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.

Specifications

GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO

GTX 1080 Ti

CUDA Cores 3584 3584
Texture Units 298 298
ROPs 96 96
Core Clock OC Mode: 1569MHz
Gaming Mode: 1544MHz
Silent Mode: 1480MHz
1481MHz
Boost Clock OC Mode: 1683MHz
Gaming Mode: 1657MHz
Silent Mode: 1582MHz
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

Unboxing

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.

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio (44)

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.

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio (14)

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.

Design

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio (4)

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.

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio (4)

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.

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio (6)

As this is indeed a factory overclocked graphics card, it requires double 8-pins for power.

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio (5)

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.

Performance Test

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.

Games Benchmark

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:

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio Games Benchmark 1440 MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio Games Benchmark 1080

Overclock Test

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 GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio 3Dmark fire strike

MSI GTX 1080 Ti GTX 1080 Ti
GPU Core Clock 92 166
Memory Clock 413 405
Power Gain 20% 20%

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.

Temperature

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).

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio temperature

Verdict

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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Costly
  • Red LED around the cooling fan area might not be appealing to some

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