MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z Video Card Review

Discussion in 'nVidia Flavor' started by Kyle_Bennett, Jul 24, 2017.

  1. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z Video Card Review - MSI is taking it the max with the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti LIGHTNING Z video card, sporting the most robust cooling, the highest factory overclock, and even an unlocked Power Limit switchable BIOS mode, this video card has the potential for the highest overclocking possible out of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPU on air.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
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  2. Nicepants42

    Nicepants42 Gawd

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    Quite a nice card.

    I think that you'd do well to be able to include some sound measurements with these reviews. My takeaway from this review, after reading several other 1080ti reviews, is that it looks like ~2Ghz is the practical limit regardless of how much cash you throw at this thing. Noise required to keep temps in line, then, is the only other major deal-breaker/maker for me, and I wish that you could convey precisely how superior the Lightning Z's cooling solution is.
     
  3. necrosis

    necrosis Gawd

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    Why are so many card makers breaking spec and putting 2xHDMI and 2xDP instead of 1xHDMI and 3xDP?
    Thats the deal breaker for me.
     
  4. WetMacula

    WetMacula Gawd

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    They claim it's for VR. I have a 1070 and 1080ti STRIX and used it to run one HDMI to the TV and another to the AVR for sound. In my case, the 2 HDMI solved a problem because all current receivers are using HDMI standards that don't have the bandwidth for 4:4:4 and 10 bit, nevermind anything higher than 60 fps. Edit: I think the current AVR's can pass video but are unable to overlay their menu on top.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  5. TrailRunner

    TrailRunner Limp Gawd

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    Some people have HDMI monitors and don't want to upgrade. I have 2 HDMI monitors and a Rift hooked up to my 1080. I had to buy an HDMI / DP converter to get that all to work, if i had only 1 HDMI I would have had to get a second converter.
     
  6. Seventyfive

    Seventyfive Gawd

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    If this roadmap is true, I wonder why people would buy a 1080 Ti instead of just waiting for Volta. Feels like the 1180 will end up being cheaper and faster or just as fast. Allegedly coming out in 3Q or 4Q this year...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. aliaskary77

    aliaskary77 Limp Gawd

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    I am one of those. Have a 970 right now, waiting to see vega and volta before moving up. the size of my case, a fractal designs node 304 make it hard as limited upper end models will fit.
     
  8. Redmud

    Redmud n00bie

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    I have a 980 and will be waiting. I also would like to get a gsync monitor but there just does not seem to be a reasonable option at this point, at least price wise, if ever.
     
  9. ZLoth

    ZLoth Gawd

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    The performance on this card has moved this to the "do want" list. The price tag, however, places it on a must wait list. My non-Ti 980 card will have to serve me for a few more months. I think the price is higher because of the cyber-currency price spike that was experienced last month.

    It depends on what your current monitor is. My current 27" G-Sync IPS 2K monitor was a marked improvement over the previous 27" IPS 1080p 60Hz monitor. The price premium for G-Sync, however, will give you pause, but I've been playing games with G-Sync, and I have been loving it for the silk-smoothness.
     
  10. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Could we please get on topic of the review? You know, what this thread is about? Thanks.
     
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  11. STR

    STR Gawd

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    Citation required for bolded text. Right now, this MSI GTX 1080 Ti is here, now and demonstrably fast. Anything else is vaporware. Even less than that, imagination-ware, because there isn't even specs floating around. So Volta is exactly as fast as you imagine it to be.

    What's the fan size on this MSI card? (EDIT: sizes? photos make it look like the middle fan is small than the two on the ends). While it's not appreciably faster than any other 1080 Ti, I'd be interested in how quiet it gets when at stock boost clock, or even 2GHz.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
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  12. tunatime

    tunatime 2[H]4U

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    just go to to show you that even the best 10xx cards are temp limited and scale bad with v...that ram speed though
     
  13. Brackle

    Brackle Old Timer

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    Holy fucking shit that is 1 impressive card....the memory overclock is fucking insane.

    Question for ya Kyle. Do you know if the Bios for this card was OK'd by Nvidia? Remember the fiasco of the 780 lightning, why I am asking.
     
  14. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard [H]ard|Gawd

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    My MSI 1080 Ti Gaming X is making sad GPU face, now. :(

    Thanks, Kyle... NOT!

    :p
     
  15. creasian

    creasian n00bie

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    So I was at work today, having been wanting to get a 1080 ti since my current 1080 is having both technical issues and not satisfying 1440p@165hz. Was about to pull the trigger on the Asus strix OC for 829.99 on newegg when i saw the MSI Lightning Z. Difference of the price was 40 bucks, so I pulled the trigger on the MSI. When i ordered there was a 2 household limit, when I got home it was limited to 1, and this review had come up in between. Calling newegg, their stock is for the Z is about to go out, so guess I got mine when the getting was good.

    I had also initially went and ordered a support bracket for my phanteks primo case to help support this beast, but I'm now reading that the 3 pci slot bracket you can interchange with the 2 slot bracket on the card is enough? That it's very sturdy and no real sag?

    Wondered if Kyle or someone who does have it could talk about if the weight is an issue or not, without a support bracket. I remember my saggy 780 HoF and like to not do that again if possible.
     
  16. Nebulous

    Nebulous Gawd

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    Dam what a beast of a card! That cooler looks to be taken out of a page by Zotac's GTX 1070 AMP! Extreme. Big ass hefty cooler which keeps temps in check..nice! Wondering if it's even worth it to drop a block on it? Awesome write-up as usual Kyle!
     
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  17. bizzmeister

    bizzmeister Gawd

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    Amazing card, soo tempting.

    Still on the ASUS 780 here since day one, still amazing @ 1920x1080 with whatever ive thrown at it @ ultra settings.
     
