MSI 780 Ti Lightning Will Not Be Released Anytime Soon
At this very moment some websites are reporting that the MSI GTX 780 Ti Lightning graphics cards will not go retail. There's quite a bit of confusion right now whether or not this is true. I can confirm that it is true, at least on the short term MSI will not release this product into the etail/retail market. Now that's a bit weird as you already have been able to see some preliminary teaser reviews and overclockers with this product posting photo's including packaging and what not. Here's the thing.
I was talking with MSI about this last week and they are a bit vague, but there definitely seems to be an 'allocation' issue so they can't run the production line for this product on short term. It is VERY likely that Nvidia is not providing MSI with the needed GPUs as that pretty much is the only component we can think of MSI can't get their hands on. Nvidia has a bit of a reputation that if partners release product that can go out of spec (think overclocking / Voltages / tools etc) then they can simply cut off supply. This of course is speculation, but it woudn't be the first time we heard of this. It makes no sense for MSI to invest in designing the hardware insert R&D and then not release the product, so in this case 1+1=2 (we think).
Basically (and I have confirmed this) MSI has send out all the pre-production run of try-out samples towards pro-overclockers to have some fun with, and for now halted this particular SKU. It will not be available in the stores anytime soon, and that we think is very unfortunate as the Lightning products are simply fantastic.