MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio review: Big GPU, big cooler, big results

No graphics card spits out gaming body charges as speedy as Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090, and its huge 24GB of GDDR6X reminiscence makes it an insanely just right price for creators—sure, even at its staggering $1,500 baseline worth. We already coated all that during our exhaustive Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Version evaluation. However pushing this a lot efficiency takes a large number of persistent, and a large number of persistent wishes heavy-duty cooling. Can beefy customized coolers tame the RTX 3090 extra successfully than Nvidia’s personal card? That’s what we’re inspecting with this evaluation of the $1,589 MSI RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio.

We’ve already rendered verdict in this fight in every other shape. Stepping down rather a little in worth, the $760 GeForce RTX 3080 model of the Gaming X Trio and Nvidia’s rival 3080 Founders Version each earned most sensible marks, and our Editors’ Selection award. We gave MSI’s style the nod for acoustics and thermals, regardless that, as its beefy triple-slot cooler proved more practical than Nvidia’s dual-slot card.

Nvidia beefed up its Founders Version for the RTX 3090 regardless that, increasing it to fill 3 slots with outstanding effects. MSI caught with the similar elementary design for each the RTX 3080 and the RTX 3090. Does the Gaming X Trio stay potent sufficient to justify its $89 worth top rate over the Founders Version at this point of efficiency? Let’s dig in.

Editor’s observe: We’re most commonly going to concentrate on cooling and gaming efficiency on this evaluation to check designs. For a deeper research of the RTX 3090’s quite a lot of use instances, together with content material advent and 8K gaming, make sure that to take a look at our exhaustive GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Version evaluation, or our shorter Five issues to grasp concerning the RTX 3090 for a briefer review. In case you’re handiest inquisitive about gaming effects, the GeForce RTX 3080 supplies a lot better price.

MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio specifications, options, and design

The fundamental tech specifications for the MSI Gaming X Trio in large part mirrors the ones of Nvidia’s Founders Version, as a result of they’re in accordance with the similar RTX 3090 chip the use of the brand new “Ampere” GPU structure. Take a look at our GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Version evaluation for a deeper take a look at what’s new in Ampere.

msi gaming x trio bfgpu 4 Brad Chacos/IDG

Right here’s a high-level take a look at the MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio’s specifications:

  • CUDA cores: 10,496
  • Spice up clock: 1,785MHz
  • Reminiscence: 24GB GDDR6X
  • Reminiscence bus: 384-bit
  • Reminiscence bandwidth: 936 GB/s
  • RT cores: 82 (Second-gen)
  • Tensor cores: 328 (Third-gen)
  • NVLink SLI: Sure
  • PCIe: Gen four
  • HDMI: 2.1
  • HDCP: 2.Three
  • Show connectors: 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.four
  • Energy connectors: 3x Eight-pin (with equipped 12-pin adapter)

There are handiest two key variations at the spec sheet (smartly, except the associated fee) in comparison to the Founders Version. First up: The GPU clock pace. Whilst Nvidia’s card comes clocked on the 1,700MHz reference spec for the RTX 3090, MSI bumps it as much as 1,785MHz at the Gaming X Trio.

That doesn’t inform the entire tale regardless that. The way in which Nvidia’s spice up clock algorithms paintings, they’ll build up pace up to thermal headroom and fan profiles permit. In observe, all through a Five-lap run in F1 2020, we noticed the Nvidia Founders Version ship constant clock speeds of one,785MHz to one,815MHz. The Gaming X Trio, then again, fluctuated clock speeds with a lot more variance. We noticed speeds between 1,740MHz and 1,935MHz in the similar GPU-focused benchmark, maximum regularly falling within the mid-1,800s. The wild variance most likely explains why we see various effects as opposed to the Founders Version in our gaming benchmarks later.

MSI additionally makes use of a special persistent supply machine. Whilst Nvidia’s radical cooler makes use of a just-as-radical proprietary 12-pin connection that calls for the usage of an (unsightly) adapter with a couple of Eight-pin persistent connectors, the Gaming X Trio sticks to a trio of usual Eight-pin persistent connectors. That theoretically provides the cardboard extra overclocking headroom, and we could it cut back persistent calls for for your motherboard’s PCIe connection. Nvidia recommends the use of a 750W persistent provide with its GeForce RTX 3090, however on the time of newsletter, MSI didn’t supply PSU steerage for its card.

msi gaming x trio bfgpu 1 Brad Chacos/IDG

One, two, 3 Eight-pin connectors

In spite of everything, it’s price noting the 24GB of GDDR6X reminiscence. That huge VRAM buffer we could creators do issues that merely aren’t imaginable with lower-cost GeForce playing cards, together with the almost-as-powerful GeForce RTX 3080. If you want it, you understand it, and its inclusion in reality makes the RTX 3090 a killer price for prosumers, because the RTX Titan it’s changing charge $1,000 extra for a slower GPU and the similar 24GB of VRAM. NVLink is every other key spec for professionals, because it’s no longer presented on another GeForce RTX 30-series possibility.

