MSI GeForce RTX 4080 Suprim X review

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Final words and conclusion

Final words

Indications are that MSI is pricing the Suprim X at just $150 more than the reference/founder card, which we believe is worth the extra money. Granted, you will gain 2~3% in overall performance (compared to the founder edition); however, it is just such an elegant card to look at; additionally, even at this performance and wattage, MSI managed to produce an almost silent graphics card once again. This is partly due to the ten heat pipes, vapour chamber, and thicker radiators. From a raw shader standpoint, this product offers a lovely performance improvement over the previous generation and a massive increase in raytracing performance and new raytracing features. NVIDIA is betting big on DLSS this time around, with vastly improved Tensor cores that aid the new DLSS 3.0, which is currently offering a 2x performance increase. With correct implementation of future games, NVIDIA claims a 3x or 4x performance boost, which is stunning numbers. There, however, is a discussion as to what frame injections really bring to the table other than higher framerates. In the end, though, the eye candy on your monitor is what counts, and we cannot complain here. NVIDIA high-end class graphics card face and contend with two obstacles, the first of which is pricing. Starting at $1199 but most likely ending at a 1400 EUR level, these cards have entered a price range that is no longer attainable to most people. PC gaming has become increasingly expensive, driving end users to other solutions. Admittedly also, the new power connector raises concerns. It's not that it's not a safe connector; it's just that bending them too close to the connector combined with sometimes poor quality can lead to hazardous situations. Suppose you need to bend that cable, do it 3-4cm above the connector level. All and rally, ALL cards we have tested to date, we have checked with FLIR imaging, and for us, none ever and whatsoever has shown an issue. Back to the GeForce RTX 4080, though; it's a performance extravaganza, but let's extrapolate a bit further.


You've seen the numbers, and we've already let the cat out of the bag. It all comes down to gaming performance and, of course, rendering quality. Yes, the RTX 4080 provides more value for the money than seen from the 4090, as we're getting close to raw performance levels that easily enable gaming at 4K resolution. Most enthusiast gamers play at UWHD, QHD, or UHD monitor resolutions. This card is designed for precisely that kind of gamer.


The old rasterizer engine breaks right through the previous limit of extreme performance. Because of the 9K Shading processors, all of this is possible. The RTX 40 series now has a new generation of Ray tracing and Tensor cores that are more powerful. So, do not let the specific RT and Tensor core counts fool you; it's all about how much performance one unit offers. Since they are close to the shader engine, they have become more efficient, which shows. Tensor cores are harder to measure, but from what we have seen, everything seems to be in good shape, as DLSS3 shows exciting values. Overall, the GeForce RTX 4080 makes sense at resolutions as low as 2K 2560x1440, up to 4K (3840x2160). 

Cooling & noise levels

The design for cooling is great. Under full load, this product, which is made for enthusiasts and uses a lot of power, uses about 325 Watts. This Wattage is directly related to how much heat the GPU gives inside a closed chassis. We got 32 dBA with the silent bios mode (the default), but it took a while for the card to get there because it warms up slowly. Even so, 32 dBA is an incredibly silent sound level. Expect the card to get close to 65°C when it is under a lot of stress. This number can go up depending on how well air moves through your case. FLIR imaging does not show anything scary. You can also choose the Gaming BIOS, which makes the noise level go up to 37 DBa and the temperature go down to 60°C. We say to leave it alone.



We touched the topic a bit; the power draw under intensive gaming for GeForce RTX 4080 is high, especially when energy prices are soaring; this product isn't a good example. We measured it to be close to the 320vWatt range. This is the tradeoff for a bit more bite in performance for this graphics card model in particular. Gaming wise that number will fluctuate a bit; however, 275+ Watt it'll do in no time. We expect the board partner cards to show higher numbers as they get more TGP allowance.

Coil whine

Much like the 3080, the GeForce RTX 4080 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, you can hear a minor coil whine/squeal with an open chassis. Graphics cards all make this in some sort or form, especially at high framerates this can be perceived. It's as good as it can get, and we have not been bothered by it.


The reference/founder edition of NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4080 costs USD 1199, which is too much for most of us to pay for something that can be used to play PC games. This product is so unique that it has its market. NVIDIA might have been able to charge even more for the product and still sell many of them. AIB will cost even more. Now, I can say all kinds of rude things about prices, but these products will still sell no matter what I say. Expect a ~150 USD price premium for this Suprim X OC model.


The card tweaks well. The GPU constantly hits the power limiter Watts with the +25% power limiter, so that's your first and quickest option to tweak. You get extra perf on the card's default power budget. The clock frequency can take a good +150~200 MHz extra. Apply it, and you'll see the GPU boost clock hovering in the 3000~3050 MHz domain (frequencies vary per game title as they are dynamic). The memory could be tweaked to 24+ Gbps, so all these are terrific values that brought ~7% additional performance on challenging GPU situations, measured from founder edition reference performance. 



MSI positions the SUPRIM series of graphics cards as a higher-end, custom-made line compared to their Gaming series. The cooler shroud and backplate of the MSI RTX 4080 SUPRIM X are made of two different colours of brushed aluminium, giving it an exotic look. The necessary adaptor provided turns three 8-pin PCIe power connectors into a 12+4 pin 12VHPWR. As video outputs, you can choose between three DisplayPort and one HDMI. A sleek backplate made of aluminium with a brushed finish is included. Close to the power jack is a switch for dual-BIOS. From a hardware and performance point of view, the GeForce RTX 4080 is downright fantastic. However, we live in challenging times, with a war close to the EU border, soaring energy prices, and life has gotten much harder. That does make products like those shown today harder to defend; then again, we can't blame NVIDIA for the state of the world in 2022. We hope to see affordable low-energy products sooner rather than later from NVIDIA. As a piece of hardware all by itself, we can only applaud the 4080. TheADA GPU architecture can perform skillfully and excellently. A good chunk of extra shader cores brings in nearly 1.5x raw shader performance and even better Raytracing and Tensor core performance. Underlying technologies like Shader Execution Reordering (SER) and DLSS 3.0 make the new product and Series 4000 shine. The GeForce RTX 4080 offers staggering numbers. Starting at $1199, however, it's very expensive. If you have the wallet leniency and play games in Ultra HD or, at the very least, start at a monitor resolution of 2560x1440, we can't argue that it'll be a great addition towards any enthusiast-class gaming rig.  Take Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 combined with DLSS 3.0; you can fly at 100+ FPS in the highest resolutions. Cyberpunk at UHD with raytracing and DLSS3 quickly passes 100 FPS. This purebred Ultra HD card shines in that area, whether shading (regularly rendered games) or hybrid ray-tracing + DLSS3 is used. Compared to the mighty 4090, this still is a more economical product series offering massive performance. In closing, the RTX 4080 impresses and will keep you happy for years, but at a high cost and energy consumption. Never has built a new game PC been this expensive, but never have things been this fast. Ultimately, MSI went all out with the new Suprim X. The default extra performance is only ~3%. Still, if you are really into silent operation and beautiful looks, it is a card we can recommend over the founder edition at a price premium of just $150~200. But it's a lot of money for something to play games on.

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- Hilbert, LOAD"*",8,1.



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