MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X TRIO review

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MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio review
A properly built RTX 2080 

We say hello and welcome another MSI as we review another GeForce RTX offering from MSI, the Gaming X Trio edition from MSI. It cools great, it's incredibly silent and most of all, it's has a factory tweak out of the box that is doing really well. This card is definitely one to check out. This card is definitely one to check out if you have an RTX 2080 on your wishlist.

Over the past few months we've already covered a lot of new technology as the Turing architecture of the new GPUs offers a fundamental change in the graphics card arena as, next to your normal shading engine, NVIDIA has added RT (Raytracing) cores, as well as Tensor (AI) cores into the new GPUs, and these are active. Is Turing the start of the next 20 years of gaming graphics? Well, that all depends on the actual adoption rate in the software houses, with the guys and girls that develop games. The recent Battlefield V RTX patch did not please many. 

A dozen or so RTX games are in development and a dozen or so announced titles will make use of deep learning DLSS utilizing the Tensor cores. For the new RTX series, it's mostly about Raytracing though. 

The GeForce RTX 2080 has its own GPU called the TU104. This card will get 2944 shader processors (also referred to as Stream or Cuda cores) active based on that TU104 GPU running a base clock of 1515 MHz with Boost frequencies running upwards to 1800 MHz. The TU104 chip contains six GPCs, 48 SMs, and eight 32-bit memory controllers (256-bit total). Each SM includes 64 shader processors, 256 KB register file, 96 KB L1 data cache/shared memory cache, and four texture units. The full TU104 chip contains 13.6 Billion transistors and includes 3072 shader processors, 368 Tensor Cores, and 48 RT Cores. So yes, the RTX 2080 is cut down. One x8 NVLink link is activated providing 25 GB/sec of bandwidth in each direction (50 GB/sec total bandwidth). Keep in mind that the clocks and TDPs will be different here and there, AIB partners obviously have different factory tweaked products. The GDDR6 memory will get tied to a 256-bit bus, and depending on the clock frequency, we are looking at 448 GB/sec. It is a product that should start at 699 USD for the AIB partner products, and 799 for the Founders editions. 

In this review, however, we look at a more high-end offering, the MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Gaming X Trio. The graphics card comes with an all-new Twinfrozr based cooler (which is very silent), once powered on it offers a seriously nice look with some RGB integration, the temperatures remain cool, but most of all it does all that combined with a really serious factory tweak in place. 


This card offers an out of the box clock frequency of 1860 MHz, and that is fairly serious really. The memory (Micron GDDR6) clock runs reference at 14 Gbps. The cooler is dual-slot triple-fan design. The card comes fitted with two power headers, both 8-pin. Connectivity wise you'll spot one HDMI ports and three DisplayPort outputs as well as the new Virtual link (USB) connector for VR purposes. This Turing 104 GPU empowered product keeps that factory tweaked GPU at roughly 64 Degrees C marker depending on game load. Though the GDDR6 memory has been not been tweaked, the new Micron ICs are a stock 14 GHz (effective clock-rate) but can be bumped upward towards 16 GHz with the flick of your fingers and our AfterBurner overclocking software. Have a quick peek above and then dive into the full review. We have a thing or two to show you alright, let's commence this review, shall we?

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