MSI GTX980Ti Lightning Review

Conclusion

MSI GTX980Ti Lightning Review

Conclusion

The MSI Lightning range has hitherto been aimed squarely at the highest quality overclockers. With good, but not spectacular, stock speeds but plenty of headroom to make the most of it, it's achieved many records and been high on the agenda of those people looking for the best possible benchmarks.

The GTX980Ti Lightning has a slightly different ethos. Rather than have all the high-end components that give plenty of headroom that you must squeeze from it, the GTX980Ti Lightning uses those premium parts to be blisteringly fast out of the box. Given the amount of people who just buy the best graphics card they can afford and then fit it and play, rather than spend the day tweaking things, this is actually a good decision. Our graphs back up this change towards amazing factory-fitted performance with the Lightning finding itself either at the top of our graphs or certainly amongst the top performing models. Only the ASUS Strix consistently challenged it.

It isn't just all about performance either as the card looks fantastic. Yellow is always a welcome change from the sea of red hardware that passes through our offices every day and the decision to surround the fans with "OC" is a welcome, if unexpected, touch of levity. The cooler isn't all show either as it is supremely quiet thanks to three fans keeping the airflow working even at low revolutions and the temperatures are equally low. The only problem with the yellow now is MSI do not have a matching branded motherboard so the lightning stand out of the crowd even more than usual. The RGB lights are obviously a nice touch but we firmly believe they would sell vast more quantaties of this card if you had comstomisable panels where you had black as the standard colour and you could add your own blue, red, white, green panels to suit your own system. If MSI had addressed this point it would have been a total slam dunk.

When a card performs this well there is little need to say much more. The performance is staggeringly good although you will be required to part with almost 660 of your hard earned beer tokens. The MSI GTX980Ti Lightning continues the trend of high-end MSI cards bestriding the world like a colossus and achieves our OC3D Performance Award.

You can discuss the MSI GTX980 Ti Lightning Review in the OC3D Forums.

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Most Recent Comments

16-09-2015, 07:41:19

Arulmani
This looks pretty cool one among other 980Tis!Quote

16-09-2015, 08:01:13

JR23
Quote:
The RGB lights are obviously a nice touch but we firmly believe they would sell vast more quantaties of this card if you had comstomisable panels where you had black as the standard colour and you could add your own blue, red, white, green panels to suit your own system. If MSI had addressed this point it would have been a total slam dunk.
I don't really understand this point? No other manufacturer currently does it so it can't be held as a negative against the Lightning. Is every card not getting an award until somebody does clip on parts?

JRQuote

16-09-2015, 08:03:46

tinytomlogan
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR23 View Post
I don't really understand this point? No other manufacturer currently does it so it can't be held as a negative against the Lightning. Is every card not getting an award until somebody does clip on parts?

JR
More the fact MSI have dropped the yellow on newer boards because they dont sell. Thats from MSI directly btw. So if they had options for the Lightning to be able to have other colours to work with the RGB's it would sell chuffing loads.Quote

16-09-2015, 08:05:36

JR23
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinytomlogan View Post
More the fact MSI have dropped the yellow on newer boards because they dont sell. Thats from MSI directly btw. So if they had options for the Lightning to be able to have other colours to work with the RGB's it would sell chuffing loads.
I understand how that would influence your feedback to MSI but not really the outcome of the review.

JRQuote

16-09-2015, 08:06:02

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR23 View Post
I don't really understand this point? No other manufacturer currently does it so it can't be held as a negative against the Lightning. Is every card not getting an award until somebody does clip on parts?

JR
The lightning is a weird case TBH, since there is no Yellow Z170 motherboard from MSI there is no real place where this colour matches apart from the X99 yellow motherboard.

I do think if some detachable parts or stickers for the yellow bits it would be easier to make the GPU look nice in a system. Multi colour lighting is useless for a GPU that is clearly designed to be one specific colour.Quote
Reply
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