MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X Review 111

MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X Review

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Introduction

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The MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X is the company's new flagship air-cooled graphics card; it also introduces the new Suprim brand extension denoting the highest grade of MSI engineering and performance tuning. Last week, we brought you our review of the RTX 3080 Suprim X and today, we have with us its bigger sibling. Actually, both the RTX 3080 Suprim X and RTX 3090 Suprim X are based on a nearly identical board design, but the silicon underneath—the mighty RTX 3090—and support for NVLink SLI is what's new. The Suprim X series is positioned a notch above the company's Gaming X Trio and likely a replacement for the company's Gaming Z brand, which probably had too many similarities in board design to the Gaming X to warrant a price increase. MSI is also giving its product stack a new class of graphics cards to compete against the likes of the EVGA air-cooled FTW3 Ultra. It's also taking a crack at NVIDIA's Founders Edition in the aesthetics department.

With the RTX 30-series "Ampere," NVIDIA reshaped the upper end of its GeForce GPU family. The RTX 3080 is designed to offer premium 4K UHD gaming with raytracing and is already being referred to as the company's flagship gaming graphics card. NVIDIA has been extensively comparing the RTX 3080 to the RTX 2080 Ti, which it convincingly beats. The new RTX 3090, on the other hand, is what NVIDIA is positioning as its new "halo" product with comparisons to the $2,500 TITAN RTX, while being $1,000 cheaper, starting at $1,500. Both the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 share a common piece of silicon, with the RTX 3090 almost maxing it out, while the RTX 3080 is quite cut down.



The GeForce Ampere graphics architecture represents the 2nd generation of the company's RTX technology, which combines conventional raster 3D graphics with certain real-time raytraced elements, such as lighting, shadows, reflections, ambient-occlusion, and global-illumination, to radically improve realism in games. Processing these in real time requires fixed-function hardware as they're extremely taxing on programmable shaders. The GeForce Ampere architecture hence combines the new Ampere CUDA core, which can handle concurrent FP32+INT32 math operations, significantly increasing performance over past generations; the new 2nd generation RT core, which in addition to double the ray intersection and BVH performance over Turing RT cores offers new hardware to accelerate raytraced motion blur; and the 3rd generation Tensor core, which leverages the sparsity phenomenon in AI deep-learning neural networks to increase AI inference performance by an order of magnitude over the previous generation.

NVIDIA is equipping the RTX 3090 with a mammoth 24 GB of video memory and targets it at creators as well, not just gamers. Creators can pair it with NVIDIA's feature-rich GeForce Studio drivers, while gamers can go with GeForce Game Ready drivers. That said, the RTX 3090 isn't strictly a creator's card, either. NVIDIA is taking a stab at the new 8K resolution for gaming, which is four times the pixels of 4K and sixteen times Full HD—not an easy task even for today's GPUs. The company hence innovated the new 8K DLSS feature, which leverages AI super-resolution to bring higher fidelity gaming than previously thought possible, for 8K.

As we mentioned earlier, the RTX 3090 is based on the 8 nm "GA102" silicon, nearly maxing it out. All but one of the 42 TPCs (84 streaming multiprocessors) are enabled, resulting in a CUDA core count of 10,496, along with 328 Tensor cores, 82 RT cores, 328 TMUs, and 112 ROPs. To achieve 24 GB, the RTX 3090 maxes out the 384-bit wide memory bus on the "GA102" and uses the fastest 19.5 Gbps GDDR6X memory, which gives the card an astounding 940 GB/s of memory bandwidth.

The MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X is designed to give NVIDIA's RTX 3090 Founders Edition a run for its money in a beauty contest, with lavish use of brushed aluminium in the construction of the cooler shroud, perfect symmetry throughout the card, and sharp edges beautifully finished off with RGB LED elements. The amount of illumination on this card is similar to the Gaming X Trio, but more tastefully designed. The RTX 3090 Suprim X also features MSI's highest factory overclock for the RTX 3090, with the core ticking at 1860 MHz (vs. 1695 MHz reference and 1785 MHz on the Gaming X Trio). MSI is pricing the RTX 3090 Suprim X at $1,750, a $250 premium over the NVIDIA baseline pricing and $160 pricier than the RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio. In this review, we find out if it's worth spending the extra money on this card over the Gaming X Trio, or even NVIDIA's Founders Edition.

GeForce RTX 3080 Market Segment Analysis
 PriceShader
Units
ROPsCore
Clock
Boost
Clock
Memory
Clock
GPUTransistorsMemory
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
RTX 3090$1500104961121395 MHz1695 MHz1219 MHzGA10228000M24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit
MSI RTX 3090
Suprim X
$1750104961121395 MHz1860 MHz1219 MHzGA10228000M24 GB, GDDR6X, 384-bit
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