MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio Review 36

MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio Review

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Value and Conclusion

  • The MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio is currently listed online for $515.
  • Much faster than RTX 2070
  • Quietest graphics card we ever tested
  • Idle fan stop
  • Reasonably priced
  • Backplate included
  • Power limit increased
  • Low temperatures
  • Anti-sag brace included
  • RTX Raytracing and DLSS
  • Game bundle includes both Control and Wolfenstein: Youngblood
  • VESA Adaptive-Sync, HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.4, 8K support
  • Runs in power limiter most of the time, which complicates overclocking, too
  • Power limit not increased over Founders Edition
  • Memory not overclocked
Today, NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2070 Super is available on store shelves, and reviews of the AIC partner cards are allowed. All of NVIDIA's board partners have released Super models, and this review covers the MSI RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio—we have a total of six reviews today covering other vendors, and the RTX 2060 Super, too.

MSI has overclocked their RTX 2070 Gaming X Trio by +30 MHz rated boost, to 1800 MHz. This nets the card a performance gain of 3% over the RTX 2070 Super Founders Edition, which not a whole lot. The underlying reason for that is that MSI has not increased the board power limit, more on that later. The much more expensive RTX 2080 is 4% faster. With a 6% lead, the Gaming X Trio is faster than AMD's Radeon VII flagship, too, and the aging GTX 1080 Ti is 5% behind. AMD recently released the Navi-based Radeon RX 5700 XT—the Gaming X is 15% faster. With those performance numbers, we can easily recommend the card for gaming at 1440p.

The large triple-slot thermal solution MSI uses has its roots in their RTX 2080 lineup, so it brings plenty of cooling power to the table. Temperatures are improved by a solid 7°C over the Founders Edition. The real highlight is fan noise, though. With only 28 dBA at full load, the MSI RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio is the quietest graphics card we ever reviewed, and it delivers a ton of performance, too. In our review on Sunday, AMD's Radeon RX 5700 XT reached 27 dBA noise—1 dBA less than the MSI RTX 2070. The catch? AMD's card is sitting idle at the desktop emitting that noise level, while the MSI card is heavily loaded with games. Incredible! As expected, MSI's card also includes the highly popular idle-fan stop feature, which completely shuts off the card's fans during idle, desktop work, and light gaming. What I would also like to praise MSI for is that they don't hide fan-stop and low noise levels behind a dual-BIOS feature—their card's noise levels are perfect right out of the box.

Unfortunately, MSI did not increase their card's board power limit. It sits at the exact same 215 W as the Founders Edition. This of course costs potential performance for the overclock out of the box, which ASUS handled better today. In what looks like a BIOS bug, the maximum manual adjustment limit for power is lower than with the FE (240 W vs. 260 W). I'm sure MSI will fix this through a BIOS update in no time.

Overclocking was a bit complicated because the power limit messes with the manual overclock, like on most other Turing cards. Still, we managed to gain another 6% in real-life performance from OC. It would have been nice to see a memory overclock out of the box, which the chips can definitely take as our manual overclocking results show.

Unlike AMD's Radeon RX 5700 XT, the NVIDIA RTX Super lineup comes with support for raytracing hardware acceleration. While that's not the most important feature to have right now, it looks like game developers are picking up on it, and many upcoming titles have been announced to feature raytracing, so the future might be bright for RTX.

Priced at $515, the MSI RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio comes only with a $15 price increase over the NVIDIA Founders Edition, which is extremely reasonable. If that price holds true for the market, this is the RTX 2070 Super to get, especially if you value low noise—there is simply no better card on the market for that. In order to sweeten the deal, NVIDIA includes a two-game bundle with all RTX Super cards consisting of Wolfenstein: Youngblood and Control. Both titles come with support for NVIDIA RTX raytracing to show off the capabilities of their new technology.
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