MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio Review

A few weeks again NVIDIA launched their newest Turing video card structure. The GPUs introduced  new options together with Ray Tracing cores, Tensor cores, and our first glimpse of GDDR6 reminiscence. Our evaluation of the Founders Version playing cards confirmed vital efficiency good points over final yr’s fashions, however with it got here much more vital worth will increase placing a blemish on its launch.

Now that point has handed, board companions are getting playing cards out to reviewers to have a look and see what they might do with the Turing GPU structure as a base. NVIDIA has already stepped up its recreation with higher energy supply in addition to a cooler so the board companions need to put in some effort to trump NVIDIA this time round.

In the present day, we’re taking a look at our first associate card within the MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio. The Gaming X Trio hails from MSI’s premium line of playing cards (Gaming) and with it features a slight overclock out of the field. The most important distinction between the FE playing cards and this providing is the Tri-Frozr Thermal design/giant heatsink that MSI placed on this card. Between its raised clocks and monster cooler, we hope to see higher overclocking and efficiency from this card. Learn on to see the outcomes of our testing!


Under is a specs desk with the MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio together with the 2080 Ti, 2080, and 2070 specs. The most important takeaway right here for the MSI RTX 2080 Gaming Trio X is the increase clock being raised 60 MHz over the FE RTX 2080. Outdoors of that, the remainder of the specs stay the identical so far as reminiscence velocity (and quantity) in addition to the bottom clock.

MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio SpecsGPU MannequinMSI RTX 2080 Gaming X TrioRTX 2080 TiRTX 2080RTX 2070StructureTuringCUDA Cores2944435229442304Tensor Cores368544 368 288RT Cores48684836GPU Base Clock (MHz)
Reference / Founders Ed.
15151350 / 135015151410GPU Increase Clock (MHz)
Reference / Founders Ed.
1860 (1950 Precise)1545 / 1635 18001620 / 1710Body Buffer Reminiscence Measurement and SortEight GB GDDR611 GB GDDR6 Eight GB GDDR6Reminiscence Interface256-bit352-bit256-bitReminiscence Clock (Knowledge Fee)14 Gbps14 GbpsReminiscence Bandwidth (GB/sec)448616448448ROPs64886464Texture Models245272245144Texture Fill Price (Gigatexels /sec)354.Four420.2 / 444.7314.6 / 331.2233.three / 246.2GigaRays /secEight GR/s10 GR/sEight GR/s6 GR/sCompute (TFLOPs)10.113.Four10.17.5L2 Cache MeasurementFour MB6 MBFour MBTDP* (Watts)
Reference / Founders Ed.
260W250 / 260W215 / 225W175 / 185WTransistor Rely (Billions)13.618.613.610.6Die Measurement (mm²)545754545445Manufacturing Course of12 nm FinFetWorth – MSRP (Reference / Founders)$849 (Newegg)$999 / $1199$699 / $799N/A


Our gratuitous shot of GPUz confirms what we’re seeing from the specs desk. Although, the feel Fillrate subject seems to be off in comparison with what the NVIDIA whitepaper says it ought to be in addition to the reminiscence bandwidth being woefully off. We have now pinged the GPUz creator for remark and correction if wanted.

EDITOR’S NOTE: GPUz fixes the reminiscence bandwidth concern. Nevertheless, the Texture Fillrate worth in GPUz is predicated off the bottom clock versus how NVIDIA lists it based mostly of the increase clock.



Under is an inventory of options from the MSI web site. Highlights embrace the TRI-FROZR cooling utilizing the third era TORX Fan utilizing a mixture of dispersion fan blades utilizing a particular curved blade stated to speed up the airflow for elevated effectiveness and a standard fan blade used to push airflow down on the heatsink beneath. The TORX fan makes use of a double ball bearing setup to assist guarantee quiet operation and lengthy lifespan. The TRI-FROZR cooler additionally makes use of its Zero Frozr know-how on the followers the place they’re utterly stopped when the temperatures are under 56 °C and 60 °C (giant followers and small fan respectively). This enables for a totally silent graphics answer in low energy conditions and when wanted, will spin up routinely.

Along with the fan, the heatsink additionally has a number of tweaks that MSI says improves its general efficiency. The heatsink makes use of “wave-curved” fins to permit the air to move extra easily via the heatsink leading to much less noise. The form of the fin array guides the airflow instantly on the concentrated heatpipes whereas creating extra floor space for the air to soak up extra warmth. The copper heatpipes run via the aluminum fins. On the space the place they contact the nickel-plated copper base plate base and gather the warmth, the pipes are as shut collectively as attainable which ought to unfold the load and take away the warmth faster.

