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MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning 2GB

MSI offers seven GeForce GTX 770 models, two of which copy the reference design with standard coolers but have different amounts of onboard memory. Another pair also differ in the amount of onboard memory and come with MSI’s exclusive Twin Frozr IV cooler. The third pair differ from the previous one in increased clock rates. And the seventh model is the most special one. It is called MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning and we’re going to take a look at it right now.

The product is packed into a large box with a picture of a warplane on its front. Product specs and descriptions of Nvidia technologies can be found on the back of the packaging.

 

The top of the box can be flipped back, revealing detailed descriptions of all product components. You can also see the graphics card itself through a plastic window.

Included with the card are two 6->8-pin power adapters, a DVI->VGA adapter, a SLI connecting bridge, a drivers CD, three cables with connectors for a multimeter, an installation guide, a promo booklet, and a quality certificate MSI Military Class III:

The graphics card is manufactured in China and comes with a 3-year warranty. Its retail price is $430, which isn’t much higher compared to other GeForce GTX 770s. By the way, one year ago the MSI N680GTX Lightning would have cost you $599.

Designed in the traditional style of the Lightning series, it features a thick metal cooler casing with a yellow stripe.

The card is 280x129x49 mm large, so its length is quite normal for a top-end product but its thickness may prevent you from installing two such cards into adjacent PCIe slots. The 129mm height shouldn’t be a problem.

According to MSI, the card’s video connectors are gold-plated to ensure higher-quality signal.

The SLI connector is standard. As for the power connectors, the MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning has two 8-pin ones instead of the reference card’s 6- and 8-pin connectors.

 

The peak power draw is not specified for it, so we do not know whether the MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning has higher power requirements.

Despite its large dimensions, the cooling system is only secured with four screws around the GPU. After taking it off, we can see the face side of the card being covered by a heat-spreading plate.

We unfastened it and revealed the PCB with MSI’s exclusive Lightning Power Layer technology in its full glory:

The gold-plated solid state chokes make this graphics card different. It looks like an elite product indeed.

As is typical of the Lightning series, we can see CopperMOS transistors, Dark Solid and tantalum-core Hi-c capacitors. The card’s components comply with the US military standard MIL-STD-810G and guarantee stable and long operation at high loads.

The 12-phase power system is managed by a PWM controller CHiL CHL8318.

The MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning has all the extra features of MSI's Lightning series such as connectors for measuring PLL, memory and GPU voltages. It has dual BIOS with the overclocker-friendly LN2 mode without any power-related limitations.

 

There’s a GPU Reactor module on the reverse side of the PCB under a highlighted plastic cap.

The module is a small card with tantalum capacitors for doubling the power supplied to the GPU.

 

The GPU Reactor also helps make the GPU more stable at increased clock rates.

 
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