Although the RTX 3060 Ti came earlier than expected, gamers who have been really eager to upgrade their PC now have a more affordable option instead, which is actually a good thing I’d say. While getting a Founders Edition RTX 3060 Ti is still aren’t as easy for us Malaysians due to the fact that NVIDIA doesn’t ship the FE cards to Malaysia, you can still get some pretty nice ones from the NVIDIA partners like ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, and more.

In this review, we’ll be taking a look at the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio from MSI, which is the flagship model for its RTX 3060 Ti graphics card lineup. Unlike the X60 variant we’ve seen in the past, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio is one of the very few in the category to get a triple-fan cooler. Since it’s clocked at a higher GPU clock than the reference design and given a 2 x 8-pin PCIe power input, we’re eager to see how well does it fare against the reference design and of course, how close can it get to the RTX 3070.

Specifications

GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio
CUDA Cores 4864 4864
Tensor Cores 152 152
RT Cores 38 38
Texture Units 152 152
ROPs 80 80
GPU Boost Clock 1670 MHz 1830 MHz
Memory Data Rate 14 Gbps 14 Gbps
Total Video Memory Size 8G GDDR6 8G GDDR6
Memory Interface 256-bit 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth 448 GB/sec 448 GB/sec
TDP 200W 240W
Recommended PSU 600W 650W
Power Connectors 1 x 8-pin 2 x 8-pin
Dimensions 242mm x 112mm x 56mm 323mm x 140mm x 56mm

Unboxing

Packaging-wise, the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio doesn’t come in a fancy box like some other brands do despite being the top-end model in MSI’s GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics card lineup. Not much information can be found at the front of the box, so you’ll have to flip to the back of the box to find out more information on the features – it’s mostly on the cooler design.

Other than the seemingly useful graphics card holder bracket, the content of the accessories pack is pretty standard, which is mostly the user’s guide and product catalog. Since the card has a triple-fan cooler and measured at 323mm in length, the holder bracket can be really useful to reduce the sagging effect that will often happen on longer and heavier graphics cards.

The MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio

Just as how it’s named, the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio is equipped with a triple-fan cooler aka the Tri FROZR 2 which consists of three of the TORX Fan 4.0 which according to MSI, a better design that enables better airflow control to guide air to the exact spot for the best cooling performance. Compared to the TORX Fan 3.0 design, the TORX Fan 4.0 fan blades looks a lot more like the axial fan but with only two of the fan blades connected instead.

The heatsink is the usual Aluminum fins array heatsink but with an improved(?) design on the heat pipes to maximize the contact with the GPU die. I’m not entirely sure if the so-called ‘precision-crafted’ heat pipes will do better than the usual heat pipes we’ve seen, but things will be fine as long as the flat surface on the heat pipes is in good contact with the GPU die.

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Even though MSI didn’t specifically highlight the RGB lightings on its packaging, you can definitely customize the lightings with the motherboard software without any issue. The lightings on the card are decent and aren’t as overexaggerated as the design from the early days, and it can be disabled if you don’t want to have any kind of RGB lightings in your system.

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio 17

 

As mentioned earlier, the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio requires not one, but two 8-pin PCIe power connectors to power up. The power supply as recommended by MSI is at least 650W instead of the 600W we saw on the RTX 3060 Ti official page but we’ve actually tested the card with an AcBel iPower 90m 600W and it works just as intended without any issue. Though your result may vary, depending on the quality of the 600W power supply you’re using.

The backplate for this one is pretty simple I’d say. It’s not the kind of fancy backplate with more RGB on it but it’ll still work just as intended, as a backplate to support the overall rigidity of the PCB itself.

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio 21

Just like the rest of the RTX 30 series cards we’ve seen so far, the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio too has the cut out at the near end of the backplate that functions similarly to the new cooling design of the RTX 30 series cards.

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio 22

For the display output, you’ll get 3 x DisplayPort 1.4a and HDMI 2.1 on the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio. It’s pretty standard for most of the RTX 3060 Ti we’ve seen so far, but I still think that the USB-C port from the previous-gen is a good inclusion.