Final, is the Mystic Mild Software program. MSI has up to date this RGB controlling software program and can detect suitable merchandise from each MSI and others manufacturers in an inventory for customers to regulate by themselves, or linked collectively. Mystic Mild Sync permits customers to regulate RGB LED implementations from different manufacturers, its like CPU coolers, keyboards and mice, or RGB system followers, for instance, might be managed by this software program.

A model new model of the long-lasting MSI TORX fan pushes the bounds of thermal efficiency but additional than earlier than. The brand new trims clearly seen on the normal fan blade create a targeted airflow which in flip is pushed down by the dispersion fan blades for elevated static strain. GAMING WITH BALLS OF STEEL
Double Ball Bearings give the distinctive MSI TORX Followers a robust and lasting core for years of clean gaming. Additionally they stay nearly silent whereas spinning beneath load, maintaining your graphics card cool throughout intense and prolonged gaming periods. ZERO FROZR – COOLING ON DEMAND
First launched in 2008 by MSI, ZERO FROZR know-how stops the followers utterly when temperatures are comparatively low, eliminating all fan noise when no cooling is required. When the warmth is on throughout gaming, the followers will mechanically begin spinning once more to maintain your powerhouse cool. MASTERY OF AERODYNAMICS
In our quest to offer the perfect cooling, we now have mastered the artwork of Aerodynamics.Wave-curved fins permit the airflow to cross extra easily, leading to much less noise.Airflow Management Know-how guides the airflow instantly onto the heatpipes, whereas concurrently creating extra floor space for the air to soak up extra warmth earlier than leaving the heatsink.CONCENTRATED HEATPIPES
The copper heatpipes operating via the huge array of aluminum fins are the important thing to spreading the warmth alongside the complete size of the heatsink. On the level the place they contact base and acquire the warmth, they’re consolidated as shut as potential for max impact.COPPER BASEPLATE
To mood the warmth generated by a strong GPU, MSI GAMING collection graphics playing cards use a strong nickel-plated copper base plate. The bottom plate catches the warmth from the GPU and transfers it to the warmth pipes for dissipation so you’ll be able to hold cool. MYSTIC LIGHT SOFTWARE
With the newest model of Mystic Mild Software program, controlling all of your RGB-lit elements is straightforward. The software program detects all suitable merchandise from each MSI and different manufacturers and lists them so that you can management individually or linked collectively.MYSTIC LIGHT SYNC: SYNCHRONIZE YOUR LED EXPERIENCE
With the comfort of Mystic Mild Sync, you’ll be able to management RGB LED options from different manufacturers, resembling CPU coolers, keyboards and mice or RGB system followers

Retail Packaging and Equipment

MSI’s retail packaging is pretty nondescript with a black and NVIDIA inexperienced theme prevailing together with an image of the cardboard inside. The entrance of the field accommodates figuring out info such because the mannequin itself and its personal inner branding, on this case, one can see it’s a part of their Gaming X Trio line of playing cards. The again of the packaging goes into extra particulars on the specs and options.

Contained in the field, the cardboard itself sits securely in type becoming foam and an anti-static bag to stop any points throughout delivery. The cardboard comes with a few equipment together with a big strut to help the monster GPU (we advise utilizing this if the cardboard isn’t vertical within the slot). It additionally accommodates a 6-pin to Eight-pin adapter together with the standard manuals in addition to some MSI gaming branded coasters to place drinks on.

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Meet the MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio


MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio

The MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio marks the return of MSI’s three-fan graphics playing cards which we’ve seen for a few generations now. What’s totally different about this implementation is the truth that the smaller fan of the three is now on the left aspect of the cardboard (near the outputs) with the 2 bigger followers within the center and proper aspect of the cardboard. The Trio collection of playing cards contains a mix of gunmetal gray and black with a brushed metallic backplate meant to match the entrance of the cardboard. It additionally has 5 places on the cardboard for RGB lighting managed by their Mystic Mild software program.

The cardboard itself is large. It measures in at 12.Eight″ x 5.5″ x 2.2″ and weighs a hefty three.Four lbs. The period of double+ slot cooling has seemingly returned with loads of associate playing cards strapping on some fairly beefy coolers on the Turing GPUs. Fortunately, MSI features a strut which screws into the case/body which can help the cardboard for any non-vertically oriented methods.

