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MSI N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition Review: What a GTX 580 Should Be

Author: Josh Walrath
Manufacturer: MSI Computers

Results: AvP and DiRT 3

Aliens vs. Predator

This is one of the first applications to feature DX11 tessellation, though it limits it primarily to the Alien models.  This is not a bad thing, as the AVP benchmark features dozens upon dozens of these creatures scurrying through a complex lit area with plenty of shader effects.  Settings were put at 4X AA, 16X AF, and all top settings enabled.

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This is one benchmark which previously favored AMD products, but this is no longer the case.  The N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition comes out on top when compared to single GPU solutions.  SLI GTX 480s are the faster solution overall, even with half of the effective, usable frame buffer as compared to the N580GTX Lightning Xtreme Edition.

DiRT 3

I have finally retired DiRT 2 and replaced it with the new (and improved graphically) DiRT 3.  DiRT 3 uses the same EGO engine that powers DiRT 2 and F1 2010, but it is now slightly more complex in rendering than those previous titles (version 2.0 as compared to version 1.0 used in DiRT and DiRT 2).  Gone are the somewhat overly bright colors of DiRT 2, and the change in art assets and rendering techniques do make the game look much more realistic.  Ultra settings were enabled with 4X AA and 16X AF.  The built-in benchmark was utilized, which features the snowy Aspen course.

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If there is one thing the EGO engine does very well, it is keeping framerates very consistent with exceptionally few drops.  Usually in next gen titles we will see minimum framerates drop into the single digits in some areas, but at all times we see the minimum within 20% of the average.  Extreme dips and drops are simply not seen in this particular title.  That being said, the N580GTX again outperforms the other single GPU cards, but is trumped by the SLI setup.

August 6, 2011 | 12:01 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Wish I had money for 1 of these! I have a MSI card and have been extremely happy with it! Would happily buy this if I was one of the godless-soulless-ultra-rich.

August 14, 2011 | 09:26 PM - Posted by ThorAxe

I recently moved to 2 GTX 570s from 2 6870s because xfire support was okay but not great. Prior to these I had a 4870x2 + 4870 which actually worked quite well. I am vendor agnostic but the nVidia cards always seem to have slightly better multi-gpu support in my experience going back to my first 8800GTX SLI setup.

September 8, 2011 | 01:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Im happy with my xfire 6870's, nothing that has made go i need something else. Not saying 570 are worse or better just sounds like a waste of money when what u had was just fine and along the same lines. just my opinion though.

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