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MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G Review

Price: $479

MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G Introduction:

NVIDIA's GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition came to market and filled a price and performance gap that the AMD Vega cards were filling between the Pascal-based GTX 1070 and GTX 1080. Testing proved that the GTX 1070 Ti filled the gap nicely at a competitive price point. AMD initially had some pricing that offered a price/performance advantage, but prices have since returned to the normal ranges. Or as normal as can be expected with the costs being driven by supply and demand. The Founders Edition card proved to deliver excellent FPS levels at both 1080p and 1440p resolutions and could even play at 4K with the settings reduced or optimized via NVIDIA's GeForce Experience.

MSI offers video cards from the basic end of the spectrum all the way up to the extreme. The MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G fits into the Gaming Series product stack, but does not carry the same red and black theme as that used on the "Gaming" branded cards. Hence the Titanium naming. The Titanium color theme makes this card the perfect match for any of the Titanium motherboards that MSI offers, including the MSI X370 Titanium for AMD's Ryzen processors. The MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G comes with the same core clock speeds as the Gaming X series card, with a Boost Clock speed of 1683MHz on the Pascal core and the same 8008MHz on the 8GB of high-speed GDDR5 memory. Features include support for Mystic lighting with RGB LED's on the shroud and Torx 2.0 fans with dual ball bearings and dispersion blade fans. On the PCB you get Close Quarters cooling and Military Class components.

Priced at $479 after rebate, this card from MSI is currently available for a $30 premium over the Founders Edition card. For that extra  $30, it looks like MSI might have some extra performance under the hood for us. Let's see if that holds true.     

MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G Closer Look:

NVIDIA's latest Pascal architecture is built around roughly the same GPC architecture that we have been seeing since Fermi. Enhancements were made at each generational shift through Kepler and Maxwell. The big changes for this go-round are the moves to the 16nm FinFET process and inclusion of the Simultaneous Multi-Projection Engine being incorporated into the Polymorph engine. The Pascal 16nm GP104 architecture uses four Graphics Processing Clusters, 19 Pascal Streaming Multiprocessors, and eight 32-bit memory controllers. In the GP104 iteration of the Pascal architecture, each GPC ships with a dedicated raster engine and five SMs. Each SM contains 128 CUDA cores, 256 KB of register file capacity, a 96 KB shared memory unit, 48 KB of total L1 cache storage, and eight texture units. For the 1070 Ti, it looks like the GPC count has been bumped to four to facilitate the addition of the four additional SM's used to fill out the hardware under the hood. This makes the GTX 1070 Ti more of a cutdown GTX 1080 than a bumped up GTX 1070. 

By using 19 Streaming Multiprocessors, you get a total of 2432 CUDA cores, 152 texture units, and 64 ROPs. Baseline clock speeds for the GP104 core on the GTX 1070 Ti Founders Edition and this card from MSI are 1607MHz with a boost clock of 1683MHz. However, since the launch of NVIDIA's Pascal architecture, the Pascal GPU will run at a higher dynamic frequency depending on the power and thermal operating conditions. MSI follows the memory requirements for the GTX 1070 Ti and is using 8GB of GDDR5 memory for the GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G. This configuration delivers a data rate of 8,000MHz running through a 256-bit bus.




MSI's packaging has continued with a specific theme over the past couple generations of video cards. The GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G is delivered with the MSI logo in the top left against an all-black background. At the bottom left you can see that the GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G is part of MSI's Gaming series of video cards. Along the bottom of the front are some basic specifications showing that this card comes with 8GB of GDDR5 memory; is a DirectX12 compatible card; and is VR Ready while supporting the NVIDIA ecosystem of GameWorks, Ansel, and VRWorks. The Titanium naming across the center lets you know you are getting something a little special. On the back are some additional features of the card, including the Mystic Lighting support, the basic feature set, and Military Class certified components. In the center, you get a view of what the card you pull out of the box will look like. The front is reminiscent of the GTX 1080 Gaming X I looked at last June, but with the Titanium color scheme and new backplate.

MSI's internal packaging keeps the black theme, with an MSI Gaming logo embossed on the accessory box. The card rides in a dense foam knockout to keep the card from damage during transit. Included with the card is a small package that gives the user a sheet with stickers with QR codes to share your experiences on social media, a quick start guide, driver disc, and warranty/thank you card.




Taking a look at the physical card shows that it is purely built as a Gaming Series card. From the large shroud over the six heat pipe-equipped Twin Frozr VI cooler and the robust backplate, this card is beefy. On the front, a pair of 100mm Torx 2.0 fans is the big visual cue that fit in the shroud with Titanium accents. A series of LED's light up the ribs on the shroud once the card is powered on.

If you compare the backplate to that used on the "Gaming Series" cards, the method used to ventilate the back side of the PCB has a series of slots instead of the series of directional arrows used on the Gaming cards. Both are attractive and functional designs. I also like the fact that the MSI Dragon logo and Titanium Branding stick out quite well with the light colored backplate. With a large cooler on the front the backplate is essential to keep the card from bending and is attached to the Close Quarters Cooling package under the fin array.

