So the RTX 3000 series is here and I have to say this is one launch I was actually really excited about. Covering tech for well over a decade there have really only been a few launches I have been excited about. I honestly was going to pick up an RTX 3080 at launch before I found out we were going to get sampled on the card. So what makes this launch so exciting? Well lets first talk about what NVIDIA has done and then we will get to this specific card from MSI.
I would say the two biggest things with this launch are price and performance. When the RTX 20 Series launched the high-end cards were priced out of the reach of most gamers. Were the prices justified? I mean maybe, but NVIDIA did not sell as many cards as they expected. The price of building a new PC went up significantly with the RTX 20 series. That is why many people held on to their GTX 1080 Ti’s and were waiting for the this launch. When we first heard of the RTX 30 series we kept on guessing these high prices, but we were presently surprised when we heard the RTX 3080 would be $699, the same price the RTX 2080 Super launched at just a year prior.
And that bring us to performance. I’m sure all of you saw that graph that showed the RTX 3080 being up to 2x as fast as the RTX 2080, and we have to say the performance of the RTX 3080 is pretty staggering. It is a must-have card if you are gaming in 4K! In our testing almost all of our titles were 100 FPS or over at 4K. Sadly we did not have an RTX 2080 on hand for testing, but in our game tests the RTX 3080 was 39% faster than an overclocked RTX 2080 Super at 4K. This is very impressive! And for all of those hold-outs the RTX 3080 is 48.98% faster than the GTX 1080 Ti at 4K. So yes if you have an RTX 1080 Ti now is the time to upgrade! As you move down to 1440p and 1080p the performance difference shrinks (30.95% / 24.06% – RTX 2080 Super) (39.88% / 33.42% – GTX 1080 Ti), but this is expected as GPU performance is so good we get limited by our CPU. Over the past few weeks we saw many 360 Hz 1080p displays get announced and this is the perfect card to power those type of displays, also with the power of the RTX 3000 series we should see many new 4K 144 Hz displays.
You cannot forget real time ray tracing (RTX) and DLSS. When the RTX 20 series launched there was maybe one or two games that supported RTX and honestly turning it on was not worth the performance hit most of the time. Now we have more RT cores so the performance hit is not that bad and there was quite a lot of games that support RTX and even more coming in the future. DLSS is another great feature you are going to get on NVIDIA graphics cards. Basically it renders the game at a lower resolution and then up-scales it to the resolution that you are running. This is great if you want to get more performance out of a certain game or want to turn the settings all the way up. The best is when a game supports both RTX and DLSS. That way you can enjoy all of the awesome RTX features, but run the game with barely any performance hit. If you missed it, we covered this on page 8 of this review.
And there are other awesome NVIDIA-specific features that are coming with the RTX 30 series that we did even cover. One of which is NVIDIA Broadcast. This is a tool for streamers and presenters and brings in RTX Voice and some really awesome camera effects, all done with the hardware of your RTX 30 series graphics card. Stay tuned as we will have more on that in an upcoming article!
Now the RTX 3080 that we took a look at today was MSI’s Gaming X Trio 10G, which currently sits as their flagship RTX 3080 at launch. With this card you are getting a factory overclock up to 1815 MHz (GPU boost) compared to the stock RTX 3080’s 1710 MHz. This will give you a few more FPS in certain titles.
On top of the factory overclock you are getting MSI’s custom cooling solution which is their Tri Frozr 2.0. This features three cooling fans and a large heatsink design. MSI has redesigned their fans so they are bound together with a linked outer ring that focuses airflow into the cooling system. We saw a similar design on ASUS’s ROG Strix cards and I have to say it works quite well and is very quiet. In our testing during full load the 3 fans were actually quieter than many 2-fan cooling designs of other cards. Sadly we do not have a Founder’s Edition card to really see how it compares to that.
MSI has done a good job with RGB lighting on this card as well. The large strip on the top edge of the card will really light up the inside of your system and you also have an MSI logo that lights up and accents on the shroud of the card.
There really is not much of anything to not like about this card. NVIDIA has set the bar quite high with the RTX 3080 and MSI has created a great custom card with a solid cooling system and great RGB lighting. This card is currently available at our favorite online retailer for $749.99, which gives it a $49 premium over the Founders Edition card. I think the factory overclock, custom cooling solution, and RGB lighting justify that price. Overall ThinkComputers give the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio Graphics Card a 10 out of 10 score and our Recommended Award!
– Over 100 FPS at 4K on most titles
– 39% faster than an RTX 2080 Super at 4K
– RTX is actually worth turning on
– Factory overclock
– Tri Frozr cooling solution
– NVIDIA extras like the Broadcast app
– None that I found