MSI N480GTX Lightning Review EXCLUSIVE

MSI N480GTX Lightning Review


If you’re the kind of reader who zips straight here then you might be wondering how the MSI N480GTX Lightning will fare under the scrutiny of the OC3D guys.

If you read the review though, you already know exactly what we think.

The MSI N480GTX Lightning is epic. Brilliant. Amazing. The fastest single-GPU on the planet by a huge margin.

It overclocks well, and far better than the reference design. But even better it runs both stock and overclocked MUCH cooler than its reference counterpart. Almost icing on the cake is how quiet it is, and believe us when we say it’s quiet. At stock it’s as quiet as a reference HD5870 which isn’t exactly loud. If you are used to running the nVidia design then switching to the MSI will probably make you think you’ve gone deaf.

28157 P-Score for the overclocked Lightning is exactly what the GTX480 should have been when it was first released.

In fact if there is one overriding impression we’ve had from the MSI N480GTX Lightning it’s this :

nVidia, What the hell were you doing??

A multi-billion dollar company that took seemingly forever managed to produce a brutally hot, ear-splittingly loud, under-performing card that was the biggest disappointment since Daikatana.

MSI on the other hand have taken a design that isn’t exactly new and with a bit of tweaking managed to give us exactly what the GTX480 should have been in the first place. Cool, quiet and faster than a top-fuel dragster.

The Twin Frozr III cooler is so brilliant that we reckon if MSI offered it as a separate upgrade for owners of the reference GTX480 they couldn’t make them fast enough such would be the demand.

Sure it’s a little more expensive than the current GTX480 pricing, but it’s actually on a par with where the 480 was upon release with an expected street price of about £430. Considering the price of a standard 480 and an extra cooler it’s a bargain. Once you factor in how much extra it does and that even at stock it tramples on an overclocked GTX480, it’s a no brainer.

Finally we have a GTX480 that does what we all hoped it would. If you’re in the market for one of nVidias beasts, this is the only one to buy. If you already own a GTX480, sell it and buy one of these.

Seriously. It’s brilliant.

And that’s why today OC3D are reviewing something that genuinely is worth lusting over, rather than a re-badged something else. Although come back tomorrow if you want to read all about that.



Thanks to MSI for providing the N480GTX Lightning for test. Discuss in our forums