MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Review 28

MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Review

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Introduction

MSI Logo

Today, we bring you our review of the MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio, the company's premium implementation of the newly launched RTX 3070 "Ampere" performance-segment GPU. MSI has always managed to surprise us with the power, noise, and factory-OC optimization of its Gaming X and Gaming Z lines of premium custom-design graphics cards, and we have the same expectations form this one. Right off the bat we see that the card looks almost identical to the MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio, which is a huge card. This means all that cooling muscle is being used to tame a GPU that's much smaller and with 100 W less typical board power than the RTX 3080, which bodes well for the card's noise and thermals on paper, right away.

The GeForce RTX 3070 is an important product for NVIDIA as it offers more than double the performance per dollar than the RTX 2080 Ti, and NVIDIA claims the RTX 3070 even beats it. This would mean the RTX 3070 is able to do the same things as the RTX 2080 Ti—maxed out gaming at 1440p with RTX-on, and 4K UHD gaming with reasonably high settings, including mid-tier settings of RTX. This would bring 4K UHD gaming to an even wider audience while also delivering high refresh-rate gaming to the 1440p and 1080p e-sports segments. At the heart of the RTX 3070 is the new 8 nm "GA104" silicon, which is much smaller than the "GA102" that powers the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090. The RTX 3070 nearly maxes out the "GA104." NVIDIA cut costs where it could by giving this card the same 8 GB of 14 Gbps, 256-bit GDDR6 memory as the RTX 2070. For the full details on RTX 3070 technology and architecture, refer to our RTX 3070 Founders Edition article.



Switching gears back to our MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio review sample, we see that the card uses the same awesome Tri Frozr 2 cooling solution as the RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio series. This cooler features a large aluminium fin-stack heatsink to which heat is drawn from six copper heat-pipes that are bunched up in the middle to form the GPU contact base—a technology MSI calls Core Pipe. The heatsink is ventilated by three identically sized TorX 2 fans featuring webbed impellers to direct all their airflow axially. The biggest perk of picking up this premium RTX 3070 is the RGB bedazzlement you get with the card, with a large silicon diffuser along the top edge of the card that's most visible when viewed from your case's window; and RGB elements along the top of the card near the fans. Under the hood is a custom PCB optimized for high power limits, which draws power from two 8-pin PCIe power connectors for sufficient physical headroom to raise power. With factory-overclocked speeds of 1830 MHz (compared to 1725 MHz reference), this card has the highest clock speeds on paper. But many more factors go into putting those clock speeds to use. In this review, we take the MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio for a spin to tell you if it's worth paying a $60 premium over the $500 baseline pricing for the RTX 3070.

GeForce RTX 3070 Market Segment Analysis
 PriceShader
Units
ROPsCore
Clock
Boost
Clock
Memory
Clock
GPUTransistorsMemory
RX 5700$3302304641465 MHz1625 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
GTX 1080$3302560641607 MHz1733 MHz1251 MHzGP1047200M8 GB, GDDR5X, 256-bit
RTX 2060 Super$3802176641470 MHz1650 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX Vega 64$400 4096641247 MHz1546 MHz953 MHzVega 1012500M8 GB, HBM2, 2048-bit
GTX 1080 Ti$6503584881481 MHz1582 MHz1376 MHzGP10212000M11 GB, GDDR5X, 352-bit
RX 5700 XT$3702560641605 MHz1755 MHz1750 MHzNavi 1010300M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070$3402304641410 MHz1620 MHz1750 MHzTU10610800M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2070 Super$4502560641605 MHz1770 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
Radeon VII$6803840641802 MHzN/A1000 MHzVega 2013230M16 GB, HBM2, 4096-bit
RTX 2080$6002944641515 MHz1710 MHz1750 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Super$6903072641650 MHz1815 MHz1940 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Ti$10004352881350 MHz1545 MHz1750 MHzTU10218600M11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit
RTX 3070$5005888961500 MHz1725 MHz1750 MHzGA10417400M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
MSI RTX 3070
Gaming X Trio
$5605888961500 MHz1830 MHz1750 MHzGA10417400M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3080$7008704961440 MHz1710 MHz1188 MHzGA10228000M10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit
RTX 3090$1500104961121395 MHz1695 MHz1219 MHzGA10228000M24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit

Packaging

Package Front
Package Back


The Card

Graphics Card Front
Graphics Card Back
Graphics Card Front Angled

For their RTX3070, MSI has reused the design for their GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio. The card is dominated by black with some gray highlights. The three fans are 95 mm in diameter. On the other side is a backplate.

Graphics Card Dimensions

Dimensions of the card are 32 x 14 cm.

Graphics Card Height
Graphics Card Back Angled

Installation requires three slots in your system.

Monitor Outputs, Display Connectors

Display connectivity options include three standard DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1. The DisplayPort 1.4a outputs support Display Stream Compression (DSC) 1.2a, which lets you connect 4K displays at 120 Hz and 8K displays at 60 Hz. Ampere can drive two 8K displays at 60 Hz with just one cable per display.

Ampere is the first GPU to support HDMI 2.1, which increases bandwidth to 48 Gbps to support higher resolutions, like 4K144 and 8K30, with a single cable. With DSC, this goes up to 4K240 and 8K120. NVIDIA's new NVENC/NVDEC video engine is optimized to handle video tasks with minimal CPU load. The highlight here is added support for AV1 decode. Just like on Turing, you may also decode MPEG-2, VC1, VP8, VP9, H.264, and H.265 natively, at up to 8K@12-bit.

The encoder is identical to Turing. It supports H.264, H.265 and lossless at up to 8K@10-bit.

Graphics Card Power Plugs

Unlike the NVIDIA Founders Edition card that uses the new 12-pin power input, MSI sticks to industry standard PCIe power inputs. Together with the PCIe slot, this 8+8 power configuration is specified to supply up to 375 W of power.

Multi-GPU Area

The GeForce RTX 3070 does not support SLI. Only the RTX 3090 does, and it has very limit SLI support.

Teardown

Graphics Card Cooler Front
Graphics Card Cooler Back

MSI uses six heatpipes that make direct contact with the GPU surface. The main heatsink also provides cooling for the memory chips and VRM circuitry.


The backplate is made out of a plastic/carbon mix, which MSI calls "graphene". It protects the card against damage during installation and handling. Note the thermal pads, which soak up a little bit of heat from the GPU area and VRMs.


Near the top of the card, a metal bracket is attached the the PCB and IO shield, which improved torsion strength of the card to protect against sagging.


An additional heatsink has been placed on the GPU MOSFETs.

High-resolution PCB Pictures

These pictures are for the convenience of volt modders and people who would like to see all the finer details on the PCB. Feel free to link back to us and use these in your articles or forum posts.

Graphics Card Teardown PCB Front
Graphics Card Teardown PCB Back


High-res versions are also available (front, back).

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