MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio review: A silent, face-melting behemoth

The GeForce RTX 3080 hits the streets these days. Fueled through Nvidia’s next-gen Ampere GPU structure, it wields sufficient energy to trample its predecessor, the GeForce RTX 2080, through as much as 80 p.c. Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Version confirmed simply how dominant this new GPU is—and what kind of juice it calls for to push that many pixels. The impressive Founders Version deploys a brand new 12-pin connector and distinctive “flow-through” cooler design to tame the beastly RTX 3080.

However Nvidia’s $699 Founders Version isn’t the one RTX 3080 in retail outlets these days. In an odd transfer, a variety of custom designed graphics playing cards through Nvidia companions can be to be had on day one, together with the $750 MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G on our check bench these days. The place Nvidia became to technical tips with its Founders Version, MSI cranks its overpowering card to 11. The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G overclocks the GPU to 1800MHz, feeds it with a trio of Eight-pin connectors, then cools it down with a large three-slot, triple fan cooler loaded with new applied sciences and sure, RGB lighting fixtures. It dwarfs Nvidia’s providing.

Does heavy steel push the customized card previous the spectacular precedent set through Nvidia’s Founders Version? Let’s dig in.

MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G: Specifications and lines

msi rtx 3080 MSI

We received’t spend an excessive amount of time speaking concerning the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G’s underlying specs, as they’re in large part similar to the ones of the Nvidia Founders Version. The particular sauce in its customized design. Learn our exhaustive GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Version evaluate for a deeper dive into what’s new within the next-gen Ampere GPU. You’ll be able to additionally in finding extra information about how the RTX 3080 stacks up towards the former technology in our GeForce RTX 30-series vs. RTX 20-series spec comparability.

Right here’s a high-level take a look at what’s throughout the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G, adopted through some dialogue on what’s distinctive to this actual card:

  • CUDA cores: Eight,704
  • Spice up clock: 1.8GHz
  • Reminiscence: 10GB GDDR6X at 9500MHz
  • Reminiscence bus: 320-bit
  • Reminiscence bandwidth: 760GB/s
  • RT cores: 68 (Second-gen)
  • Tensor cores: 384 (Third-gen)
  • NVLink SLI: No
  • PCIe: Gen four
  • HDMI: 2.1
  • HDCP: 2.three
  • Show connectors: 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.four
  • Energy: 3x Eight-pin
  • Really helpful energy provide: 750W

The one primary distinction on the GPU point is the clock pace, or even this is minor. The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G comes overclocked at 1,800MHz spice up speeds, a gentle bump from the RTX 3080’s inventory 1,710MHz specification. The 10GB of state-of-the-art GDDR6X reminiscence comes clocked at reference speeds, however the ones are ultra-fast. The identify of this card is attention-grabbing although: through slapping “10G” onto the tip, MSI’s branding may well be lending credence to rumors of a 20GB RTX 3080 ready within the wings.

Some other important exchange is available in energy supply. Nvidia’s RTX 3080 FE wishes a couple of Eight-pin energy connectors, which then slip into an adapter for the corporate’s proprietary 12-pin adapter. That leaves the Founders Version card with scant leeway for its 320-watt general board energy rating–the two Eight-pin connectors can draw 150W, whilst the PCIe slot itself provides some other 75W. MSI constructed extra energy overhead into the Gaming X Trio, outfitting it with a trio of same old Eight-pin connections.

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One, two, 3 Eight-pin energy connectors.

Sadly—and oddly—MSI’s card doesn’t let overclockers push as arduous as Nvidia’s card at a device point. Whilst the Founders Version means that you can building up its energy restrict through 15 p.c in overclocking device (like MSI’s superior Afterburner, which is being up to date to give a boost to the RTX 30-series), the Gaming X Trio simplest means that you can crank the knob up an additional 5 p.c. We haven’t had a lot time to tinker with overclocking but, as we center of attention on out-of-the-box efficiency at PCWorld. With the older RTX 20-series GPUs the ones energy limits had a far larger impact on overclocking efficiency than just upping clock speeds.

MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G cooler design

However the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G’s largest variations lay in its design. The place Nvidia used a cool brief PCB with a singular cooling answer, MSI sticks to a conventional board format for its customized PCB. It’s simply truly large, not like the Founders Version’s same old two-slot design.

