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Producing a unique graphics card with not just pre-overclocked frequencies and an original cooler, but also with a custom PCB, enhanced power system and extended functionality is a matter of corporate pride. Such products do not enjoy high demand because they are quite expensive, yet graphics hardware connoisseurs still take a keen interest in them and wait for their announcements. Just take a look at the gold-plated chokes on one of the cards we’re about to review. Aren’t they just beautiful?

So, this review is concerned with two of the fastest graphics cards with GK104 Kepler and Tahiti XT processors: ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP and MSI R7970 Lightning. Both products are truly unique to even smallest details and we’re going to show you each of those details.

Technical Specifications and Recommended Pricing

The table below compares the technical specs of the Asus and MSI cards side by side and also against the reference Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 and AMD Radeon HD 7970 (the major differences are highlighted in bold font):

 

 
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