MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio Review 36

MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio Review

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The MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio is the king of the hill for the company, based on the top-dog NVIDIA RTX 3090 "Ampere" GPU with an astounding 24 GB of GDDR6X memory. The Gaming X brand represents MSI's finest combination of performance, cooling, and noise-optimization, along with the right aesthetics for DIY high-end gaming PC builds. In this MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio review we'll check how well it can unleash the RTX 3090 out of its "stock" comfort zone by letting you tap into higher power limits. The Gaming X board design also sees the company's latest triple-slot, triple-fan cooling solution. With this generation of the MSI design, you'll see much of the RGB embellishments relocated to the backplate and towards the top edge of the card. MSI figured out that you're more likely to revel upon your graphics card from this angle.

NVIDIA changed its approach to the higher-end of its product stack with the GeForce RTX 30-series "Ampere." The RTX 3080 launched last week has already been proclaimed the new "flagship" product by NVIDIA, in marketing material that also contains the RTX 3090. This means the company intends for the RTX 3090 to address a different market—halo premium. While the RTX 3080 was shown beating the previous-generation flagship, the RTX 2080 Ti, the RTX 3090 was extensively compared with the TITAN RTX—a $2,500 halo product based on Turing. Much like the TITAN, the RTX 3090 is designed to transcend market segment barriers between gaming and professional visualization. Helping matters here are NVIDIA's highly capable Studio drivers. The 24 GB memory amount, NVIDIA believes, helps in various creator use cases.

This doesn't necessarily mean the RTX 3090 doesn't bring anything to the table with gaming. On the contrary, this is the SKU with which NVIDIA wants to take a stab at the 8K gaming frontier. 8K is no joke; it's four times the pixels of 4K, and sixteen times those of Full HD. To accomplish this, NVIDIA developed the new DLSS 8K feature, which leverages AI and deep learning to perform a bold 9X AI upscaling of 1440p rendering on supported games. 8K gaming monitors haven't yet arrived, but target buyers for RTX 3090 could be early adopters of 8K TVs. Helping matters here are NVIDIA's implementation of HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 1.4a, which enable 8K HDR 60 Hz with a single cable.

NVIDIA leveraged a common silicon for the RTX 3090 and RTX 3080, so only a single kind of ASIC has to be built for this relatively low volume market segment. The 8 nm "GA102" is a mammoth piece of silicon with over 28 billion transistors, which is almost maxed out on the RTX 3090 by enabling all but one TPC (two SM) on the silicon, resulting in 10,496 CUDA cores, 328 tensor cores, 82 RT cores, and a 384-bit wide GDDR6X memory interface holding 24 GB of memory that ticks at a blistering 19.5 Gbps—940 GB/s of bandwidth.

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 until now 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.

The MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio is designed to unleash the RTX 3090 GPU, which even in its reference avatar comes with 350 W typical board power. As you'll see in the next page, the card introduces the Tri Frozr 2 cooling solution with many segment-first features. The card also ships with factory-overclocked speeds of 1785 MHz GPU Boost (vs. 1695 MHz reference). MSI is pricing the RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio at $1590, a $90 premium over the $1,500 baseline pricing for the RTX 3090. In this MSI RTX 3090 Gaming X review, we put the card through its paces against our vast selection of graphics cards and games, and test the card's overclocking capabilities.

GeForce RTX 3090 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$6903072961650 MHz1815 MHz1940 MHzTU10413600M8 GB, GDDR6, 256-bit
RTX 2080 Ti$10004352881350 MHz1545 MHz1750 MHzTU10218600M11 GB, GDDR6, 352-bit
RTX 3070$5005888641500 MHz1725 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
MSI RTX 3090
Gaming X Trio
$1590104961121395 MHz1785 MHz1219 MHzGA10228000M24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit
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