The GK104 chip itself is, of course, ordinary:
It is pre-overclocked to 1150/1202 MHz in 3D mode. According to our monitoring tools, its frequency would peak up to 1254 MHz at high loads. It is the same frequency as with the above-discussed Inno3D or the earlier-tested Palit Jetstream. The ASIC quality of the GPU die is 82.5%:
It looks like GK104 GPUs have a higher level of ASIC quality than the GK110 series we can see on GeForce GTX 780 and GTX Titan cards. The latter have an ASIC quality of 70 to 75% and even lower. Well, although we've tested a dozen graphics cards from these categories, we still do not see any clear correlation between a GPU's overclocking potential and ASIC quality.
Contrary to our expectations, the MSI card is not pre-overclocked in terms of memory, although it uses the same Samsung chips as all other GeForce GTX 770s.
Thus, the MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning is theoretically not the fastest graphics card in this review. It has the following specs:
As far as we remember, three generations of MSI’s Lightning series cards have been equipped with the exclusive Twin Frozr IV cooler. It is indeed a highly efficient cooler with unique features.
The slim fins of its aluminum heatsink are soldered to heat pipes.
There are five heat pipes in this cooler. The outermost ones are 8 mm in diameter whereas the remaining three are 6 mm.
The heat pipes are nickel-plated and soldered to the cooler’s base and heatsink. The Twin Frozr IV features the so-called Super Pipes with increased heat-transfer speed.
The heatsink is cooled by two 100mm fans from Power Logic:
The PLA10015B12H model supports PWM-based speed regulation and can rotate at 1000 to 3100 RPM. The originally shaped blades strengthen the air flow by 20% in comparison with classically shaped impellers. The Dust Removal technology means that the fans rotate in the opposite direction for 30 seconds when shutting down. It helps keep the fans cleaner.
The Twin Frozr IV did well in our earlier tests, so we expect it to be very efficient.
Auto fan mode
Maximum fan speed
In the automatic speed regulation mode the fans work at 1500 RPM and the GPU is no hotter than 68°C. At the maximum speed of 3090 RPM, the GPU is 60°C hot. And don’t forget that we’re dealing with a pre-overclocked GeForce GTX 770 here!
Without increasing the GPU and memory voltages, we managed to add 70 MHz and 840 MHz to the GPU and memory frequencies, respectively.
Thus, the overclocked MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning worked at 1220/1272/7852 MHz.
The GPU grew 2°C hotter and the fans accelerated by a mere 30 RPM in the automatic mode.
Then, we decided to overclock the card at higher voltages. We adjusted the GPU, memory and PLL voltages with MSI Afterburner 3.0.0 Beta 14 (SE for 680/770 Lightning editions).
Our volt-modding helped increase the clock rates to 1265/1317/8052 MHz.
Moreover, the GPU frequency would peak to 1359 MHz at high loads. The temperature and fan speed remained within acceptable limits at that:
So while the cards from EVGA and Inno3D didn't overclock much better at increased voltage, the MSI GeForce GTX 770 Lightning eagerly responded to our volt-modding and reached higher clock rates. Overclockers should appreciate this.