The true distinction lies within the cooler, regardless that. Nvidia expanded the RTX 3080’s dual-slot Founders Version cooler to fill 3 slots with the RTX 3090, however MSI slapped the similar huge triple-slot “Tri Frozr 2” cooler on each variations of the Gaming X Trio. It kicks ass regardless that, working cool and quiet.

MSI threw a ton of customized engineering into the Gaming X Trio’s design, and you’ll learn all about it in our RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio evaluation. The gargantuan cooler drops a trio (therefore the title) of MSI’s Torx axial lovers atop a fats heatsink bristling with steel fins and 5 full-length heatpipes. This can be a giant card, to be able to assist it stand powerful, MSI strengthened its design with further steel straps, a graphene-infused backplate that’s each more potent and dissipates extra warmth than plastic by myself, and an not obligatory enhance bracket bundled within the field. MSI additionally packed additional fuses onto the board for persistent coverage and enhanced the PCB with copper to assist with warmth dissipation and reliability.

msi gaming x trio bfgpu 5 Brad Chacos/IDG

Graphene is more potent than plastic.

This can be a important customized cooler. Once more, cross learn our evaluation of the RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio for a far deeper dive into the tech below the shroud. We didn’t get into it a lot with the RTX 3080 model, however since we’re speaking a few just about $1,600 graphics card now, I want MSI opted for a steel shroud somewhat than the plastic this card makes use of, simply to make it really feel a little extra top rate. That may have added much more weight, regardless that.

Talking of the shroud, you understand this card comes with RGB LEDs. The Gaming X Trio features a skinny RGB mild strip at the fringe of the cardboard, accessory lighting fixtures across the lovers within the shroud, and the MSI emblem at the aspect of the cardboard additionally illuminates. You’ll tweak them the use of MSI’s “Mystic Gentle” RGB controls by the use of the corporate’s Dragon Heart keep an eye on app, and tweak your card’s efficiency the use of MSI’s incredible Afterburner overclocking and GPU tracking app, which stays a go-to for lovers.

msi gaming x trio bfgpu 9 Brad Chacos/IDG

Left to proper: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Version, then Nvidia RTX 3090 FE, then MSI RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio.

Between the shining lighting fixtures, fats heatsink, and trio of persistent pins, the MSI Gaming X Trio provides off an overly competitive “gamer” vibe. That’s standard for shopper graphics playing cards, however when you’re a writer who needs the RTX 3090 for its 24GB of VRAM and GPU acceleration chops, it will not be a mode you respect. The graceful, all-metal Nvidia Founder Version seems a lot more subtle for your case if that’s this type of factor that issues to you.

Neither design is conducive to becoming greater than two playing cards in a typical PC case because of their Three-slot dimension and lovers that exhaust warmth into the case. In case you’re a professional who needs to shove a number of GeForce RTX 3090s right into a unmarried workstation, we’ve observed a Gigabyte RTX 3090 that sticks to a 2-slot design with a blower-style cooler to completely exhaust GPU warmth out of your machine, however it’s unknown whether or not that genre of cooling provides the entire efficiency of the power-hungry 3090 chip.

None of this issues for players, who must persist with one graphics card as a result of SLI is lifeless.

msi gaming x trio bfgpu 6 Brad Chacos/IDG

Port record.

MSI caught to the inventory output configuration for the RTX 3090, with a unmarried HDMI 2.1 port able to powering an 8K show paired with 3 DisplayPort 1.4a connections. In case you’re a gaming fanatic who needs a couple of HDMI 2.1 ports for powering each an 8K show and a VR headset, the rival Asus TUF RTX 3090 provides that capacity. To reinforce that newfound 8K enhance, Nvidia infused the RTX 30-series with AV1 deciphering to raised take care of 8K streams, and the power to natively seize 8K/30 video with GeForce Revel in’s Shadowplay characteristic.

Sufficient communicate. To the check bench!

Subsequent web page: Our check machine, benchmarks start

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