MSI GeForce N260GTX Lightning 1792 MB review

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MSI N260GTX Lightning 1792 MB BE


MSI N260 GTX Lightning Black edition

N260GTX Lightning Black Edition comes with a 5 ¼ external touch panel that can change the card's voltages and clock speeds on the fly. You can connect the device straight to an external USB port, or use the internal USB port on your motherboard, cables are included. once connected all you need to do is install the Lightning software application and you are good to go.

Mind you that the application requires to be updated on a regular basis. For example, the Lightning software application did not work with any driver newer than 182.08. This might be a very complicating factor once MSI drops support for the application.

MSI N260 GTX Lightning Black edition

This probably is the first design I can think of doing this, making it the first overclocking touch panel ever. You can control the features by with this electromagnetic touch panel without touching any real buttons. Just put your finger on the 'Lightning' text and the Lightning software suite will load up. Put your finger on the 'Game' text' and your defined game performance mode is activated.


  • Multiple custom profiles for different scenario (gaming / power saving).
  • Boost 3D performance during gaming.
  • Control voltage / clock of GPU and memory.
  • Control Brightness and Contrast.

Dedicated software for Lightning

  • Sync with AirForce Panel.
  • Show advanced hardware parameters for overclockers.
  • Realtime display in game transparently.

Granted it is a funny gadget. It however is not very precise though. Sometimes I had to push the Core + multiple times to get a reaction. Which can be a little frustrating, especially if you are in a sheer fragging fest with your friends on-line.

Fact is that with his panel and Lightning software you can push another 30 MHz out of the core and 50 MHz more out of the shader domain and memory. For anything more serious, you need to revert back to software like Rivatuner. But let's fire it up ... and see what the card and panel look like once we actually start using them.

MSI N260 GTX Lightning Black edition

So here we have the card activated in out test system. As you can see I placed the Air force panel below the graphics card for the photo-shoot. You obviously need to mount it into your 5.25" drive bay.

MSI N260 GTX Lightning Black edition

Oh and mind you, these little leds in the AF panel are really bright, but you can control intensity and brightness. Basically you'll end up selecting 'Game' mode. Max everything out and leave it as is. Though voltage regulation is possible, in 64-bit windows it was not displayed well. We expect this to be a marginal voltage increase though.

Office mode is normal operations and clocks, and power saving mode ... well says everything already. The clocks and voltages for power saving mode seemed to remain the same just like any GT200 series GPU graphics card, clocking down to 300 MHz in desktop mode. We'll show you that in our power consumption tests though.

Let's have a look at some of the newer GTX 260 features recently introduced by NVIDIA.

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