No graphics card spits out gaming body charges as quick as Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3090, and its large 24GB of GDDR6X reminiscence makes it an insanely good worth for creators—sure, even at its staggering $1,500 baseline value. We already lined all that in our exhaustive Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition overview. But pushing this a lot efficiency takes a variety of energy, and a variety of energy wants heavy-duty cooling. Can beefy customized coolers tame the RTX 3090 extra successfully than Nvidia’s personal card? That’s what we’re inspecting with this overview of the $1,589 MSI RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio.
We’ve already rendered verdict on this battle in one other kind. Stepping down fairly a bit in value, the $760 GeForce RTX 3080 version of the Gaming X Trio and Nvidia’s rival 3080 Founders Edition each earned prime marks, and our Editors’ Choice award. We gave MSI’s mannequin the nod for acoustics and thermals, although, as its beefy triple-slot cooler proved more practical than Nvidia’s dual-slot card.
Nvidia beefed up its Founders Edition for the RTX 3090 although, increasing it to fill three slots with distinctive outcomes. MSI caught with the identical fundamental design for each the RTX 3080 and the RTX 3090. Does the Gaming X Trio stay potent sufficient to justify its $89 value premium over the Founders Edition at this stage of efficiency? Let’s dig in.
Editor’s observe: We’re principally going to concentrate on cooling and gaming efficiency on this overview to check designs. For a deeper evaluation of the RTX 3090’s numerous use circumstances, together with content material creation and 8K gaming, be sure you try our exhaustive GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition review, or our shorter 5 things to know about the RTX 3090 for a briefer overview. If you’re solely fascinated with gaming outcomes, the GeForce RTX 3080 offers a lot better worth.
MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio specs, options, and design
The fundamental tech specs for the MSI Gaming X Trio largely mirrors these of Nvidia’s Founders Edition, as a result of they’re based mostly on the identical RTX 3090 chip utilizing the brand new “Ampere” GPU structure. Check out our GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition review for a deeper have a look at what’s new in Ampere.
Here’s a high-level have a look at the MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio’s specs:
- CUDA cores: 10,496
- Boost clock: 1,785MHz
- Memory: 24GB GDDR6X
- Memory bus: 384-bit
- Memory bandwidth: 936 GB/s
- RT cores: 82 (2nd-gen)
- Tensor cores: 328 (Third-gen)
- NVLink SLI: Yes
- PCIe: Gen 4
- HDMI: 2.1
- HDCP: 2.3
- Display connectors: 1x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4
- Power connectors: 3x 8-pin (with equipped 12-pin adapter)
There are solely two key variations on the spec sheet (nicely, apart from the worth) in comparison with the Founders Edition. First up: The GPU clock velocity. While Nvidia’s card comes clocked on the 1,700MHz reference spec for the RTX 3090, MSI bumps it as much as 1,785MHz on the Gaming X Trio.
That doesn’t inform the entire story although. The approach Nvidia’s enhance clock algorithms work, they’ll improve velocity as a lot as thermal headroom and fan profiles permit. In apply, throughout a 5-lap run in F1 2020, we noticed the Nvidia Founders Edition ship constant clock speeds of 1,785MHz to 1,815MHz. The Gaming X Trio, then again, fluctuated clock speeds with rather more variance. We noticed speeds between 1,740MHz and 1,935MHz in the identical GPU-focused benchmark, most frequently falling within the mid-1,800s. The wild variance seemingly explains why we see diversified outcomes versus the Founders Edition in our gaming benchmarks later.
MSI additionally makes use of a unique energy supply system. While Nvidia’s radical cooler makes use of a just-as-radical proprietary 12-pin connection that requires using an (ugly) adapter with a pair of 8-pin energy connectors, the Gaming X Trio sticks to a trio of ordinary 8-pin energy connectors. That theoretically provides the cardboard extra overclocking headroom, and lets it cut back energy calls for in your motherboard’s PCIe connection. Nvidia recommends utilizing a 750W energy provide with its GeForce RTX 3090, however on the time of publication, MSI didn’t present PSU steerage for its card.
