MSI packs thunder with the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z

MSI's set of Lightning-labeled gear is growing again this summer with the addition of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z. This beefy two-and-a-half-slot graphics card offers up RGB LED lighting, an extensively-reinforced circuit board, and three clock profiles plus an LN2 DIP switch.

The Lightning Z's profiles should come in handy for most situations. At the bottom end is the Silent profile, which sets a nominal boost clock to 1582 MHz and leaves the 11 GB of GDDR5X RAM at 11,016 MT/s. The Gaming profile raises the boost clock up to 1695 MHz and the memory to 11,124 MT/s. Running at full power in its Lightning profile, the GPU cranks further to 1721 MHz. The RAM speed in this mode is again 11,124 MT/s. It's worth noting that Pascal's power-handling mojo might push those clock speeds further still. Hitting high speeds could require a lot of power, but the Lightning Z is ready to deliver with three eight-pin PCIe power connectors.

MSI's TriFrozr cooler keeps the hardware cool with two 100-mm fans and a 90-mm spinner. Besides reinforcing the card and helping spread out heat, a metal backplate hides one of the card's heatpipes. MSI made sure to cut out spots in both the backplate and the fan shroud to let some RGB LED lighting peek through. If you're going for ultra-low temperatures with the Lightning Z, there's a handy LN2 DIP switch—no modding necessary.

The card otherwise packs a pretty standard set of outputs. There are two each of DisplayPort and HDMI 2.0 connectors, and a single DVI port. MSI says the card will be available in July, but there's yet no info on a price tag. Given that MSI's other GTX 1080 Ti cards are breaking the $750 mark, we'd expect the Lightning Z to carry an even greater premium.

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