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[TPU] MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X 8 GB Review

post #1 of 108
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First AIB card to be reviewed by TPU.


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Out of the box the card comes overclocked to a base clock of 1708 MHz, vs. 1607 MHz on the reference design. After Boost 3.0 is applied this translates into average clocks of 1912 MHz (reference: 1783 MHz). While I'm sure that this is not the highest out of the box overclock we will see, it is a good amount, translating into 7% extra performance when averaged over our benchmark suite. This makes the card 23% faster than the GTX 1070 reference, over 33% faster than GTX 970 SLI! AMD's fastest, the Fury X is out of the game, with a 50% performance difference. MSI has also overclocked their memory chips, for a bit of extra performance.

Without doubt, most people have been waiting for custom designs to see if their coolers will offer better capabilities than the NVIDIA reference design heatsink, which looks good, but fails to keep the card from running at its full potential due to throttling beyond 82°C. MSI's new TwinFrozr heatsink scores full marks here. It keeps the card at around 72°C, even with heavy gaming, and at the same time the fans are much quieter than on the reference. The MSI's fans are actually unbelievably quiet, given the card's performance. You will not hear them when the card is installed in a case - and running at full load. MSI has also included the idle-fan-off feature that we love so much, since it provides a perfect noise-free experience during desktop work, Internet browsing and even light gaming.

Just like on the reference design, power efficiency is amazing, with huge improvements over the Maxwell architecture which was already highly efficient in the first place. However, it looks like MSI traded some efficiency for higher performance, which isn't unreasonable to do so. Compared with the reference design, we see about 35 W higher power draw in gaming, which translates into around 10% lost performance per Watt. I say no big deal, Pascal is so efficient this power is well spent, and worst-case power draw of 254 W is still much lower than any other high-end card we've seen before; and the card is nearly silent anyway, thanks to its excellent thermal solution and well crafted fan profile.
Unlike the reference design, which uses just a single 8-pin power connector for convenience, the MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X requires one 6 and one 8-pin, which is reasonable, given that the card can exceed 225 W, thanks to its higher board power limit, which means more room for Boost to clock higher, and less chance of the power limit messing with your overclock.

Currently the MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X retails at $719, which just isn't right. NVIDIA trumpeted its MSRP of $599 all across the web and now we see cards that are even more expensive than the $699 Founders Edition. Still, even at that price no alternative exists to GTX 1080, the MSI Gaming X is still much better price/performance than the GTX 980 and 980 Ti, only GTX 1070 offers a much better deal - at lower total performance though. MSI's GTX 1080 Gaming X is so good, that I'd rather buy it than the 20 bucks cheaper reference design, which comes with a worse thermal solution, more noise, throttling and no idle-fan off.
Lil' Roy Taylor
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Lil' Roy Taylor
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post #2 of 108
Regarding pricing, newegg shows 619$ for the vega gaming version, 679$ for the FTW version, 679$ for the satrix, so I think the msi X price will drop a bit when stocks start to stay in stock and not sold out the minute they arrive.
That is still a pretty nice card.
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post #3 of 108
That $599 price tag was such a nice bait and switch by Nvidia.

Well played once again by their marketing team. They got people salivating at that price point only to reveal it's non-existent and the days of $30-50 premiums for third-party cards are over. AIBs can now charge $100+ premium over MSRP for non-AIO cards.

What a time to be alive!
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post #4 of 108
Hey guys remember how custom board cars would be priced at $599?
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post #5 of 108
This card will easily cost over £1000 in the UK
post #6 of 108
lol a premium for 100$ more
what a joke

at least they are cheaper than greed's edition in here
Edited by jmcosta - 6/13/16 at 7:09am
post #7 of 108
Still need SLI for smooth 4K gaming.
post #8 of 108
good card, bad price

G1 or EVGA offer a good price and their coolers are almost as good as MSI
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post #9 of 108
That price is just sickening.
post #10 of 108
well, vote with your wallets then smile.gif
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