MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio Review
If you're here fresh from our Nvidia Founders Edition review for the new Ampere RTX 3080, you'll be aware of how monstrous the performance is from these upgraded RTX cards.
If you're here without reading that first, well obviously go and read that as it details all that is new with the Ampere GPU, but for simplicities sake, we will bring you up to speed. Bigger, better, faster, more is the cornerstone of the RTX 3080 when compared to the previous Nvidia flagship card, the RTX 2080 Ti. The Ray Tracing works better, the card itself is significantly faster in every resolution and any combination of ray tracing being on, DLSS being on, or off, or anything. It's just bleeding fast. DLSS deserves a special mention as this second generation of the technology not only brings even bigger performance gains than those we saw in its limited use on the Turing cards, but it also has much sharper image quality. It's having your cake and eating it, and something we can't wait to see implemented in more games as the future rushes towards us. Given how 2020 has gone so far, we can't wait to reach 2021.
The MSI is here in Gaming X Trio format. If you follow the hardware world, you'll know that the triple-fan cooling of the Frozr Trio was outstanding on the Turing RTX 2080 Ti, and the move to the Ampere RTX 3080 hasn't diminished that combination of high cooling performance and low noise. It's one of those coolers, like all the triple fan ones we're reviewing today, that shows an extra fan can make a big difference, letting your card boost higher because it has more thermal headroom, but running the fans slower and thus quieter, because each has to handle a little less of the cooling workload.
Overclockers will appreciate the 24 pin PCIe power input potential. Admittedly on our pre-release drivers, the overclock worked but wasn't stable enough to test in our full suite of games. Still, clearly there is a lot of potential awaiting you as drivers and the OC tools fully support what ampere has available. If nothing else it's a more suitable placement of the power connectors than the central one we saw on the Founders Edition and requires no cable adaptors. Performance is so spectacular it almost goes without saying. If you've been checking out the results in this review, you'll see that the MSI Gaming X Trio regularly gets in amongst it at the top of our graphs. The build quality is solid, and that deserves special praise. We can't recall having a card that weighed this much but sat at perfect right angles to the back of our case. Sturdy in the extreme.
The only, tiny, fly in the ointment is that this is the most expensive of the four RTX 3080 cards we've reviewed during launch week. Remember too that relative to the RTX 2080 Ti it replaces at the top of the Nvidia range the Gaming X Trio is still 400+ pounds cheaper than before. Expensive is relative after all. We do think that the implementation of the RGB is a bit lazy with no real design flare gone into it, that side of it when you think about it actually feels a bit rushed/lazy.
There is no doubt that the RTX 3080 should be in the rig of anyone with a lust for high frame rates and MSI Gaming X Trio guise it is cool, quiet, fast and built like a tank. Glorious.