hell out of the box, but more importantly can overclock like a beast. Should you want to really find out how far it can be pushed then there are swathes of accoutrements to help you do so, from LN2 BIOS switches to unlocked voltage options.

Probably the most astonishing aspect is how you get all this performance without the normal downsides of high-performance products. Even with a hefty overclock the card remains cooler and quieter than the reference design thanks to the incredible Twin Frozr III cooler. We've often said that if MSI sold the Twin Frozr separately they'd make a mint and we stand by it. No matter what GPU it's bolted to it always delivers the goods.

The MSI GTX580 Lightning is a sledgehammer in a Whack-A-Mole world and a no-brainer for the OC3D Gold Award. Such are the gains made and potential to be unlocked we are happy to also award it our OC3D Performance Award.


Thanks to MSI for providing the GTX580 Lightning for review. Discuss in our forums.

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Most Recent Comments

25-03-2011, 11:53:56

AHHHHH! so that was what it was. all the secracy when reviewing the H2 Quote

25-03-2011, 12:01:35

Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post

Was it worth the wait?
IMO the MSI GPU's (FRZ) are always worth the wait

Thanks VB for the review Quote

25-03-2011, 12:13:26

Did you need to bump the voltage to get that kind of OC? I am tempted to OC my Palit GTX580 because it has the palit's cooler with two cooling fans on it. I just dont know what voltages are needed to OC these cards. The default voltage on my card is 1.0vQuote

25-03-2011, 12:33:06

Mmmm - tri-SLI too - me like Quote

25-03-2011, 12:36:08

I just had an accident after looking at the results, brb.Quote

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