When we tested the GeForce GTX 580 Lightning from MSI roughly a month ago, we stated that the product might become product of the year, it really is that good. But little did I know about an Xtreme edition that MSI still had in the works.

Yep, Computex 2011 (tradeshow) is here and MSI wanted to make the best even better and slightly more appealing for the true aficionado.

They took the original Lightning PCB, added more memory, making this a 3GB graphics card, added a slightly revised Twin Frozr III cooler, which functions and performs the same really, but well ... tweaked, if the card gets warmer the color intensity of the FAN core will change, yeah you can now physically observe that the card is getting warm. Which is a daunting prospect all by itself with with this cooler truth be told.

Also new is a new anti-dust protection schema, the first 30 seconds after you powered on your PC, the two TwiN Frozr III fans rotate and thus spin backwards, clearing themselves and hopefully the aluminum cooling fins of dust. After that 30 seconds, they'll return to a normal state and spin clockwise again, nicely chilling down your graphics card.

Other then that, it's the same product realty, that same custom designed PCB loaded with features and overclock potential, slapped on there is some really cool memory.

The cooler allows high graphics card clocks frequencies with low volume levels AND keeps the card pretty darn cool. That's definitely a win. MSI added g33k stuff, little micros-witches with features for the pro-overclockers, a second BIOS, phase LEDs, voltage monitoring points and a factory overclock.

And then once it sits in your PC, the only thing you can think about is overclocking with the Afterburner OC application, and gosh golly you'll then learn quick enough that the card clocks as well as a card that is liquid cooled.

Though the factory overclock is 99% similar to the previous lightning model, the most appealing thing for the Xtreme edition will be that 3GB fat framebuffer, which many of you requested and desired as I noticed in a lot of our forum discussions.

Well in short, the most impressive GTX 580 on the market got a little more impressive, yeap let's have a quick peek at the product and then lets dive into the review.

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Posted by ralfowen