Finally, it’s value noting the 24GB of GDDR6X reminiscence. That large VRAM buffer lets creators do issues that merely aren’t doable with lower-cost GeForce playing cards, together with the almost-as-powerful GeForce RTX 3080. If you want it, you recognize it, and its inclusion truly makes the RTX 3090 a killer worth for prosumers, because the RTX Titan it’s changing value $1,000 extra for a slower GPU and the identical 24GB of VRAM. NVLink is one other key spec for execs, because it’s not supplied on every other GeForce RTX 30-series choice.
The actual distinction lies within the cooler, although. Nvidia expanded the RTX 3080’s dual-slot Founders Edition cooler to fill three slots with the RTX 3090, however MSI slapped the identical large triple-slot “Tri Frozr 2” cooler on each variations of the Gaming X Trio. It kicks ass although, operating cool and quiet.
MSI threw a ton of customized engineering into the Gaming X Trio’s design, and you may learn all about it in our RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio review. The gargantuan cooler drops a trio (therefore the identify) of MSI’s Torx 4.0 axial followers atop a fats heatsink bristling with metallic fins and 5 full-length heatpipes. This is a massive card, so to assist it stand sturdy, MSI strengthened its design with extra metallic straps, a graphene-infused backplate that’s each stronger and dissipates extra warmth than plastic alone, and an non-compulsory assist bracket bundled within the field. MSI additionally packed further fuses onto the board for energy safety and enhanced the PCB with copper to assist with warmth dissipation and reliability.
This is a vital customized cooler. Again, go learn our overview of the RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio for a a lot deeper dive into the tech below the shroud. We didn’t get into it a lot with the RTX 3080 model, however since we’re speaking a few practically $1,600 graphics card now, I want MSI opted for a metallic backplate and shroud moderately than the plastic and graphene this card makes use of, simply to make it really feel a bit extra premium. That would have added much more weight, although.
Speaking of the shroud, you recognize this card comes with RGB LEDs. The Gaming X Trio features a skinny RGB mild strip on the sting of the cardboard, accent lights across the followers within the shroud, and the MSI emblem on the aspect of the cardboard additionally illuminates. You can tweak them utilizing MSI’s “Mystic Light” RGB controls through the corporate’s Dragon Center control app, and tweak your card’s efficiency utilizing MSI’s incredible Afterburner overclocking and GPU monitoring app, which stays a go-to for lovers.
Between the shining lights, fats heatsink, and trio of energy pins, the MSI Gaming X Trio provides off a really aggressive “gamer” vibe. That’s typical for shopper graphics playing cards, however should you’re a creator who needs the RTX 3090 for its 24GB of VRAM and GPU acceleration chops, it won’t be a mode you recognize. The smooth, all-metal Nvidia Founder Edition appears to be like rather more refined in your case if that’s the kind of factor that issues to you.
Neither design is conducive to becoming greater than two playing cards in a normal PC case because of their 3-slot dimension and followers that exhaust warmth into the case. If you’re a professional who needs to shove a number of GeForce RTX 3090s right into a single workstation, we’ve seen a Gigabyte RTX 3090 that sticks to a 2-slot design with a blower-style cooler to totally exhaust GPU warmth out of your system, however it’s unknown whether or not that fashion of cooling provides the complete efficiency of the power-hungry 3090 chip.
None of this issues for avid gamers, who ought to stick to 1 graphics card as a result of SLI is dead.
MSI caught to the inventory output configuration for the RTX 3090, with a single HDMI 2.1 port able to powering an 8K show paired with three DisplayPort 1.4a connections. If you’re a gaming fanatic who needs a pair of HDMI 2.1 ports for powering each an 8K show and a VR headset, the rival Asus TUF RTX 3090 provides that functionality. To bolster that newfound 8K assist, Nvidia infused the RTX 30-series with AV1 decoding to raised deal with 8K streams, and the flexibility to natively seize 8K/30 video with GeForce Experience’s Shadowplay function.
Enough discuss. To the check bench!
Next web page: Our check system, benchmarks start