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MSI GTX 1080 & GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G Overclocking Review

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MSI GTX 1080 & GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G Overclocked Testing:

Temperature Testing:

Temperature testing will be accomplished by loading the video card to 100% using Unigine Heaven Benchmark Version 4.0, with MSI Afterburner overclocking utility for temperature monitoring. I will be using a resolution of 1920 x 1080 using 8x AA and a five-run sequence to run the test, ensuring that the maximum thermal threshold is reached. The fan speed will be left in the control of the driver package and video card BIOS for the stock load test, with the fan moved to 100% to see the best possible cooling scenario for the overclocked load test. The idle test will involve a twenty-minute cooldown, with the fan speeds left on automatic in the stock speed testing and bumped up to 100% when running overclocked.

 

Settings

  • Monitoring with MSI Afterburner
  • Unigine Heaven 4.0 1920 x 1080 8x AA
  • 5-run sequence
  • 20-minute idle duration
  • Temperature measured in degrees Celsius

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

Power Consumption:

Power consumption of the system will be measured at both idle and loaded states, taking into account the peak voltage of the system with each video card installed. I will use Unigine Heaven Benchmark version 4.0 to put a load onto the GPU using the settings below. A fifteen-minute load test will be used to heat up the GPU, with the highest power usage recorded as the final result. The idle results will be measured after fifteen minutes of inactivity on the system with the lowest recorded power usage as the final result.

Settings

  • Unigine 4.0 Heaven Benchmark
  • 1920x1080 resolution
  • 8x AA
  • 15-minute load test
  • 15-minute idle test
  • Measurement is in watts

 

 

 
 

 

While NVIDIA did a good job with the Founders Edition cooling solutions, MSI takes it to another level with the new Twin Frozr VI cooling solution used on both the GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G. When you look at the idle temperatures delivered by the MSI cards, it seems as though the delivered temperatures are a bit high by comparison. If that's what you see, you would be right. However, MSI uses Zero Frozr technology to run the cards as silent as possible when not managing a 3D load. Essentially, the Torx 2.0 fans do not run until a 3D load is present or the card reaches 60 °C. Once they ramp up, of course the cooling performance scales pretty well. When you apply an overclocking profile in MSI's Afterburner application that ramps the fans up to 100%, cooling performance follows with a 10% improvement in cooling over the Founders Edition cards. Just one more reason to go with an MSI Gaming X 8G card.

Lowering the power consumption has been a target for NVIDIA since the Fermi days. Each generation since has shown impressive power efficiency gains. NVIDIA's Pascal architecture built on a 16nm FinFET design goes one up from Maxwell in power efficiency. At idle, the MSI cards are using a bit more juice, both stock and overclocked, when you compare them to the Founders Edition cards from NVIDIA. Under load, MSI's cards are not quite as efficient as the Founders Editions cards, but a few watts difference won't break the bank when the cards push impressive performance results.

Final Thoughts:

What I have seen so far with Pascal overclocking is that there is a clock speed envelope you have to work within to get the most performance out of your cards. All four samples I have looked at have been in the 2050MHz to 2100MHz as the maximum sustained core clock speeds. For all the cool hardware on the MSI Gaming X 8G cards, the biggest impact comes from the cooling performance of the Twin Frozr VI cooling solution. Keeping the Pascal cores cool lets them run at higher average core clock speeds. As the temperature rises, the core clock speed starts to drop and it's visible when you look at the clock speed monitor in MSI's Afterburner application.

Overclocking these Gaming X 8G cards with Afterburner is a little more time consuming when you are finding the max core clock speeds, but once you dial it in it is an easier tool to use than EVGA Precision. Precision gives you an automatic tuning tool that helps you find the best voltage/clock speed curve for your card. However, MSI has a second application that has three pre-defined overclocking profiles that make overclocking a push button affair. MSI's Gaming App lets you choose from an overclocked, gaming, or silent profile to meet your FPS/noise needs. If you want to really get creative you can download and play with the mobile Afterburner app.

MSI has the hardware and software to maximize your FPS performance potential with this iteration of the Gaming video cards, the GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G and GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G.




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