Essentially this new "tech" merely runs the GPU's fans at 100-percent in the opposite direction when the system is turned on, expelling any dust from the heatsink fins and fan blades that may have accumulated since the system was powered off. After thirty seconds, the fan will then resume its correct rotation and blow heat off the chip.
"Experiments show that cold air can't effectively remove the heat from the heat sink fans on a graphics card if they are covered with dust," the company reports. "The result is reduced cooling performance and the GPU's working temperature may even increase by 15°C! With the advanced MSI Dust Removal Technology, the fans spin in reverse for 30 seconds upon system startup, helping to remove dust buildup on heatsink and ensuring optimal cooling performance."
It's surprising that card manufacturers haven't thought of this before, but you can bet non-MSI vendors will surely follow in the coming months. It will be interesting to see if this fan-reversal for 30 seconds will actually keep the GPU and its cooling components clean, or if it ends up becoming just another gimmick to sell more cards. That said, the dust removal "tech" may not be too useful for those who keep their desktops powered up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For consumers interested in purchasing the first-ever graphics card featuring MSI's Dust Removal method, the N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition is available for $599 USD over on Newegg and other retailers. Actual specs include Nvidia's GeForce GTX 580 "Fermi" GPU clocked at 832 MHz, a shader clock of 1747 MHz, 512 processor cores, 3072 MB of GDDR5 dedicated memory and so on.