The NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti remains one of the most powerful graphics card that’s available in the market today. We’ve unboxed and reviewed the original NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition a while back. Since then, many other AIB parts have launched their own flavor of the GTX 1080 Ti – and MSI launched their own high-performance one, too. Introducing the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio. It has a beautiful backplate and a classy RGB strip to brighten things up. Also, triple fans to cool its factory overclocked GPU.
GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO
GTX 1080 Ti
|Core Clock||OC Mode: 1569MHz|
Gaming Mode: 1544MHz
Silent Mode: 1480MHz
|Boost Clock||OC Mode: 1683MHz|
Gaming Mode: 1657MHz
Silent Mode: 1582MHz
|TFLOPs (FMA)||11.5 TFLOPs||11.5 TFLOPs|
|Memory Clock||11Gbps GDDR5X||11Gbps GDDR5X|
|Memory Bus Width||352-bit||352-bit|
|VRAM||11GB GDDR5X||11GB GDDR5X|
We have a little short unboxing video on our Facebook page too – check it out here!
The entire package of the GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio is pretty simple – shows only the RGB strip that’s on the card itself, and with a few branding here and there.
At the back of the card is where the feature highlights are found. RGB strip at the backplate and a single-color LED at the shroud itself.
Digging out everything, we can find a graphics card support bar, a converter cable that we don’t recommend using, and a user manual that’s in a comic form with Lucky the Dragon as the main character. The last one is certainly something unique that MSI has done for their product here.
The graphics card support bar that’s included is meant to be mounted on the two PCI slots below the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio, which by itself already took 2.5 PCI slots’ space.
The support bar is made out of a lightweight yet hard metal with two rubber pads that sit on the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio’s shroud when mounted. Fairly simple in design.
The MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio is rather minimally designed when it comes to the context of “gaming graphics card”, actually.
The backplate is a piece of aluminium with two different shades of gray. Each shade of gray has brushed aluminium texture at different orientations. Fun fact, they’re at right angles to each other.
Instead of having tacky and “in your face” RGB lightings, the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio’s RGB lighting strip is very minimal and classy. Personally, this is the best implementation of RGB lighting on a graphics card I’ve seen thus far.
It comes with a total of 3 fans, hence moniker “Trio” in the lengthy name that this graphics card has. Around the fans is where the single-colored LEDs are found. They’re only in red color, and it glows ever so slightly which makes the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio looks like it’s bleeding – bleeding with performance, of course.
Speaking of the shroud, it has two beefy stacks of alumnium fins with extra thick 8mm heatpipes running throughout the entire length of the card.
As this is indeed a factory overclocked graphics card, it requires double 8-pins for power.
At the back of the card, there are a total of 5 display outputs – two HDMI 2.0 ports, two DisplayPort 1.4 ports, and a single DVI-D port.
|Test Rig Configuration|
|CPU Cooler||XSPC RayStorm Pro Ion AX240|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 8700K @5.0GHz|
|Motherboard||ROG Maximus X Apex|
|Memory||Apacer Panther Rage Illumination DDR4 @16GB|
|Primary Hard Drive||ADATA Ultimate SU800 256GB SSD|
|Power Supply||Be Quiet! Straight Power 10 600W|
|Chassis||Cooler Master Test Bench V1.0|
We mounted the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio and GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition on our test bench as above and each and every benchmark is conducted in a room of about 30C° ambient temperature.
We ran a few AAA titles in our possession on a selected settings at 1080p and 1440p, which is considered as high for much of our test as usual. The final result of each benchmark is presented in the form of the graph below:
We gave the 3DMark Fire Strike a quick run with both the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition and MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio running at its highest achievable GPU core clock and memory clock that is stable enough to be able to complete each of the benchmark with the following values:
|MSI GTX 1080 Ti||GTX 1080 Ti|
|GPU Core Clock||92||166|
Since the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio is factory overclocked, the remaining headroom for overclocking the card without doing any additional hardware modding is pretty much limited. We were able to increase the GPU core clock with an additional 92 MHz before it hit 2053 MHz – the maximum achievable boost clock.
We’re using FurMark 1.18.0 from ozone3d.net for thermal test with resolution 2560 x 1440, 8X MSAA and full screen for 30 minutes each under ambient temperature of 30°C (±1°C).
Performance wise, the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio is definitely a beast that can handles majority of the latest AAA titles without breaking a sweat. If you need more juice for the card, squeezing some extra performance from the card is still possible even though it’s already pre-overclocked. The overclocking headroom is quite limited because of the voltage limit set by NVIDIA since October 2012, but you can always perform a hardware mod to bypass that limitation – not recommended as such action will void the warranty.
As for the custom cooler, MSI took a different approach this time with the color scheme. Replacing the red color on the usual red-black accent of MSI Gaming makes the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio more approachable when it comes to a themed build. Unlike the GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition, overclocking the card won’t be giving you much trouble in terms of temperature. The triple cooling fan on the card is capable of shaving off that extra 14-15°C from a GTX 1080 Ti that is running on full load with ease. Cooling performance aside, the cooler also gives a much complete coverage on the PCB compared to ASUS’ design which leaves some of the components partially exposed.
While it’s not the card for everyone due to the high price, the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio is one of the ‘worth to consider’ GTX 1080 Ti in the market. If you have that extra cash to spend on your gaming build and don’t really mind the slight red LED around the cooling fan area, we’d definitely recommend the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio for your build.
- Good performance and aesthetics
- Comes with a support bracket to minimize PCB sagging
- Good cooling performance
- Full gray shroud that is much more approachable for themed build
- Not over-exaggerated RGB LED design
- Red LED around the cooling fan area might not be appealing to some