MSI has created a new unique design for their RX 5700 XT Gaming X that looks nothing like their recent NVIDIA cards. The card is dominated by black and gray, with some red highlights. A high-quality metal backplate is included, too. Dimensions of the card are 29.5 x 14.0 cm.
Installation requires three slots in your system.
Display connectivity options include three standard DisplayPort 1.4a and an HDMI 2.0b.
AMD took the opportunity to update the display controllers handling these outputs by leveraging DSC 1.2a (display stream compression), which unlocks very high resolution and refresh-rate combinations over a single cable. Among the single-cable display modes supported are 8K 60 Hz (which took two DP 1.3 cables until now), 4K 240 Hz, and 1080p as high as 360 Hz. On top of these, the outputs support HDR and 30 bpc color-depth for better color accuracy in creative applications.
The board uses two 8-pin power connectors. This input configuration is specified for up to 375 watts of power draw.
AMD's Navi generation of GPUs no longer supports CrossFire. DirectX 12 does include its own set of multi-GPU capabilities, but implementation requires game developers to put serious development time into a feature only a tiny fraction of their customers might ever use.
MSI is using six heatpipes on their cooler, which not only cools the GPU chip, but also the voltage regulation circuitry.
Once the main heatsink is removed, an additional cooling plate becomes visible. It provides cooling for the memory chips, some minor VRM components and also helps protect against bending of the PCB because it's attached to the slot cover.
The backplate is made out of metal and protects the card against damage during installation and handling. Note how it has three thermal pads where the memory chips sit on the PCB to provide a little bit of extra cooling.
On the next page, we dive deep into the PCB layout and VRM configuration.