MSI GeForce GTX 580 Lightning Xtreme edition review -
Product Showcase GeForce GTX 580 Lightning XE
Let's look at the card from several different viewpoints. The GTX 580 card is quite good looking with blue and gold monitor connectors and then that revised cooler.
This is TwinFrozr III cooling BTW, the fans simply have been swapped out, a cooling GPU block leads directly to aluminum fins through heatpipes where the fans will blow air to cool it off. The cooling works excellent, but the biggest plus... it's very silent as our tests will show you.
The reference GeForce GTX 580 comes with 1536 MB memory. The reference card is clocked at a 772 MHz core frequency, 1544 MHz on the shader processors and the GDDR5 memory runs at 4000 MHz (effective).
This MSI Xtreme edition card runs at 832 MHz on the core, 1664 on the shaders and 4200 MHz on the memory. That should bring in a little extra performance. Next to that, memory has doubled up towards a massive 3 GB.
Connectivity wise, we see two dual-link DVI connectors supporting all high-resolution monitors and all the way to the left you can see an HDMI and a DisplayPort connector.
Here we can see the backside, the card measures roughly 27cm in length. Overall, a clean dark looking PCB, lots of smaller components though. The PCB is 100% similar to the 'regular' lightning edition.
The GeForce GTX 580 has a maximum power consumption of roughly 250 Watts, as such you'll need to power the card with two 8-pin PCIe PEG connectors from your power supply. We recommend a 600W power supply to start with, and that is with one card of course.
Located to the right, like any high-end GeForce graphics card, NVIDIA will allow you to opt for the multi-GPU road with SLI as an option. You can pair two or three cards in one PC and have them do a decent workout.
At the backside you'll also spot a number of switches. These are for the die-hard overclocked cooling with LN2 etc. OCP Unlock Switch removes over current protection, unlocked GPU and MEM voltage switches. it's wise to leave these switches as is, unless you plan to sub-zero cool the GPU and other essential components.
The bigger switch to your right is a BIOS switch, and allows you to drop back to the default bios should you by accident have messed up the initial bios with an OC firmware profile.
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