MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X Review - The Biggest Graphics Card in the World 114

MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X Review - The Biggest Graphics Card in the World

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MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X graphics is the company's new premium custom-design implementation of the RTX 3080 "Ampere." With it, the company is debuting its new "Suprim" brand extension positioned a notch above the MSI Gaming X Trio line of graphics cards. It's likely that Suprim X is the new Gaming Z since the company in the past probably had to fight the perception that Gaming Z is just an overclocked Gaming X when in fact it would usually come with certain physical improvements. In addition to a more upmarket design than the Gaming X Trio, the RTX 3080 Suprim X comes with higher clock speeds and a handful exclusive features. MSI is reserving the Suprim X treatment for high-end GPUs only, beginning with the RTX 3090, RTX 3080, and RTX 3070. In this review, we take a look at the RTX 3080 Suprim X, but we'll also have a review of the RTX 3090 Suprim for you soon.

The GeForce RTX 3080 is the first "Ampere" graphics card based on NVIDIA's first consumer graphics architecture in close to two years. The company was first to introduce real-time raytracing for gaming with its path-breaking RTX 20-series "Turing" in 2018, and "Ampere" is an exercise in making raytracing have much less of a performance impact than with the previous generation. While purely raytraced interactive 3D remains a very long-term engineering goal due to the enormity of required compute power, NVIDIA realized that conventional raster 3D can be combined with certain raytraced elements, such as lighting, shadows, reflections, global illumination, and ambient occlusion, to uplift graphics realism way beyond what's possible with raster 3D, even with the latest DirectX 12 feature set, and innovated the RTX technology. With "Ampere," NVIDIA is introducing its 2nd generation, which adds even more hardware-accelerated RTX effects and improves performance. The RTX 3080 is designed to make AAA gaming with raytracing possible at 4K (UHD) at 60 Hz.

The new GeForce "Ampere" graphics architecture marks the debut of 2nd generation RTX, which combines new "Ampere" CUDA cores that double throughput over the previous generation by leveraging concurrent FP32+INT32 math operations per clock cycle, new 2nd generation RT cores, which double the BVH traversal and intersection performance over "Turing" RT cores and add new fixed-function hardware that enables raytraced motion-blur; and the new 3rd generation Tensor core inspired by the cores that power the A100 Tensor Core HPC processor, which leverage the sparsity phenomenon in deep-learning neural networks to increase AI inference performance by an order of magnitude over the previous generation. NVIDIA leverages AI to power its raytracing denoiser and enable its DLSS performance enhancement. With "Ampere," NVIDIA is introducing 8K DLSS, which lets you play at 8K resolution.

The GeForce RTX 3080 features close to triple the number of CUDA cores as the RTX 2080, at 8,704 vs. 2,944. It also features 68 2nd Gen RT cores, 272 3rd Gen Tensor cores, 272 TMUs, and 96 ROPs. To keep all this compute muscle fed with a steady stream of data, NVIDIA partnered with Micron Technology to innovate an exclusive new memory technology it calls GDDR6X, which on the RTX 3080 offers staggering data rates of 19 Gbps, instead of up to 16 Gbps of conventional GDDR6. NVIDIA is also widening the memory bus to 320-bit and increasing the memory amount to 10 GB. The RTX 3080 enjoys 760 GB/s of memory bandwidth. There several other next-gen technologies, such as support for the new PCI-Express 4.0 x16 bus, latest DisplayPort 1.4a and HDMI 2.1 connectors that support 8K over a single cable, and AV1 decode acceleration. The RTX 3080 is based on the same "big" silicon as the RTX 3090, the "GA102" built on the Samsung 8 FFN silicon fabrication process.

The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X is possibly the only custom-design card that can give the NVIDIA Founders Edition a run for its money in a beauty contest. Top-grade brushed aluminium finishes off the cooler shroud and backplate, crafted to perfection and covering a meaty aluminium fin-stack heatsink that pulls heat over squared "core pipe" heat-pipes which make better contact with the GPU over a nickel-plated copper base plate and high conductivity thermal compound. The fin-stack is ventilated by a trio of evenly sized TorX 4.0 fans that feature webbed impellers for guided axial airflow and double-ball bearings. The cooler also features a flattened heat pipe dedicated to pulling heat from the memory chips on the PCB.

MSI is giving the RTX 3080 Suprim X its highest factory overclock thus far, with GPU Boost set at 1905 MHz—compared to the 1710 MHz reference and 1815 MHz of the RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio. It's also the most expensive air-cooled RTX 3080 from MSI, priced at $900, a $200 premium over the Founders Edition and $140 premium over the Gaming X Trio. In this review, we take a very close look at the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X to tell you if this huge premium is justified.

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
RX 6800$5803840961815 MHz2105 MHz2000 MHzNavi 2123000M16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RX 6800 XT$65046081282015 MHz2250 MHz2000 MHzNavi 2123000M16 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 3080$7008704961440 MHz1710 MHz1188 MHzGA10228000M10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit
MSI RTX 3080
Suprim X
$9008704961440 MHz1905 MHz1188 MHzGA10228000M10 GB, GDDR6X, 320-bit
RTX 3090$1500104961121395 MHz1695 MHz1219 MHzGA10228000M24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit
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