The TRI-FROZR cooler consists of the wave-curved heatsink talked about beforehand, which is designed to optimize warmth dissipation and to scale back noise. The heatsink itself consists of a number of copper warmth pipes measuring as much as Eight mm, in addition to the orientation of the warmth pipes shut collectively to switch extra warmth from the copper base by means of the warmth pipes. The TRI-FROZR heatsink additionally immediately cools the MOSFETs by way of a related cooling plate. Moreover, MSI makes use of a singular thermal compound to offer most conductivity.

General, the cooler is fairly giant taking over 2.5 slots, however seems to be to do an excellent job cooling the TU104 GPU hidden beneath with all of the options it packs in. We noticed some good leads to our thermal testing at default.

A Nearer Look

On this part, we take a better take a look at the playing cards together with outputs, energy lead necessities, a take a look at the PCB and heatsink base, and energy supply part in addition to a number of the IC’s used to drive the cardboard.

Outputs – 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 1x USB Sort-C

2x Eight-Pin PCIe Required

The outputs listed here are the identical as on the FE playing cards with a complete of 5 outputs. There are three DisplayPorts (v1.Four), one HDMI (2.0b), and one USB Sort-C port. The cardboard helps HDCP 2.2. So far as energy necessities, the GPU is claimed to make use of 260 W and with the Gaming X Trio requiring two Eight-pin PCIe energy connectors. This provides the cardboard 375 W of “in specification” energy which ought to be lots with overclocking.

After taking off the heatsink, we expose the PCB to see a special energy design than the FE playing cards. On this case, the MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio makes use of a 10+2 part setup as in comparison with the Eight+2 setup on the FE playing cards we reviewed earlier. This could permit the GPU and reminiscence to obtain extra energy and cleaner energy by way of the setup.

Micron GDDR6

OnSemiconductor MOSFETs

10+2 Part Energy Supply

The MOSFETS are FDMF3170 fashions from OnSemiconductor rated for as much as 70 A. Driving the facility bits are two controllers. The reminiscence makes use of a uP9512Q Four-phase (as much as) buck controller whereas the GPU makes use of a Monolithic Energy System (MPS) MP288Q multi-phase PWM controller. The reminiscence chips used on this pattern are Micron based mostly D9WCW which interprets to MT61Okay256M32JE-14:A. They’re specified to run at 1750 MHz (14 Gbps GDDR6 efficient).

Under is a photograph of the cardboard and its RGB LEDs sitting on the check system.

Measurement Issues!

Under are pictures of simply how huge this card is relative to the Founder’s Version. Make sure to have room in your case to suit this video card in there!


Check System and Benchmark Strategies

Our check system is predicated on the newest mainstream Intel platform, Z370, and makes use of the i7-8700Okay 6c/12t CPU. The CPU is overclocked to Four.7 GHz on all cores/threads with cache set to Four.three GHz. The clock speeds used supplies a great base to attenuate any limitations the CPU might have on our titles, notably when utilizing the decrease resolutions, and ought to be attainable with an excellent air cooler or higher. DRAM is in a 2×Eight GB configuration at 3200 MHz with CL15-15-15-35-2T timings which is a center of the street choice that balances efficiency and price.

Thanks goes out to EVGA for offering the CLC 240 CPU Cooler and 750 W G3 Energy Provide to chill and energy the system, G.Talent for the Trident Z DRAM, and Toshiba OCZ for the 480 GB TR200 SSDs storage operating the OS, benchmarks, and video games. With our companions serving to out, we’re capable of construct matching check methods to mitigate any variations discovered between utilizing totally different hardware. This enables for a number of reviewers in several places to make use of the identical check system and examine outcomes with out further variables.

Under are the exams we run with a quick description of the settings. We’ve got made some vital modifications because the final replace including a number of new titles and dropping a few of the older video games. Extra particulars could be discovered within the GPU Testing Process article which we now have up to date with our newest benchmarks.

