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MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z Review

Temperatures, Clock Rates & Overclocking


This card's overclocking potential is terrific, so long as you're willing to tolerate a 2500 RPM maximum fan speed. But even if you don't crank the fans up that high, you'll still enjoy the highest frequencies we've seen from an air-cooled GeForce GTX 1080 Ti inside of a closed case or mounted on an open test bench. By rigging the silicon lottery on your behalf via binning, MSI ensures we're impressed.

Using MSI's Afterburner Extreme software, increasing the power target to 116%, and slightly raising the GPU voltage, we were even able to touch 2088 MHz for a brief stretch (or as long as GP102 stayed under 40°C).

More moderate settings allowed us to hit 2063 MHz at a 65% fan duty cycle without adding voltage. We only wonder how tight of a frequency range MSI's binning process is able to ensure from one Lightning Z sample to another.

Temperatures & Clock Frequencies

The following table includes starting and end values for our temperature and GPU Boost clock rates.

Start ValueEnd Value
Open Test Bench
GPU Temperature40°C65°C
GPU Frequency (Open Bench)2012 MHz1962 MHz
Ambient Temperature22°C22°C
Closed Case
GPU Temperature42°C68°C
GPU Frequency (Closed Case)2000 MHz1949 to 1962 MHz
Temperature Inside Case25°C39°C
Overclocking (Open Test Bench)
GPU Temperature (2500 RPM Fans)28°C48°C
GPU Frequency2088 MHz2063 to 2076 MHz
Ambient Temperature22°C22°C

Temperatures vs. Frequency

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Here's a closer look at the data over 15 minutes, during our sample's warm-up phase.

IR Image Analysis For The Board's Back

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As our pictures show, the area around the VRM and some of the memory modules endure the highest temperatures, even if all of our measurements are completely acceptable.

But this also shows that the heat pipe attached to the backplate's inner side is rather pointless. Instead of trying to pull additional heat from the already-cool GPU, it would have been more beneficial to target the VRMs instead.

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