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MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio Review

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MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio Conclusion:

Any way you cut it, the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio is one hell of a video card. Starting from the word "go," it delivered performance well above that of the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition card in each and every benchmark. No doubt this is because of the factory boost clock speed of 1683MHz. As we all know, the factory boost clock is just the starting point for core clock speed as every Pascal-based card I have tested has outpaced the factory rating by a wide margin. At least until the thermals start ramping up. At this point, the GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio has an advantage over Founders Edition cards. This card is able to stay cooler for longer, resulting in a higher longer-term average core clock speed that drives FPS performance.

By using an absolutely huge Tri Fan cooling solution with six heat pipes (four 6 mm and two 8mm) going through a pair of wave curved aluminum fin arrays, MSI is able to manage the thermals of not only the Pascal GP 102 core, but the memory and Military Class VRM components as well via MSI's Close Quarters cooling package. By using three Torx 2.0 fans, MSI is able to better direct where the airflow is going and better manage the thermals. Running cooler temperatures is always a bonus with electronics. With three fans you might think the card is loud, but you would be wrong. MSI's Torx 2.0 ball bearing equipped fans with dispersion blade fans help push more airflow with less noise. 

One of the benefits for the consumer is that you can push the clock speeds up as high as your hardware will allow with the cooling package and Military Class components. This does come at a cost, however, as power consumption is at the high end of the scale. But hey, this is a halo card running at pretty high speeds out of the box as well. There are just a handful of cards on the market with factory boost clock speeds that are higher than what you get from MSI on the GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio. While the out-of-the-box core clock speed is definitely an advantage, there is a bit more meat on the bone when you start overclocking as I have found with most Pascal cards. This GTX 1080 Ti has had the highest overclock of the three I have tested and was easily able to maintain that clock speed under load. 

One thing you will find is that this thing is a beast in more ways than one. The performance and cooling are a given, but the GTX 1080 Ti Trio has some weight to it. At over three pounds, that's a bit of weight hanging off the PCIe slot. MSI has a fix that alleviates the problem with the weight by including a support bracket. I found it worked well enough to support the card and I don't carry my case around, so once it's set up it will stay that way for the life of the system.

MSI includes some additional software packages with this card, including the Gaming App that lets you set any one of three selected profiles: Silent with reduced clock speeds, Gaming with moderately boosted clock speeds, and the OC setting that gives you the maximum boost clock speeds. MSI's Mystic Lighting allows you to customize the LED package on this card and coordinate the effects with any Mystic Light supported accessory. The card's LED assembly is easily visible through a case window and goes well with RGB motherboards and memory. 

Priced at $799, this card is not a budget proposition by any means, but it is one of the highest performing GTX 1080 Ti cards on the market. Currently, NVIDIA is offering up Destiny 2 if you are buying a GTX 1080 or GTX 1080 Ti video card to entice you to step on up to the plate. If you have to run the best stuff on the market, a GTX 1080 Ti is going to be your choice for a video card. Why not take a look at what MSI brings to the table, as this card definitely is going to deliver a great gaming experience all the way up to 4K resolutions, doing so while running cool and quiet.  

Due to mining price on this card currently is $1199US. :(

Pros:

  • FPS performance
  • RGB lighting
  • Mystic Lighting
  • Gaming App
  • Military Class components
  • Massive Tri Frozr cooling solution
  • Overclocking potential

Cons:

  • Pricing
  • Power consumption
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