MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio Review 44

MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio Review

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The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio is the company's premium offering based on NVIDIA's landmark RTX 3080 "Ampere" graphics card released earlier this week. The Gaming X brand represents a category-defining line of graphics cards by MSI that combine premium factory-overclocked performance with aesthetics that go with contemporary DIY gaming PC builds. The new Gaming X board design sees the use of a large triple-slot, triple-fan cooling solution to tame the overclocked RTX 3080, along with more visible ARGB lighting elements than the previous generation. The company figured out that when installed in the case, the backplate and top of the card are more visible than the front with the fan intakes. We also see better symmetry in the design and arrangement of the three fans.

The GeForce RTX 3080 is being labeled by NVIDIA as their new flagship product, with a promise of bringing AAA 4K UHD gaming with raytracing at price-points previously held by 1440p-class graphics cards. The RTX 3080 is also designed to offer high refresh-rate gameplay at 1440p and 1080p resolutions. The new Ampere graphics architecture by NVIDIA heralds the 2nd generation of the company's path-breaking RTX real-time raytracing technology. NVIDIA perfected a means of combining traditional raster 3D graphics with certain real-time raytraced elements, such as lighting, shadow, reflections, ambient occlusion, and global illumination, to make the hybrid raster+raytraced 3D scene as true to life as possible.

The 2nd generation RTX technology with Ampere sees NVIDIA introduce a new double-throughput CUDA core that can process concurrent FP32+INT32 operations; the 2nd generation RT core has fixed-function hardware to process temporal elements of raytracing, enabling new RTX effects, such as raytraced motion blur, an effect that was earlier post-processed and inaccurate; and the new 3rd generation Tensor core that shares much of its design with the heavy-duty Tensor cores of the A100 Tensor Core AI HPC processor NVIDIA launched this Spring, which leverages the sparsity phenomenon in deep-learning neural nets to increase AI inference performance by an order of magnitude.

NVIDIA has also more than doubled the SIMD horsepower of the RTX 3080 over its predecessor, the RTX 2080, with a staggering 8,704 CUDA cores, 68 RT cores, 272 tensor cores, 272 TMUs, and 96 ROPs. To feed all this compute muscle, NVIDIA has also significantly upgraded the memory solution—10 GB of new GDDR6X memory clocked at 19 Gbps over a 320-bit wide memory interface, which works out to 760 GB/s of bandwidth, a 70% increase over the previous generation. The new "GA102" silicon at the heart of the RTX 3080 is built on a new 8 nm silicon fabrication process Samsung designed specially for NVIDIA. The card also takes advantage of PCI-Express 4.0 x16, which means it is ready for new-generation desktop platforms.

The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio builds on NVIDIA's strengths with a powerful new board design capable of powering the RTX 3080 with up to 525 W of power even though the chip's TDP is around 340 W. The card sticks to conventional 8-pin PCIe power inputs, and its cooling solution features multiple aluminium fin stacks held together by seven 6 mm-thick copper heat pipes that make direct contact with the GPU at the base; these are ventilated by 95 mm fans.

With a length of 32 cm, the card isn't extremely long, which should have it fit inside most mid-tower cases. MSI is bolstering the RTX 3080 with factory-overclocked speeds of 1815 MHz GPU Boost (vs. 1710 MHz reference). The memory is left untouched. MSI is pricing the Gaming X Trio at $760, a $60 premium over the NVIDIA baseline price of $700 for the RTX 3080. In this review, we put the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio through its paces to see if it is a better value proposition than the RTX 3080 Founders Edition we reviewed yesterday.

GeForce RTX 3080 Market Segment Analysis
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
RTX 3080$7008704961440 MHz1710 MHz1188 MHzGA10228000M10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit
MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio$7608704961485 MHz1815 MHz1188 MHzGA10228000M10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit
RTX 3090$1500104961121395 MHz1695 MHz1219 MHzGA10228000M24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit
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