MSI N275GTX Lightning

High clock speeds, high gaming horsepower

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MSI N275GTX Lightning
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  October 12, 2009

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Key Specs

API supported: DirectX 10
Connections: DVI x2, D-Sub x1, HDMI x1
GPU: nVidia GeForce GTX 275
GPU frequency: 700MHz
Interface type: PCI-E

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MSI's N275GTX Lightning is a pre-overclocked graphics card but is also designed for those who want to push even further. Is it a worthwhile buy?

As you might have guessed from its telling name this card uses nVidia's GTX275 GPU and MSI has pumped it up from nVidia's recommend frequency of 632MHz to an impressive 700MHz. On the memory front MSI has again ignored nVidia's reference specifications, cramming this card with a colossal 1792MB of GDDR3 memory that runs at 2300MHz (nVidia recommends 896MB of memory running at 2268MHz).

For those not satisfied with MSI's efforts the card offers plenty of overclocking potential. The card features MSI's ‘Lightning Afterburner' software which allows you to manually tweak the GPU's voltage, GPU and memory frequencies as well as the cooling system's fan speeds. You can even assign hotkeys to control the card's frequencies from within games. Going even more hardcore still the Lightning features v-check points, so you can connect a multimetre to find out exactly how much voltage is going to the GPU and memory.

MSI has made sure the card will be able to handle overclocking by using a massive heatsink/fan cooling system. Two 8cm fans provide active cooling to a significant heatsink/heatpipe. MSI has also equipped this card with high quality capacitors and chokes to ensure trouble-free operation.

In terms of performance MSI's GTX275 performed quite well in all of our benchmarks though Zotac's GeForce GTX275 AMP! Edition was slightly faster across the board.

Verdict: Although it’s not the fastest GTX275 card we’ve tested the Lightning offers great overclocking potential and is actually good value too.

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