MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning Overclocking Redux

Today we are revisiting the MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning video card. with its long-promised GPU and RAM voltage tweaking Afterburner software. We test both the stock BIOS and "LN2 BIOS" to find the best possible gaming experience the Lightning has to offer, and determine if the performance justifies the price.


Microstar International (MSI) is a Taiwan-based computer hardware manufacturer founded in 1986. Primarily a designer and manufacturer of PC motherboards, MSI has expanded its business into barebones PCs, servers and workstations, communications devices, consumer electronics, Notebooks, Netbooks, graphics cards, and other various electronic products. Its company motto, "Quality Products Create Faithful Customer," believes its underlying corporate strategy of designing and manufacturing quality devices for various markets and letting its high-quality reputation earn it the trust and respect of electronics consumers worldwide.

Why a "Redux?"

We have already done a review on the MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning here. This is the follow up review that we promised to do once MSI Afterburner 2.2.3 was released. The significance in this is that it is the first time we have had voltage control over a GeForce GTX 600 Kepler series video card. We will be using MSI Afterburner 2.2.3 to overclock the MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning on both the default BIOS and the LN2 BIOS which has a higher stock voltage and increased Power Limit range.

We will be taking both of these overclocked operating frequencies and comparing thes to MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning at its stock operating speeds, and with its highest overclock without voltage tweaking. We will also be comparing the higher of these two overclocks to an overclocked AMD Radeon HD 7970 to see if the extra performance will give the MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning the edge it lacked without voltage tweaking.

Test System Setup

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We will be using a ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution motherboard, an Intel Core i7 2600k Overclocked at 4.8GHz, and 8GB of Corsair RAM.

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Drivers : We are using the ForceWare 304.48 BETA driver MSI GeForce GTX 680 Lightning. For our Overclocked AMD Radeon HD 7970 we are using Catalyst 12.7 BETA driver along with the latest CAP 12.7 BETA.