Right out of the box, it is hard to see why the MSI N480GTX Lightning is priced about $100 more than your average GTX480.  The factory overclock is lackluster, 750MHz GPU, CUDA cores at 1.5GHz, and 4.0GHz RAM does not really push the performance boundaries much.  The real changes are hard to see, a PWM change that allows 3x the power of a normal GTX480 to flow through this card, the GPU gets power from two 8 pin PCIe power plugs and the memory has its own 6 pin plug.  The cooling solution covers just about every part of the card and benefits from paired cooling fans.  You even have two BIOSes on the card.  Read more at [H]ard|OCP.

“MSI has launched its flagship custom GeForce GTX 480 video card! The MSI N480GTX Lightning is here to give Fermi fans their Extreme Overclocking fix with its special LN2 features and military class hardware. Does it stand above the average GeForce GTX 480? How far does it outperform the now more than a year old ATI Radeon HD 5870? We’ll find out with the help of five of today’s hottest games!”

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