  18. ecktt

    ecktt Limp Gawd

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    Rock solid clocks, temps and 4K gaming.....I'd buy this this card if DoTA wasn't all I get a chance to play. If MSI would only build their laptop video cards this solid.
     
  19. deaedius

    deaedius Gawd

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    2076cpu and 12.5 overclock and those temps! DAAAAAAAMN that's solid! That would have been awesome to sit and try to tweak to get every last drop of performance out of that and still have such wicked low temps on air cooling.
     
  20. babochee

    babochee Gawd

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    The temps on my 1070 in my MSI Titan laptop never go over 64c with my gpu at 2.1ghz and memory at 2.2ghz. Like this lightning 1080ti, the cooling is very robust.

    Anyone know if a water block is queued to come out for this card?
     
  21. harmattan

    harmattan 2[H]4U

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    Nice review. Another vote here to include some sound info. It's one of the things I consider when comparing similarly performing GPU cards. I'd rather have a card that's quieter (and not annoy my wife who's desk sits next to mine when gaming) than 40mhz extra OC.

    I had a lower-tier dual- fan 1080 ti before my Auros. Although my Auros runs somewhat cooler and OCs a bit better, I wish it just had the dual fan on the cheaper card as the smaller triple fans are quite audible at high rpm.
     
  22. lostin3d

    lostin3d Limp Gawd

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    As always thanks for the awesome review!

    Wow! Even if it's only the total core/gpu speeds are pretty impressive. The price well, you get what you pay for. Good to see MSI came back swinging with this one. Very cool!
     
  23. Trepidati0n

    Trepidati0n [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Kyle,

    Is this card strong enough to run parallel to a titan in VR in terms of near equal metrics? If true, this card would be a serious price reduction to "top tier" VR.
     
  24. Armenius

    Armenius [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Damn, what a beast. It's just a shame that the design doesn't really stand out anymore. I said it in another thread where I think this just looks like every other triple fan cooler on the market, now. What happened to the yellow? You know, representing its LIGHTNING namesake.
    That roadmap is over 2 years old, if I'm not mistaken. But if it is true, we still have at least a 6 month wait. And unless NVIDIA changes their product strategy, we won't see the Ti for at least another year.
     
  25. sk3tch

    sk3tch [H]ard|Gawd

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    The weight issue is real - but they did include a 3 slot bracket (which is pretty easy to install) that mitigates it somewhat:

    [​IMG]

    There are a myriad of options out there to help ease the burden on your PCI-E slot. I went with one of the more expensive ones because I wanted to support a local company an modder (Mnpctech):

    [​IMG]

    BTW - for those of you that want to play with the Lightning Z BIOS (both default and LN2) I have uploaded them here.
     
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  26. Nebulous

    Nebulous Gawd

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    My card sags a bit where the 2x 8pin connectors are. I used a piece of steel cabling from a picture frame hanging kit. Works like a charm. I had purchased a support bracket from amazon, but because it was made of plastic, it broke while I was adjust it. Thats when I came up with the cable idea.
     
  27. kirkle8

    kirkle8 n00bie

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    I picked up a GAMING X from a previous review and under water I can get the same clocks, really cool this card is capable of doing it on air, but that price!
     
  28. sk3tch

    sk3tch [H]ard|Gawd

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    In all fairness, apples to apples:

    $800 - Gaming X
    $870 - Lightning Z

    How much did you spend for your watercooling setup? Probably more than $70.
     
  29. Zinn

    Zinn 2[H]4U

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    The price is insane. I paid $740 for my EVGA FTW3 and that was already painful. I don't see the point of all the extra money beyond that when the cards are topping out nearly the same.
     
  30. sk3tch

    sk3tch [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah - any non-reference card with modern NVIDIA lockdown is not a value proposition. You are paying extra money for bells and whistles that you want as an enthusiast. I almost bought a FTW3 but when the Lightning Z dropped I had to have it. To me, it was worth the extra $$$ to get the best.
     
  31. kirkle8

    kirkle8 n00bie

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    Well considering I only paid $725 for the GAMING X, then $140 for the block, yeah it came out a little cheaper to get similar performance with better thermals. I hadn't realized the price shot up so much on the GAMING X!
     
  32. sk3tch

    sk3tch [H]ard|Gawd

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    Damn miners. :)

    I think that's part of the issue with the Lightning price - I am pretty sure they would have come out at around $750 or so if it weren't for the mining craze...
     
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  33. byusinger84

    byusinger84 Gawd

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    This is a nice card. Performs exactly like my EVGA 1080 Ti FTW3.
     
  34. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard [H]ard|Gawd

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    I paid the same for mine and had a $50 gift card, so total was about $690 with tax + 2nd day shipping. Never would've thought $700-ish would be a bargain price for a great GPU.
     
  35. noko

    noko 2[H]4U

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    Great exciting review! Awesome Card! It had room to spare at 4K resolutions - very impressive.
     
  36. Auburn_Tigers

    Auburn_Tigers Limp Gawd

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    I don't see how you can give this card a gold when the overclocked gigabyte for 739 will clock past this card on air also.
     
  37. GoodBoy

    GoodBoy Gawd

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    Nice review and awesome card. I love the heatpipe on the backside of the GPU.

    Already running a FTW3 myself, but in a year or 2 when I upgrade again, will be looking for a card with those cooling improvements. Nice job MSI!
     
  38. Kyle_Bennett

    Kyle_Bennett El Chingón Staff Member

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    Then in your mind, take the award away. Everyone is happy.
     
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  39. Armenius

    Armenius [H]ardForum Junkie

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    The Lightning runs much quieter and cooler than the Gigabyte.
     
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  40. Drewis

    Drewis Limp Gawd

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    Nice card. Good review