MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio review: Big GPU, big cooler, big results

    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.

    Brad Chacos/IDG

    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.

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