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Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Version (left) subsequent to MSI’s Gaming X Trio (proper)

Significantly: It’s arduous to overstate how large this card is. The Gaming X Trio is kind of 13 inches lengthy, 3 slots thick, and so vast that I will be able to’t screw its bracket into the case through hand—my palms can’t achieve. As a substitute, I needed to safe the cardboard the usage of a skinny screwdriver. It’s so hefty, MSI features a steel give a boost to bracket within the field that you’ll screw in beneath the Gaming X Trio to lend a hand hang it up.

MSI additionally trustworthy numerous engineering consideration to reinforcing the Gaming X Trio’s construction. It constructed a “inflexible steel anti-bending strap” into the part of the cardboard that holds the GPU itself, only to lend a hand the whole lot keep robust. Likewise, the full-length backplate is made out of graphene composite fairly than conventional plastic or steel. MSI’s press subject material touts graphene as being 100 occasions more potent than metal, and says the backplate is four occasions more potent than a plastic backplate, whilst additionally being 20 occasions higher at warmth dissipation.  

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The MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio’s backplate makes use of a graphene composite.

All that reinforcement holds up an excellent cooling answer, which MSI dubs “Tri Frozr 2.” The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G embeds a trio of swooping Torx axial lovers in its (plastic) shroud. MSI claims the redesigned blades generate 20 p.c extra air force than the last-gen Torx lovers on the identical 35-decibel noise point. Higher but, they close off utterly when no longer underneath load, so the cardboard stays silent when you’re surfing your desktop.

The ones lovers push air via a gargantuan heatsink. The fins come with tiny “deflectors” designed so as to add but extra floor house for cooling, in addition to information the incoming air in explicit instructions. Quite than sticking to arduous edges for the fins, MSI supplied the Gaming X Trio with “Wave-curved” fins, which is helping to cut back noise ranges, the corporate says. It’s were given no longer one, no longer two, however 5 heatpipes snaking all over, as neatly.

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That is numerous fins! The black steel between the warmth sink and the fins at the left aspect of the cardboard is the steel “anti-bending strap.”

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You’ll be able to see the heatsink “deflectors” between the warmth pipe studs.

That’s no longer all. The MSI Gaming X Trio options precision-machined core pipes over the GPU itself to maximise the touch between the RTX 3080 chip and its heatsink. The corporate additionally makes use of “an abundance of thermal pads” over the board’s parts, and created the PCB with 2 oz. of thickened copper to lend a hand with warmth dissipation and reliability. MSI took steps to give protection to towards the upper energy calls for of the RTX 3080 as neatly, construction further fuses into the PCB.

Certain, that’s numerous advertising lingo, however right here in the genuine global, all that stuff works. The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G remains cooler than Nvidia’s Founders Version underneath load, and when you would possibly see this gigantic graphics card to your case, I by no means as soon as heard its lovers over my CPU liquid-cooler or case lovers, even if wired to the max.

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Gentle ’em if you have got ’em.

Talking of seeing the cardboard, the Gaming X Trio features a skinny RGB mild strip at the fringe of the cardboard, accessory lighting fixtures within the shroud, and the MSI emblem at the aspect of the cardboard additionally illuminates. You’ll be able to tweak them the usage of MSI’s “Mystic Gentle” RGB controls by way of the corporate’s Dragon Heart keep an eye on app.

MSI could also be upgrading its improbable Afterburner overclocking and GPU tracking app to give a boost to the RTX 30-series. This contains the “OC Scanner” software, which scans your graphics card throughout numerous voltages to use an automated overclock adapted in your explicit GPU’s features. I used to be in a position to play with the upgraded model of Afterburner slightly bit earlier than this embargo carry. Whilst the OC Scanner labored as marketed, the real-world effects weren’t game-changing.

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Port record: The MSI Gaming X Trio suits the Nvidia Founders Version’s 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a loadout.

The automated overclocking provides simplest 42MHz to the cardboard’s core clock speeds, and 200MHz to its reminiscence clock speeds. In observe, the efficiency uplift was once negligible, including about 3 frames in step with 2nd to gaming efficiency effects at 4K answer. No longer 3 p.c; 3 frames. Nvidia’s computerized overclocking API is understood for staying conservative, so that you may be able to squeeze extra juice out of the cardboard manually. Nonetheless, it’s no longer an auspicious get started for other folks hoping Ampere will help you push overclocks to blistering new ranges. The loss of a dual-BIOS transfer may additionally irk overclockers.

Thankfully, the RTX 3080 is amazingly instant as-is. Onto the benchmarks.

Subsequent web page: Our check gadget, gaming benchmarks start

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