Final words and conclusion
MSI manages to impress with the SUPRIM X, roughly 4 to 5% additional performance at relatively nice and low acoustics, and add to that the option to tweak additional performance as well. I'll keep saying this, but it is a bizarre time to write reviews on graphics cards with the shortages and insane price hikes related to that. Really what the market needs are affordable, high-performing graphics cards that sit well under the 500 USD marker. The 3080 Ti does fall into a very premium niche and likely will be hard to get. The good news is that the new NVIDIA SKUs are mostly hash-rate limited on the AIB side, preventing cryptocurrency miners from dominating sales. The reality, however, is also that NVIDIA can only fabricate only a certain number of GPUs, and they'll still need to make the call on how much allocation ends up at gamers and how much is intended for other markets. We hope NVIDIA will make wise decisions because if the trend continues, the PC gaming market will die off as they need to realize what software houses will invest in PC gaming if that market is on a sharp decline?
Overall the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti is second to that flagship product, blazingly fast on all fronts, and (based on MSRP) is the cheaper card to get. The SUPRIM offers roughly 5% additional performance seen from FE straight out of the box; the card has been tweaked for you already. The 12GB GD6X memory is well balanced; we never understood the expensive 24GB on the 3090, to be brutally honest (not that I mind or don't find it awesome). Overall though, this is a small powerhouse. This card can run games at 4K quite easily with raytracing and a DLSS combo; it will serve you well at that resolution. The closest product from the competition would be the Radeon RX 6900 XT. NVIDIA, however, offers faster raytracing performance and offers you the option to put that into 6th gear with DLSS.
Cooling & noise levels
Depending on the airflow level inside your chassis, expect the card to hit 75~80 Degrees C range temperature-wise under hefty load conditions in SILENT BIOS mode. If you are not comfortable with that value, you can select the GAMING BIOS mode. Here noise levels will hit roughly 37~38 DBa, which can be heard slightly but remain to be really acceptable. It's a choice you get to decide. The default configuration for these cards is the silent mode. And make no mistake, the performance is 100% the same. The only thing different is that the fan RPM delta is measured against temperature.
The power draws under intensive gaming for GeForce RTX 3080 Ti remains to be significant. We measured it to be close to 410 Watts for the Suprim X. This is the tradeoff for a bit more bite in performance for this graphics card model in particular. Are we happy with that amount of energy consumption in the year 2021? No, not at all. Will you, as an end consumer, care about it? We dispute that as well. Keep in mind you'll need a power supply with three 8-pin PCIe graphics power headers. We advise a 750 Watt model as the rest of the system needs some juice, and you will want some reserve. You can increase the graphics card power consumption by another ~40 Watts when you open up that power slider. Yes, that's 460 Watts of power consumption just for this graphics card when you flick open all registers manually. Heat output and energy consumption are always closely related to each other as (graphics) processors and heat can be perceived as a 1:1 state; 100 Watts in (consumption) often equals 100 Watts of heat as output. This is the basis of TDP. NVIDIA is listing their TGP at 350 Watts, the amount of power the GPU and major components use. We measure the graphics card based on TBP, total board power, as you'd easily forget that fans spinning and RGB also draw power. As such, in peak load conditions, we're hovering at a 400 Watt state for a typical power draw.
Much like the 3080 and 3090, the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti does exhibit coil squeal. Is it annoying? It's at a level you can hear it. In a closed chassis, that noise would fade away in the background. However, with an open chassis, you can hear coil whine/squeal. Graphics cards all make this in some form, especially at high framerates; this can be perceived.
NVIDIA is pricing the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti at USD 1199. The good news is that that is cheaper than the price of the RTX 3090, while in most scenarios, you are at close to that performance. We do expect AIB cards to be more expensive, as that is a trend as of late. We'll have to wait and see how that pans out, though, as everything is dependant on the actual volume availability of these cards. We can say so little about pricing these days.
The card actually tweaked really well for an RTX 3080 Ti. We've been able to push the power limiter by another 10%, then added 150 MHz on the GPU clock resulting in observed boost frequencies towards 2050~2100 MHz (depends and varies per game title/application). The memory was binned as well; never have we breached 2.1 GHz on GDDR6X stable. All that combined brings us an 8% performance premium seen from the reference model, but at the cost of a card now consuming 450 Watts at a typical load.
There's no doubt about it; we like the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti in general, and the MSI SUPRIM X even better. Really, MSI has a fabulous card here at hand with the SUPRIM X. Despite the prophetic naming; it's a product that oozes quality at that hardware level; the hardware really is that good. The looks are great; that aluminum backplate, newly designed cooler, and dual BIOS, is it worth a price premium? We doubt that a little, to be honest, especially over the reference FE design (which is really good). But this is over-engineering at its best. Remember that all cards are more or less in that same performance bracket, resulting in a meager 4~5% additional performance seen over the FE edition, for this, all amped and beefed up product. Make no mistake, it's love and fantastic, but is it worth the highest price premium? We doubt that. In general, I think anyone would agree with me; we all would love to own a 3080 Ti. This is a very well-balanced enthusiast-class graphics card. Basically, it's almost a 3090 with half the memory and a few configuration tweaks. I am totally fine with the 12GB memory btw; the 24 GB on the 3090 is impressive but far-fetched and made the product extra expensive. 12GB is a notably well-balanced value in the year 2021. Performance-wise NVIDIA carved out something beautiful. You will be way up there in the highest performance regions, and even at Ultra HD, you can enable Raytracing with the combination of DLSS where applicable. Competition-wise, overall, AMD will still win in the lower resolutions thanks to their massive L3 buffer. However, in more demanding scenarios, NVIDIA takes the lead in rasterized shading performance when the resolution goes up when it comes to brute force muscle power in more demanding scenarios. NVIDIA also has faster Raytracing performance and, of course, the implementation of DLSS that will support that raytracing even further in performance. For raytracing, it's still hard to find Games with raytraced properly reflections, but that's what you should be after, and the numbers will grow in the future. The GeForce RTX 3080 Ti performs well on all fronts, performance, cooling, and acoustics as an overall package of hard- and software. MSI did a spectacular job here, but in the end, that choice rests at the end-user level availability and ... pricing. If pricing remains under control at etailers, this card will be a hit—what a card. If you can find it at the right price, highly recommended.
- Hilbert, LOAD"*",8,1.