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Pros: The cooler looks cool, just "looks" . Backplate? Really hard to find any real pros.
Cons: 1. Unnecessarily big and heavy
2. Really poor quality control
3. poor OC ability
Other Thoughts: When I decided to buy this card, I had so much expectation on it. It turned out to be a total disappointment.
Started from mid Dec, I have already replace four 780 Lightning. Sounds ridiculous, right? I am not that kind of picky customers, but they are beyond my tolerance.
All these four cards, all of them come with a bent PCB at one end. I don't know what MSI did to these PCB. I dont know if they could cause any real problems but at least, it looks not good.
The first and second card both come with a defective fan, one that constantly making strange noise due to bad centering. The third card is fine as for fans, but several fins of the heatsink are so loose that they vibrate and making even more annoying noise.
And I have no idea why MSI make the cooler so big and heavy. It doesn't provide much better effect compared to EVGA or Gigabyte, but it made a 3-way and 4- way SLI impossible! And the weight causes the card bent and tilted so much downward, definitely something discomforting
The worst part is the OC ability. I know for sure you are gonna mention the DrMOS, the power supply, the Ferrite Core blablabla, but none of these makes any sense if they wouldn't result in a higher clock!! Nobody can get a good OC clock with bad quality chips. The chips, are the critical part, but MSI seems just pick them randomly, maybe even worse?
All of these four cards could not reach 1280Mhz with voltage adjusted to the max. I've read more than 3 review articles on this card, they all got 1300+ core clock. The only explanation I can think of is MSI chose good quality cards and sent them for review or professional OC competition, and leave the plain ones for customers.
The first card and the fourth one have just a ASIC ~ 66%, I never knew NV chips could have such low ASIC chip. AND THEY DID OC REALLY AWFUL! neither can get above 1240 stably, which I believe is no more than any reference 780 in the market. The 3rd card, to my surprise, comes with an ASIC of 88%! But actually can just hit 13MHz higher than those two. The last one, oh dear, couldn't even stand on 1215.
And of course the memory oc sucks more because they are Elpida's. Don't explain to me it's a requirement by NV, because I know Gigabyte and EVGA and other companies they do sell samsung ones, now! Lightning should be the best of its series, but MSI is not even willing to use better memory chips.I am so confused.
Perhaps it's just my bad luck to get these defective and bad OC cards while some get a great one on their first purchase. But I've replace 3 times and I am totally done with it! I'll live with this one that OCs worse than a reference one. But I'll never buy any MSI graphic cards, ever.