Test System Setup

For our games benchmark test, we’ve selected a number of AAA titles to run at their highest possible settings using the following setup under an ambient temperature of 31°C:

CPU Intel Core i9-10900K
Motherboard ASUS ROG Maximus XII Apex
Memory XPG Spectrix D60G DDR4-3600 CL14
Graphics Card GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition / MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio / GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition
Power Supply Enermax MaxTytan 1250W
Primary Storage Force Series Gen.4 PCIe MP600 2TB NVMe M.2 SSD
Secondary Storage WD Black 6TB
CPU Cooler Cooler MasterLiquid Master ML360R RGB
Chassis Streacom Open Benchtable BC1
Operating System Windows 10 64bit

Games Benchmark – RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio vs. RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Benchmark 1080P 1

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Benchmark 1440P 1

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Benchmark 4K 1

We first compared the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio against the RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition just to have a look at the performance difference. While both cards seem to struggle quite a bit on 4K, the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio does perform better than the RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition on most occasions. Is it an RTX 3070 killer? Well, looking at the performance difference, you can pretty much guessed it already.

Games Benchmark – RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio vs. RTX 3070 Founders Edition

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Benchmark 1080P 2

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Benchmark 1440P 2

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Benchmark 4K 2

Now we compared the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio directly against an RTX 3070 Founders Edition and we can pretty much confirm that the RTX 3070 is still leading in most of the games by an average of 10-15% higher framerates. Though the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio is still a pretty powerful card if we look at its 1080P and 1440P gaming performance, which is good for gamers who will be gaming mostly on these resolutions.

Ray-Tracing Performance

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Benchmark RTX 1080P

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Benchmark RTX 1440P

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Benchmark RTX 4K

Moving on to the ray-tracing performance, we can say that 1080P and 1440P are the best both the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 can go. As we tested these games with the ray-tracing option set at very high/ultra, you can get better framerates on these games with high or medium on the ray-tracing option. Depending on the game you’re playing, the higher boost clock on the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio does seem to have some noticeable gain as well in ray-tracing performance.

Thermals & Power Draw

We’ve also done some stress tests with FurMark just to see how well the cooler performs and the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio does perform better in the thermal test, with the load temperature peaked at 68°C, while the RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition peaked at 73°C. As for the fan noise, I can say that’s not really something you should worry about. If the fan curve setting is left untouched, you can barely hear the fan noise from a 30cm distance with the side panel of your PC closed.

For the power draw, the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio will draw up to 216W on load, which is higher than the 195W draw on the RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition and very close to what an RTX 3070 Founders Edition will draw on load.

Final Thoughts

The RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio is not the most affordable RTX 3060 Ti around with RM 2,690 price tag if we compare it with the non-OC version (not factory overclocked) RTX 3060 Ti that is currently available on the market. It might not be justifiable to some but the situation is pretty much similar to the rest of the OC version of the RTX 3060 Ti we can see from other NVIDIA partners, where the extra boost clock is guaranteed from the manufacturers. Of course, you can overclock the non-OC version cards to a similar boost clock as these OC version cards do, a fairly simple task if you don’t go with an extremely high gain on the GPU clock, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the same performance out of it.

Performance aside, the RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio is also equipped with a decent performing triple-fan cooler that is doing a pretty good job in cooling down the card. Personally, I don’t have any complaints about the cooler performance, but I’m not a big fan of these RGB lightings and will probably go with the more affordable option most of the time. There are of course users who are into the design might find some value in the design that is worth paying the extra bucks for.

Pros
  • Excellent performance out of the box
  • Excellent build quality
  • Cooler performs really well
  • Runs silently even during full load
  • Come with HDMI 2.1 and support AV1 decode
Cons
  • Costly, priced almost the same as some RTX 3070 available on the market
  • The extra 8-pin PCIe power connector seems unnecessary

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