  • UL 3DMark Time Spy – Default settings
  • UL 3DMark Hearth Strike (Excessive) – Default settings
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider – DX12, “Highest” preset (will add RTX when it has been patched)
  • The Division – DX12, Extremely preset, VSync Off
  • Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation – DX12, Loopy preset, GPU targeted
  • Far Cry 5 – Extremely defaults
  • F1 2018 – Very Excessive defaults, TAA, and x16 AF, Australia monitor, present FPS counter
  • World of Tanks: Encore Benchmark – Extremely defaults
  • Last Fantasy XV Benchmark – Excessive defaults

Artificial Benchmarks

Our first set of benchmarks hail from Underwriters Laboratories who acquired Futuremark again in 2014. Earlier in 2018, a rebrand occurred and since that point, Futuremark is now UL. The benchmarks haven’t modified, simply the identify. We selected to stay with 3DMark Hearth Strike (Excessive) and 3DMark Time Spy as these exams give customers a good suggestion of efficiency on trendy titles.

3DMark Hearth Strike (Excessive) is a DX11-based check which UL says the graphics are rendered with element and complexity far past different DX11 benchmarks and video games. This benchmark runs at 1920×1080. 3DMark Time Spy is a DX12 benchmark designed for Home windows 10 PCs. It helps new API options reminiscent of asynchronous compute, specific multi-adapter, and multi-threading and runs at 2560×1440 decision.

3DMark Hearth Strike (Excessive) and 3D Mark Time Spy

In our first exams, we’re capable of see the marginally larger clock MSI card is barely quicker 3DMark Hearth Strike (Excessive) by round 1.6% scoring 12776. 3DMark Time Spy exhibits comparable enhancements over the FE scoring 10611 right here.

Gaming Benchmarks

Shifting on to the gaming benchmarks, we’ve got up to date our testing suite to convey extra trendy titles into the combination. Gone are GTA V, Crysis three, and Rise of the Tomb Raider, which have been changed with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, World of Tanks: enCore benchmark, F1 2018, Ultimate Fantasy XV benchmark, and Far Cry 5. We stored The Division and Ashes of the Singularity (although we up to date to AOTS: Escalation). The video games ought to present an excellent view of the general efficiency as many of those are DX12 video games.

Sadly, we will be unable to check a few of the DLSS options as we’re having points with downloading the file (working with NVIDIA to get it sorted). Ray Tracing will even not be examined right here as not one of the titles out that we’ve got, at present help the know-how. Sooner or later, SoTR could have it together with many different titles so we’ll circle again when applicable. As of the time of this writing, Home windows now helps Ray Tracing API, we’re ready on video games to be patched and launched at this level.

The outcomes under are all in 1920x1080p which can skew the notion of the playing cards when evaluating them to the others with the decision being so “low”. The RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti weren’t meant for 1080p gameplay however for greater resolutions, particularly, 4K. These outcomes are discovered in the direction of the top of this part.

World of Tanks: enCore and F1 2018

In our World of Tanks enCore outcomes, we’re capable of once more see little or no distinction between the FE and MSI card each hitting 228 FPS. In F1 2018, we see a two FPS distinction which is a few 1.5% achieve.

Far Cry 5 and The Division

Shifting on to Far Cry 5, on this check, the MSI providing towards runs only a tad quicker, by 2 FPS versus the FE counterpart whereas in The Division, we don’t see a distinction with the cardboard averaging 129 FPS.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Last Fantasy XV (no DLSS)

Shifting on to Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Last Fantasy XV, the general end result doesn’t change right here with the MSI card matching the FE for all intents and functions.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation

Little distinction in Ashes of the Singularity at this decision as properly, however it’s a pretty CPU heavy title and tends to point out much less scaling than extra GPU sure titles at virtually any decision.

2560×1440 and 4K UHD Outcomes

Under are the upper decision outcomes beginning with 2560×1440 and the gaining in reputation 3840×2160 (4K UHD). These resolutions are extra becoming for the playing cards we’re testing because the 1080p outcomes with these playing cards can have a glass ceiling on them from the CPU (even at Four.7 GHz).

2560 x 1440 Outcomes

Throughout the 2560×1440 outcomes, we aren’t seeing a lot of a distinction right here both between FE card and the MSI providing with its barely larger clock speeds.

4K UHD Outcomes

Shifting as much as 4K UHD we begin to see a little bit of separation however nothing to put in writing residence about. These playing cards on this testing surroundings with these titles carry out near the identical with the MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio maybe having a slight lead.


