NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 TI Flagship Custom Models From MSI & EVGA Unleashed – MSI RTX 2080 Ti Lightning and EVGA RTX 2080 Ti KINGPIN

Hassan Mujtaba

CES 2019 gives graphics cards manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their brand new high-end designs based around the NVIDIA Turing equipped GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. Well, MSI and EVGA, both have unveiled their flagship designs for the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, notably the most iconic Lightning and Kingpin edition graphics cards.

MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning and EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti KINGPIN Smile For The Camera at CES 2019

Both graphics cards have been teased by their respective manufacturers over the past few months prior to CES 2019. The MSI flagship Lightning was already pictured through its PCB shots that were leaked a while ago while the KINGPIN variant was partially teased with its cooler shroud.

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MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning - Thunder Strikes Again!

At CES 2019, our editor Keith got a really good look at the mighty Lightning Z. The card has seen a new revision ever since the GeForce GTX 480 Lightning. The design has seen major changes and this one is no exception.

The card is a triple slot behemoth that rocks a triple fan design which is part of the Torx Fan 3.0 design. The new fans look slightly updated with the one in the middle rocking the plain design and ones on the side incorporating a dual blade design. It's also notable that MSI is featuring RGB LEDs within the blades of the fans on the sides, similar to what AORUS does with their RTX 20 series Xtreme graphics cards.

The RGB implementation goes on the side and back of the card too. The shroud itself is made of carbon fiber texture and solid metal frames along the sides. Previously, MSI has added accent covers which can be replaced by the user but it looks like they will be sticking to just one color palette (Gold in this case). The Lightning logo can be seen on the front. Other details include a triple 8-pin power configuration to supply power to the card and a full cover backplate.


The PCB would be fully custom in design which one should expect from a Lightning series card and will feature a 19 phase VRM design. There are three additional connectors on the back of the card for further tweaking which would most definitely be of no use for regular users. It also looks like the MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning will feature a new revision of the VRM heatsink which they used on the GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z, this time its full cover design. The heat pipe seems to be of the same dimensions as last time.


The MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Lightning Z also features an LCD panel on the side which will be able to provide some nifty details such as voltage readings, temperatures, clock speeds and GPU usage.

The clock speeds and the rest of the cooler are not pictured, but it was spotted running at clock speeds of as high as 2450 MHz. The cooler might end up being similar to the Gaming X Trio with triple fan layout. The Gaming X Trio is a very impressive cooler design by itself, but MSI knows to make the Lightning Z stand out from even their best solution at the moment.

EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti KINGPIN - Designed For Overclockers By Overclockers

The other card that is being talked about is the EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti KINGPIN. This monster of a graphics card will slightly update the KINGPIN design and go for a full hybrid design that will utilize both air and water cooling. The card would come with a similar shroud as the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti KINGPIN with angular cuts on the front incorporate with mesh panels and a large 100mm fan blowing air towards a full copper based heatsink.

Since the card is using a hybrid cooling design, it will come with liquid tubing that leads to a pump on the GPU core itself and a 120mm radiator on the other end of the tubing. According to the folks at TechpowerUP, the card would feature a 19 phase VRM that will be supplied power through triple 8 pin connectors which seems to be the standard for all high-end custom models of the RTX 2080 Ti graphics card. The card is rated at 520W TDP which should allow for much better clock speeds gain when overclocking since Turing cards are mostly limited by their power limit.


The card would also come with an LCD display which will show various statistics of the card such as Voltage readings, Temps, Core clocks, GPU Utilization, etc. Next to the LCD would be the LEDs for diagnostics, voltage measurement points, BIOS switch, and headers which can be used with an Evbot module. There are no words on the pricing for either card but expect them at a premium range over existing models, probably above $1500 US. They are expected to hit retail this month.

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