All this is packaged in a two-slot form factor so that putting a pair of these in an SLI configuration will allow you to run cool and quiet. From the side, the heat pipes are visible from the top and bottom, while the MSI logo is on the top of the shroud and is lit with LED's. At 11 inches in length, this card will fit in most chassis, although you want to have plenty of headroom as this card is taller than many custom cards to allow for the cooling and custom PCB.




Display connectivity for the MSI GTX GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G include a trio of DisplayPort 1.4 ports, a single HDMI 2.0b port, and a single dual-link DVI port that supports up to four independent displays at one time with six connector nodes. By using this configuration, the cards support 4K displays at 120Hz, 5K displays at 60Hz, and 8K displays at 60Hz by using a pair of cables. Pascal GPUs officially support PlayReady 3.0 (SL3000) and hardware level support of HEVC decode. MSI continues to use a tribal style design on the I/O panel to provide airflow out of the chassis when the fans are set to push the max air flow volume. The rear end of the card shows that the aluminum fin array covers a large portion of the card, while the Close Quarters Cooling package is visible under the Twin Frozr cooler.



Along the spine of the card is the High Bandwidth SLI connections that allow the user to pair a second GTX 1070 Ti up to your primary card for improved FPS performance or improved visual quality settings at higher resolutions. A tw-card Multi-GPU solution is actively supported. NVIDIA no longer recommends multi-GPU solutions with more than two video cards. As a 180W TDP card, a 6-pin and an 8-pin PEG connection are used to supply the current needs of the card for a total of up to 300W inbound when you add in the 75W that is available from the PCIe 3.0 slot. This means that you can get away with a quality 500 watt power supply for your gaming system. MSI lets you get into the RGB game with this card using its Mystic Lighting software to provide the color scheme you need with seven different effects to choose from. 



Blowing apart the card you can get a better look at the bones of the card and see just how robust the Twin Frozr VI cooling package really is. The six heat pipe fin array covers the majority of the PCB and uses the downdraft cooling to wick away the thermal load from the Military Class VRM, components, and GDDR5 memory covered by the Close Quarters Cooling heat sink. The Closer Quarters Cooling is a much more robust design than that used on last year's Gaming X cards. This should result in a cooler running card overall. MSI's Military Class components include Super Ferrite Chokes, Hi-C Caps, and solid capacitors that run more efficiently and run cooler to give the end user a longer-lived component.  



A pair of ball bearing equipped Torx 2.0 fans push the airflow through the aluminum fin array. While not any different from past designs, as far as a form factor, the Twin Frozr VI cooler is updated from past designs. For this card, we get a total of six heat pipes running through the fin array that is equipped with directional vanes to increase the length of time the air stays in the heat sink. MSI is using both 6mm and 8mm heat pipes to carry the thermal load from the contact plate to the fin array. The distribution is five 6mm and one 8mm heat pipe that are flattened as they come over the contact plate to increase the overall surface area and wick away the thermal load more efficiently.

MSI's Twin Frozr VI cooling solution uses Zero Frozr technology to keep low load fan noise at bay. When there is not a 3D load imparted to the GPU and the GPU core is less than 60 degrees Celsius, the fans on MSI's cooler do not run, giving you an effective 0dB solution. When the temperature breaks the 60 °C barrier, the fans spool up as needed. Even idling and surfing the Web, the temperatures of the core stay well below the 60 °C threshold.



While the cooler is a big part of the Twin Frozr VI cooling package, the Torx 2.0 fans are just as important, as they provide the airflow to move the thermal load from the heat sink package to the surrounding air. A pair of these fans is used to drive the airflow through the heat sink. Each of these fans includes dispersion blades that help push up to 22% more airflow to improve cooling performance. If you look closely at the fan blades, you will see blades that are skewed slightly at the midpoint. These are the dispersion blades. MSI has spec'ed a dual ball bearing desgn to improve life span and efficiency while delivering a very low noise design.



Out of the box, the GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G from MSI has the same baseline core clock and memory speeds, so we should see a similar FPS performs when compared to the Founders Edition card from NVIDIA. Will the difference in the cooling package and board design allow for a performance increase at stock speeds or will they manifest as the features that allow the Titanium to outperform the Founders Edition when overclocking comes into play? Only testing will show us that. Let's see how this version of the GTX 1070 Ti performs.

  1. MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G: Introduction & Closer Look
  2. MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G: Specifications & Features
  3. MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  4. MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G Testing: Fallout 4, Battlefield 1, Ghost Recon Wildlands
  5. MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G Testing: Tom Clancy's The Division, Hitman (2016)
  6. MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G Testing: The Witcher III, Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, Destiny 2
  7. MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G Testing: DOOM, Watch Dogs 2
  8. MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G Testing: For Honor, 3DMark, VRMark
  9. MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G Testing: Temperatures & Power Consumption
  10. MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G Conclusion:
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