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

The GeForce RTX 3080 hits the streets nowadays. Fueled via Nvidia’s next-gen Ampere GPU structure, it wields sufficient energy to trample its predecessor, the GeForce RTX 2080, via as much as 80 %. Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Version confirmed simply how dominant this new GPU is—and what sort 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 nowadays. In an peculiar transfer, quite a lot of custom designed graphics playing cards via Nvidia companions can also be to be had on day one, together with the $750 MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G on our take a look at bench nowadays. 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. It dwarfs Nvidia’s providing.

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

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

msi rtx 3080 MSI

We gained’t spend an excessive amount of time speaking in regards to 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 overview for a deeper dive into what’s new within the next-gen Ampere GPU. You’ll be able to additionally in finding extra data 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 via 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 useful energy provide: 750W

The one main 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 light 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 fascinating although: via slapping “10G” onto the top, MSI’s branding could be lending credence to rumors of a 20GB RTX 3080 ready within the wings.

Any other important trade 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 four.zero slot itself provides some other 75W. MSI constructed extra energy overhead into the Gaming X Trio, outfitting it with a trio of usual 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 exhausting as Nvidia’s card at a device point. Whilst the Founders Version allows you to build up its energy prohibit via 15 % in overclocking device (like MSI’s superior Afterburner, which is being up to date to make stronger the RTX 30-series), the Gaming X Trio handiest allows you to crank the knob up an additional 5 %. 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 greatest variations lay in its design. The place Nvidia used a cool brief PCB with a singular cooling resolution, MSI sticks to a standard board structure for its customized PCB. It’s simply in reality giant, in contrast to the Founders Version’s usual two-slot design.

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

Critically: It’s exhausting 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 via hand—my palms can’t achieve. As a substitute, I needed to safe the cardboard the use of a skinny screwdriver. It’s so hefty, MSI features a steel make stronger bracket within the field that you’ll be able to screw in beneath the Gaming X Trio to lend a hand dangle it up.

MSI additionally trustworthy a large number of 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 entirety keep robust. Likewise, the full-length backplate is created from graphene composite reasonably than conventional plastic or steel. MSI’s press subject matter touts graphene as being 100 instances more potent than metal, and says the backplate is four instances more potent than a plastic backplate, whilst additionally being 20 instances 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 outstanding cooling resolution, which MSI dubs “Tri Frozr 2.” The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G embeds a trio of swooping Torx four.zero axial lovers in its (plastic) shroud. MSI claims the redesigned blades generate 20 % extra air force than the last-gen Torx three.zero lovers on the similar 35-decibel noise point. Higher but, they close off utterly when no longer beneath 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. Fairly than sticking to exhausting edges for the fins, MSI provided the Gaming X Trio with “Wave-curved 2.zero” fins, which is helping to scale back noise ranges, the corporate says. It’s were given no longer one, no longer two, however 5 heatpipes snaking all through, as smartly.

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That is a large number of fins! The black steel between the warmth sink and the fins at the left facet 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 smartly, development further fuses into the PCB.

Certain, that’s a large number of advertising and marketing 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 beneath load, and when you may 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 gentle strip at the fringe of the cardboard, accessory lighting within the shroud, and the MSI brand at the facet of the cardboard additionally illuminates. You’ll be able to tweak them the use of MSI’s “Mystic Gentle” RGB controls by way of the corporate’s Dragon Middle keep an eye on app.

MSI may be upgrading its incredible Afterburner overclocking and GPU tracking app to make stronger the RTX 30-series. This comprises the “OC Scanner” device, which scans your graphics card throughout quite a lot of 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 somewhat bit sooner than this embargo elevate. Whilst the OC Scanner labored as marketed, the real-world effects weren’t game-changing.

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

The automated overclocking provides handiest 42MHz to the cardboard’s core clock speeds, and 200MHz to its reminiscence clock speeds. In apply, the efficiency uplift was once negligible, including about 3 frames according to 2nd to gaming efficiency effects at 4K solution. Now not 3 %; 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 folks hoping Ampere will can help you push overclocks to blistering new ranges. The loss of a dual-BIOS transfer might also irk overclockers.

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

Subsequent web page: Our take a look at machine, gaming benchmarks start

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