MSI conducted a slight refresh of their TwinFrozr cooler design for their GeForce 10 cards. The differences are small, but the card definitely looks good. On the back, you will find a metal backplate with an MSI Dragon. Dimensions of the card are 28.0 cm x 14.5 cm.
Installation requires three slots in your system. The actual thickness of the card is 2.5 slots, so there is some space left for SLI airflow.
Display connectivity options include a DVI port, two HDMI ports, and two DisplayPorts. Note that one DisplayPort has been switched to HDMI, which seems to cater to users who are looking to either run two VR headsets or a VR headset and TV off their graphics card. Also, the DVI port has been brought back, which was missing on the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition.
Unlike previous-generation NVIDIA cards, the DVI port no longer includes the analog signal, so you'll have to use an active adapter. NVIDIA also updated DisplayPort to be 1.2 certified and 1.3/1.4 ready, which enables support for 4K at 120 Hz and 5K @ 60 Hz, or 8K @ 60 Hz with two cables.
The GPU also comes with an HDMI sound device. It is HDMI 2.0b compatible, which supports HD audio and Blu-ray 3D movies. The GPU's video-encoding unit has been updated to support HEVC at 10-bit and 12-bit.
With Pascal, NVIDIA made some changes to how SLI works. In a nutshell, for 4K at 60 Hz and above, NVIDIA recommends new high-bandwidth SLI bridges it dubbed "SLI HB." These bridges occupy both SLI fingers. Traditional triple- and quad-SLI setups are gone as well. Only certain benchmarks can run more than the dual-SLI setup to which all games are limited.
When installed inside the case, there is no visible sagging, bending, or warping.
Pictured above are the front and back, showing the disassembled board. High-res versions are also available (front, back).