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Old 10-18-2010, 09:24 AM
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TiN TiN is offline
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Lightbulb Review of Green Lightning, or how to make GTX480 real big.

Before we start - I like photography, and with time this hobby render me to have some good photo hardware to make better pics
So every pic in topic is preview of large on, available by clicking on pic.

If you want to use these pics for your publications, voltage mods etc, be kind to provide direct link here as credit, so I could continue making nice pics for people.

Ok, lets go ontopic.
As some people know, team got second place in MOA 2010 WW. So we gotcha some nice hardware from there, so some poor engineers have now a possibility to play with some piece of PCB with some silicon stuff on it

I borrowed second card from T0lsty teammate and make some photosets for review.

Exterior is nice, cards are huge and massive. But lets go internals

Warning, 22MPixel photo here
Under the hood there is GTX480 on non-ref PCB, with 1.5GB rams and some beffy VRM.

Warning, 22MPixel photo here
Back of card bit soldered, sorry for that. This one of vgas from MSI MOA final, so it was under LN with cap mods.

Old nice GF100 ASIC 375 revА3, used by most of 480-based cards, including Q5000. Me personally was expecting 512sp ver here btw.

12 GDDR5 chips, 32bit each, 384bit total bus width.

Quite good combination of outputs, 2 x DL DVI, HDMI, and fullsize DP. To my big disappointment, we can use only TWO outputs same time.
So I have to use second GF7100GS card in my PC to drive triple-head setup.

Next stop: cooling:

Massive HSF assembly with two 92mm fans.

Mounted by 4 screws on GPU mount. Alu anodized plated mounted independently via PCB holes to each other.

Only one fan in monitored, he-he.

Plasic decorative stuff on top of HSF quite badly done, but that not affect perf or exterior look.

Cooler basement is not polished, just milled. No affect on cooling too, i don't think polishing ever make difference.

To heat spead there is 5 thermal pipes, three of 6mm dia, and two side 8mm dia pipes. Was fitted very tight and nicely
with no air between and soldered to fins. Respect for design here.

Fans holded by 3 screws to heatsink.

Each fan strong enough, 12V 0.55A. RPMs monitor only to closer GPU fan.

Lets now look at features, starting from most useless My favourite part lol

Line of ultrabright leds making flares to eyes 100% well Useless

All-mighty DIP switches. Placed exactly on place, where frosting occur from LN2 Pot. Assuming that these are regular spring
switches - expect nice constact toggling here. :\ Cmon, MSI guys, 2010 year ending, why not to place some cheapo microcontroller
with I2C/SMBus connect and use few FETs in SOT23-3 to switch anything from PC, e.g. MSI Afterburner or similar tools.
Price of these parts even in poor countries is only few cents even when you buy ONE part, not hundreds

:\:\:\:\:\ gone crazy, three minifits to power vga. Oh noes Each of 6pin connectors able to push 20+ AMPs no problem.
Why to hook three of them? For less compatibility with PSUs, multi-gpu rigs?
Free idea for future GTX580 Lightning - put AWG6 wires in retail package with VGA to hook it into 110AC mains

Ok, lets now go with useful stuff

Connectors for probing Quite smart to protect them with polyswitches, if some idiot shorts probe to ground
Respect here.

Switch for 2nd bios. Also wrong placed, frosty area there.
Pair of SPI flashed for bioses.

Now beef side, VRM.


PWM-master uPI UP6225AM. Uses 6 (SIX) phase topology .

Each phase then doubled by drivers uPI uP6282AD.

power fets - IRF6725 + IRF6723, in effective package DirectFet.
Much bettern than regular plastic SO, TDSON, DPAK.
But not easy to repair if needed.
Inductors R30.

Total GPU topology: 6 doubled phases, independent protection, so everything as for modern DC-DC, including NDA on datasheets (GRuu ).

VRM for memory

PWM master uP6207AI.
Similar power fets IRF6725 + IRF6721.
Outputs filtered by tantalum caps and poly Proadlizer-s from Chemi-con (three for GPU rail, one for DRAMs).

PLL power

Easy here, PWM master uPI6101BU and one dual NFET in SO8 (on top pcb)

Close to is monitoring chip ADT7473-1, we got used to it on GTX260,8800GTX/GT and lots of other vgas.
Closest DIP switch - disable monitoring (for extreme i guess )

So VRM is quite good, but I'm wonder why they dont go Volterra integrated chipset?
For final lets compare sizes of VRMs on Lightning and EVGA The Untouchables (EPOWER card REV0.0) with true 10-channel
VT1185 chipset from Volterra (+ uPI 3-phase AUX DC-DC). EVGA Untouchable able to push more power afaik

So in final, everything working here :

Vote if you need similar photo-reviews here (maybe some detailed soldering too, if I got some funds/time to work with it :/).

Last edited by TiN; 10-18-2010 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:36 AM
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nigel nigel is offline
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I would love to see more of these kind of reviews. also when you voltmod them

The amount of detail on your pics are just great

The duck is here together with the Frozen Duck
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:02 AM
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K404 K404 is offline
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Hey bro Thanks for posting these pics up! I look forward to seeing your analysis of voltmods, OCP etc

nVidia (ab)user- at both hardware and verbal level
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:06 AM
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TiN TiN is offline
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Sorry to say, but looks like more detailed analysis will not appear soon. This is my working PC vga for now, and I have no possibility for LN2 benchmarks nearest future (time/money issues ).
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:34 PM
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SoF SoF is offline
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always nice to have such high-res images - they are good for printer testing
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:46 PM
Cyph3r_Smurf Cyph3r_Smurf is offline
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Like the pictures, but are sorry to hear that you don't got the time/money to make this thread to the ultimate MSI GTX480 Lightning thread
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:30 PM
DahakaCL DahakaCL is offline
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Hi all .

Nice pics men, we have ( my team unknownteam ) one exactly like yours .

I'm asking the same thing, why they did put a Volterra controler :S.

Regards from Chile.

PD: First post
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:52 AM
GFDuke GFDuke is offline
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Sweet pictures Tin. I was also thinking that the Dip switches were located in a pretty bad spot. They're gonna freeze up in seconds. Better know the settings first and cover them up hey. lol
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:10 AM
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G H Z G H Z is offline
sb cant touch this
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FYI this didn't help clocks, in fact Gautam tested this out accidentally, his fell off and core clocks were not as good - he did hit over 1400 memory that way though.
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engineer at school., gtx480 lightning, tin review

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