The MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition features a 16-phase power system with 12 phases for the GPU (based on a PWM controller uP6225AM) and four phases for the graphics memory (an uP6207AI controller).
Like the earlier-tested products from Gigabyte and EVGA, the MSI card employs high-quality DirectFETs that feature superior electrical as well as thermal properties. They can effectively give their heat away through both the heatsinks and the PCB.
There are also four enhanced-capacitance Proadlizer NEC/TOKIN capacitors on the reverse side of the PCB:
These capacitors ensure increased stability at high voltages and frequencies and are employed by several makers in their top-end products. The N580GTX Lightning Xtreme also features a special Lightning Power Layer PCB that helps reduce interference and increase stability at overclocking. MSI says this card is Military Class II which means high-quality components with longer service life (Hi-c tantalum-core capacitors and Super Ferrite Chokes).
All this circuitry and electronics is complemented with beautiful LED illumination on the reverse side of the PCB.
The Nvidia GF110-375 revision A1 chip was made in Taiwan on 40nm tech process on the 33rd week of 2011 (it is mid-August). It’s covered with a heat-spreader.
The GPU configuration is standard with 512 unified shader processors, 64 texture-mapping units and 48 raster operators. Its 3D frequencies are pre-overclocked from 772/1544 MHz to 832/1664 MHz at a voltage of 1.013 volts, which is somewhat lower than the frequencies of the Gigabyte and EVGA cards (855/1710 MHz). The frequencies are lowered to 51/101 MHz at a voltage of 0.962 volts in 2D applications.
As opposed to the regular Lightning, the Xtreme one sports twice the amount of onboard memory: 3072 megabytes in 12 FCFBGA-packaged chips from Hynix Semiconductor.
They are marked as H5GQ2H24MFR T2C, which means a rated access time of 0.4 nanoseconds, clock rate of 5000 MHz and voltage of 1.5 volts (1.35 volts for 2D mode). The memory of the N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition is pre-overclocked to 4200 MHz, which is 200 MHz higher than the memory frequency of the reference GeForce GTX 580 and 100 MHz higher than that of the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 580 SuperOverclock and EVGA GeForce GTX 580 Classified.
That’s the MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition specs are reported by the GPU-Z utility:
Now let’s examine its cooler.