MSI N780 Lightning GeForce GTX 780 - A Titan in Disguise?

Launch SRP: S$1070 Latest Price From: S$1008

Test Setup

Test Setup

Here are the specifications of our graphics test bed we'll be running with:

  • Intel Core i7-3960X (3.3GHz)
  • ASUS P9X79 Pro (Intel X79 chipset) Motherboard
  • 4 x 2GB DDR3-1600 G.Skill Ripjaws Memory
  • Seagate 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive (OS)
  • Western Digital Caviar Black 7200 RPM 1TB SATA hard drive (Benchmarks + Games)
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1

Here's the list of cards and configurations that we'll be testing.

  • MSI N780 Lightning GeForce GTX 780 3GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 320.49)
  • ASUS GeForce GTX 780 DirectCU II 3GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 320.49)
  • MSI GeForce GTX 780 Twin Frozr Gaming 3GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 320.49)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 320.18)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan 6GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 320.49)
  • AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition (AMD Catalyst 13.9)

Note 1: In our overclocking testing, we overclocked the ASUS GeForce GTX 780 DirectCU II 3GB GDDR5 to simulate an overclocked reference GTX 780 card.

Note 2: For our reference AMD Radeon HD 7970 comparison, we downclocked the Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB GDDR5 to reference clock speeds. After that, we run our usual benchmarks for the card, with updated AMD Catalyst 13.9 drivers.

Here's a look at how the MSI N780 Lightning stacks up against the competing cards:

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Custom Cards and competitive SKUs compared
  MSI N780 Lightning ASUS GeForce GTX 780 DirectCU II OC MSI GeForce GTX 780 Gaming OC (N780 TF 3GD5/OC) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 OC 3GB DDR5
Core Code
  • GK110
  • GK110
  • GK110
  • GK110
  • GK110
  • Tahiti XT
GPU Transistor Count
  • 7.1 billion
  • 7.1 billion
  • 7.1 billion
  • 7.1 billion
  • 7.1 billion
  • 4300 million
Manufacturing Process
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
  • 28nm
Core Clock
  • 980MHz
  • 889MHz
  • Gaming Mode: 902MHz (Boost: 954MHz)
  • OC Mode: 954MHz (Boost: 1006MHz)
  • Silent Mode: 863MHz (Boost: 902MHz)
  • 863MHz
  • 836MHz
  • 950MHz
Stream Processors
  • 2304
  • 2304
  • 2304
  • 2304
  • 2688
  • 2048 Stream processing units
Stream Processor Clock
  • 980MHz
  • 889MHz
  • 954MHz
  • 863MHz
  • 836MHz
Texture Mapping Units (TMUs)
  • 192
  • 192
  • 192
  • 192
  • 224
  • 128
Raster Operator units (ROP)
  • 48
  • 48
  • 48
  • 48
  • 48
  • 32
Memory Clock (DDR)
  • 6008MHz
  • 6008MHz
  • 6008MHz
  • 6008MHz
  • 6008MHz
  • 5700MHz DDR (GDDR5)
Memory Bus width
  • 384-bit
  • 384-bit
  • 384-bit
  • 384-bit
  • 384-bit
  • 384-bit
Memory Bandwidth
  • 288.4GB/s
  • 288.4GB/s
  • 288.4GB/s
  • 288.4 GB/s
  • 288.4 GB/s
  • 273.6GB/s
PCI Express Interface
  • PCIe 3.0 x16
  • PCIe v3.0 x16
  • PCI Express 3.0
  • PCI Express 3.0
  • PCI Express 3.0
  • PCIe ver 3.0 x16
Power Connectors
  • 2 x 8-pin
  • 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin
  • 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin
  • 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin
  • 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin
  • 1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin
Multi GPU Technology
  • SLI
  • SLI
  • SLI
  • SLI
  • SLI
  • CrossFireX
DVI Outputs
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1 x Dual-Link
HDMI Outputs
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
DisplayPort Outputs
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
  • 2 (version 1.2 HBR2)
HDCP Output Support
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes
  • Yes

 

Benchmarks

For this comparison, we'll be focusing on the overclocking upside, temperature performance and power consumption. The comparison GeForce GTX Titan was also tested in all of these aspects. As such, we've streamlined our benchmarks to highlight these specific differentiated aspects. For a full set of benchmark results for the GTX 780, and the GTX Titan, please refer to our earlier reviews of the reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan respectively. Here's the streamlined benchmark list:-

  • Futuremark 3DMark 2013
  • Crysis 3
  • Overclocking (Futuremark 3DMark 2013)
  • Temperature
  • Power Consumption

 

9.0
Performance
9
Features
9
Value
8
The Good
Overall strong performance
Good overclocking performance
Quality build components, including Military Class IV ones
Excellent custom cooling system
The Bad
Slightly pricey
GPU Reactor may be in the way for SLI configurations