NVIDIA's $650 GeForce GTX 1080 Ti launch announcement brought cheer to two other market segments. With the GTX 1080 Ti, NVIDIA innovated improvements to its memory controller that let it address memory at higher clocks. It armed the GTX 1080 Ti with 11 Gbps GDDR5X memory, which let it more than make up for the slightly narrower memory bus in comparison to the TITAN X Pascal. It simultaneously announced product updates to the $500 GeForce GTX 1080 and $230 GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB, with the GTX 1080 receiving this faster 11 Gbps GDDR5X memory and the GTX 1060 6 GB receiving 9 GHz GDDR5 memory.
The idea here is to give the GTX 1080 and GTX 1060 6 GB the kind of performance-boosting updates NVIDIA usually reserves for product rebrands since the two are less than a year old, and the company hopes to prevent the GTX 1080 from withering away in the wake of the GTX 1080 Ti launch, much in the same way its predecessor, the GTX 980, lost market to the GTX 980 Ti launch. There's also a huge 35% performance gap between the original GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti, which NVIDIA may want to narrow, probably to preempt the AMD Radeon Vega.
The new-gen GTX 1080 is every bit identical to the original. The magic happens with the new 11 Gbps-rated memory chips and an updated video BIOS, which tells the GP104's memory controllers how to work reliably at 11 Gbps. These SKU updates have prompted a slew of new product launches from NVIDIA add-in board partners. The refreshed GTX 1080 and GTX 1060 6 GB are clearly distinguished from the originals by memory speed markings in the SKU label (that green square in the bottom-right corner of the graphics card box).
In this review, we're taking a look at the new MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X Plus, armed with 11 Gbps GDDR5X memory. MSI introduced the "Gaming X Plus" brand extension with updated GTX 1080 and GTX 1060 6 GB graphics cards, besides its Radeon RX 580 lineup. It is positioned between the Gaming X and top-tier Gaming Z extension. The card features slightly higher GPU clocks than the original GTX 1080 Gaming X, besides the faster memory. It also features the same TwinFrozr VI cooling solution, mated with a custom-design PCB.
GTX 980 Ti
|Radeon R9 |
|MSI GeForce GTX |
1080 Gaming X+
GTX 1080 Ti
Titan X Pascal
|Memory Size||6 GB||4 GB||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB||11 GB||12 GB|
|Memory Bus Width||384 bit||4096 bit||256 bit||256 bit||256 bit||352 bit||384 bit|
|Core Clock||1000 MHz+||1050 MHz||1506 MHz+||1607 MHz+||1683 MHz+||1481 MHz+||1418 MHz+|
|Memory Clock||1750 MHz||500 MHz||2002 MHz||1251 MHz||1376 MHz||1376 MHz||1251 MHz|