Overclocking with the MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio was as simple because the FE playing cards. The overclocking outcomes we see within the graphs above are with growing the reminiscence speeds as nicely. Within the FE assessment, I let the OC Scanner presently solely discovered within the EVGA software program do its magic which solely raised the core. I attempted that this time round as properly and it ended up with a “+96” worth. I plugged that into the core and it labored with out difficulty. Including +96 to the core resulted in 1611 MHz base clock with 1956 MHz increase. When testing, this resulted in a clock velocity of 2070 MHz which is seemingly round common if not a bit above. The reminiscence topped out at 2002 MHz (8000 MHz GDDR6). Any extra clocks on each and we began to see artifacts in addition to beginning to hit energy restrict which might then drop increase bins. Alongside these strains, the facility restrict is about to 10% right here which with an MSI said TDP of 260 W, this can permit the cardboard to simply accept round 286 W earlier than it hits that restrict.

2070 MHz Core (precise), and 2000 Mhz (8000 GDDR6) Reminiscence.

The newest version of MSI Afterburner is pictured under. Whereas it is going to management (however doesn’t formally help) the Turing based mostly video playing cards, it doesn’t have the NVIDIA OC Scanner built-in so these wishing to make use of the MSI software program with the MSI card and the OC Scanner are out of luck till a brand new model is launched which incorporates it. That stated, the software program is ready to regulate the followers, voltage, and overclock the playing cards manually.

MSI Afterburner Beta 9

Temperatures and Energy Use

We check energy consumption by operating via the sport benchmarks of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and F1 2018 at each inventory speeds, and whereas overclocked. We monitor temperatures all through this testing with the height temperature what’s listed within the knowledge under. To be able to extra precisely simulate actual gaming circumstances, the benchmarks are prolonged (time) to permit the cardboard to settle.

System Energy Consumption

Energy consumption for the MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio has surprisingly are available a bit lower than the FE card we’ve got examined by a few %. In inventory type, the cardboard peaks at 381 W on the wall in F1 2018 whereas SoTR hits 357 W. Overclocking the reminiscence and core leads to F1 2018 hitting 407 W and SoTR 383 W. Idle use sits at 72 W with this driver. It’s reported that the newest driver, 411.70, lowers idle energy use. To that finish, we noticed a Four W drop on system energy use when utilizing the brand new driver, a few 6% discount in idle use to 68 W.


Temperatures on this large cooler proved to be notably higher than the FE version with the cardboard peaking at 67 °C whereas overclocked. The followers barely ramped up at that velocity, however nonetheless stored the cardboard cool throughout our testing. The TRI-FROZR design options Zero Frozr know-how which turns the followers off under a selected temperature threshold so idle searching and lightweight work workloads, the cardboard is totally silent.


Now that we now have seen how the cardboard performs its time to speak the top recreation. Priced at $849.99 at Newegg the MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio is listed above the FE card pricing by round $50 (MSRP for the MSI card is $829, notice). What customers get for the extra $50 (or round 6% extra) over NVIDIA playing cards is a a lot bigger, quieter, and extra environment friendly heatsink together with what some will say improved aesthetics. If a consumer occurs to be in search of RGB LEDs, a companion card resembling this one should be the best way to go. This worth level locations the cardboard proper in the midst of most different associate RTX 2080s with some coming in inexpensive and a few extra. For instance, the EVGA RTX 2080 XC Extremely is priced at $849 as properly utilizing a twin fan cooling answer barely elevated core clocks with the MSI answer providing the quicker out of field answer by specs (we could have a evaluate of that EVGA RTX 2080 XC Extremely in a few weeks). The distinction between manufacturers coming from the heatsinks used, energy supply, and clocks out of the field.

About the one complaints with this card merely come from the sheer measurement of it. Measuring in over a foot lengthy and 5.5″ excessive, potential consumers will want to ensure no matter case they’re plan to make use of will match the beast. Outdoors of that, the cardboard was silent on idle/desktop and when gaming, the default fan curve proved to work fairly properly protecting the cardboard cool and temperatures down. In reality, we noticed a 10 °C distinction between the FE temperatures and this card with a presumably greater TDP. It’s clear the TRI-FROZR cooler does the job nicely.

With the efficiency of the cardboard so shut in our testing, the worth proposition for this card, and what is going to find yourself being most playing cards, comes right down to its potential to maintain the cardboard cool and quiet throughout regular operations and particularly overclocked situations. On this case, the MSI RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio proved to be a strong performer on that entrance operating notably cooler and quieter, even with a better base TDP and through overclocking. If a consumer is planning on pushing issues and enjoys quiet operations, companion playing cards just like the MSI Gaming Trio X look to suit the invoice and at an inexpensive improve in worth over the FE fashions.

Click on to seek out out what this implies

Joe Shields (Earthdog)

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