The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X is possibly the largest graphics card in the market, with dimensions and aesthetics that make the already large RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio look much smaller. A premium brushed aluminium shroud dominates much of the card, with cleverly designed cutouts for the vents and some sharp edges and RGB LED diffusers. The amount of RGB bling is about the same as for the Gaming X Trio, but somehow comes across as more subtle and classy.
Dimensions of the card are 33.5 x 14 cm. This is a very long card, please beware of the dimensions.
See what I mean? The Suprim X is huge, noticeably bigger than the Gaming X Trio or even RTX 3090 FE. The two small cards on the left? Those are the RTX 3080 Founders Edition and Radeon RX 6800 XT—not so small at all.
Installation requires three slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include three standard DisplayPort 1.4a and one HDMI 2.1. Interestingly, the USB-C port for VR headsets, which NVIDIA introduced on the Turing Founders Editions, has been removed—guess it didn't take off as planned. 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.
This BIOS switch lets you toggle between the default (silent) BIOS and a "gaming" BIOS, which runs a more aggressive fan curve for lower temperatures. Both BIOSes have idle fan stop. As you can see on page 30, the gaming BIOS runs slightly higher clocks.
Unlike the NVIDIA Founders Edition card that introduces the new 12-pin power input, MSI sticks to the industry standard 8-pin PCIe power inputs, but there are three of these. Combined with PCIe slot power, this configuration is rated for 525 W.
The GeForce RTX 3080 does not support SLI. Its bigger brother, the RTX 3090, has SLI support. As both are based on the GA102 GPU, it's purely a segmentation choice. Multi-GPU really isn't supported widely anymore, so it's no big deal.
The MSI Suprim X cooling solution for the RTX 3080 features two large aluminium fin-stacks at either ends of seven square heat pipes. A mirror-finish, nickel-plated copper base pulls heat from the GPU, while a flattened heat pipe runs around this plate, pulling heat from the surrounding memory chips. Thermal pads for the memory make contact with both this heat pipe and the GPU base plate.
Here, you can see the square heatpipes—note how snugly they use the available space.
An L-shaped metal bit provides structural reinforcement for the card, counteracting PCB bending over time.
The backplate is made out of aluminium and features a groovy-looking, illuminated MSI Gaming logo ornament. Although there are no memory chips on the reverse side of the RTX 3080 Suprim X PCB, the backplate also features thermal pads that make contact with the PCB to pull some heat from the memory and VRM areas.