Final words and conclusion
The Gaming X Trio offers good gaming capabilities, nice performance, aesthetics, and quiet operation in the WQHD monitor resolution domain. While it may not exceed reference performance heaps, they build itself justifies a moderate $50-100 premium over the reference MSRP. With a modest 3-4% improvement in total extra performance compared to the reference model, the Gaming X Trio reaffirms MSI's ability to create top-tier graphics cards with minimal noise. The MSI Gaming X TRIO delivers, with a simple manual tweak, you can easily achieve an additional 7~8% performance. NVIDIA has released the GeForce RTX 4070, the latest addition to the ADA product line. With its more affordable price point, this graphics card is now within reach for many end-users. Although NVIDIA heavily promotes the DLSS technology as a game-changer, we hope they won't overlook the importance of raw rasterizer shader performance in future products. The GeForce RTX 4070 boasts a powerful architecture, advanced ray tracing capabilities, and enhanced DLSS technology, significantly improving its performance over its predecessors. However, its performance can fluctuate in less CPU-bound situations, and it may be a bit slower in DX11 yet faster in DX12. Compared to Radeon Series 6000/7000, the RTX 4070's ray tracing performance is faster overall, showing notable advancements in this field. Moreover, with the DLSS3+ Frame generation technology, the GPU can create miracles in games that support it.
The RTX 4070 offers nice gaming performance and rendering quality. This graphics card offers raw performance levels that enable gaming at 4K resolution, although it's primarily designed for WQHD. With most gamers playing at UWHD, QHD, or UHD monitor resolutions, the 4070 strikes a balance that will appeal to many enthusiasts. Compared to AMD's offerings, the Nvidia GPU will struggle to keep up with the $200 more expensive Radeon RX 7900 XT, but it still has several positive aspects. For example, the DLSS (3) and ray tracing features perform exceptionally well, giving gamers an immersive experience that AMD can't match now. Let's fire up charts to compare a bit.
The old rasterizer engine breaks right through the previous limit of extreme performance. 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 4070 makes sense at resolutions as low as 2K 2560x1440, and sometimes up to 4K (3840x2160). NVIDIA proclaims this as a 100+ FPS WQHD card, with which we concur.
Cooling & noise levels
During intensive full-load conditions, the graphics card consumes just over 200 watts. This power consumption correlates to the heat emitted by the GPU, which is situated within a sealed enclosure. In terms of noise levels, the card produces approximately 31~32 dBA, which is drop-dead silent. Under stress, the card's temperature may approach 65-70°C. This figure may vary based on the airflow efficiency within the computer case. FLIR imaging reveals no cause for concern. It is worth noting that customized cards from board partners might exhibit increased power consumption due to factors such as higher total graphics power and the presence of components like RGB lighting and liquid cooling pumps.
In the preceding chapter, we discussed the power consumption of the GeForce RTX 4070 during demanding gaming sessions. The card demonstrates a reasonable power draw, approximately 200 watts (TBP), in exchange for its gaming performance. The power consumption may vary slightly during gameplay, but it often settles around 185 watts. Customized versions from board partners may exhibit higher power usage due to increased TGP allowances. Regarding TGP, our reference test indicates an average power consumption of 185 watts at Ultra HD resolution. We derived the card's TDP of 185 from the measurements taken across five different games. The RTX 4070 includes an adapter that converts 8-pin PCIe power connectors into a single 12-plus-four-pin 12VHPWR connector. Nonetheless, many board partner cards will retain the conventional 8-pin header.
Any GeForce RTX 4070 can exhibit coil squeal. It's just a matter of how much exactly. Well, it's at a level you can hear when you hit high framerates. In a closed chassis, that noise would fade away in the background. For this particular card, we've hardly been able to notice it.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 carries a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $599, which still is steep. I believe that the cost of a graphics card should ideally be less than that of a contemporary gaming console. Advanced AIB card models will command a higher price, with the Gaming X Trio anticipated to attract an additional $50 to $100 premium. Regrettably, this translates to a price tag approaching 750 EUR for European customers.
You can significantly enhance your GPU's performance by fine-tuning the clock frequency and memory speed. Our efforts have yielded an additional 11% increase in the power limiter. These adjustments offer extra performance within the card's standard power budget, leading to a clock frequency increase of approximately +150-200 MHz. Consequently, you can anticipate your GPU boost clock frequency around the 3000~3050 MHz range, contingent on the dynamic frequencies of different game titles. Furthermore, by modifying the memory speed to 23 Gbps. Accumulated you can expect a 7~8% performance improvement in demanding GPU scenarios compared to the reference (baseline) performance.
Ultimately, all cards across different brands are only a few percentage points apart, so the importance of that factor depends on your personal preferences. The package features an adapter that transforms two 8-pin PCIe power connectors into one 12-plus-four-pin 12VHPWR connector. For video output, there are three DisplayPort and one HDMI options. The backplate sports a contemporary design. MSI's offer is great in every significant aspect; the factory-tweaked performance could even be improved by a good margin. You can also enhance the card's performance by taking advantage of the games that support DLSS(3). It has to be stated, though, the founder edition card is the better one. It offers roughly the same performance but remains the more silent product. And if looks matter, you'll probably agree with me on that. When choosing between the RTX 4070 and Radeon RX 6800 (XT), it's important to consider factors such as raytracing performance and DLSS3, which the RTX 4070 excels at. A bit newer, the Radeon RX 7900 XT offers faster rasterizer engine performance with an additional L3 cache, making it a strong(er) contender for the RTX 4070. The RTX 4070 is priced $200 lower, so perhaps offers more value for money. In that respect, the 6800 series is a fairer to compare series. Performance-wise, depending on where you measure, you can compare the card with RTX 3080 / 3080 Ti performance levels. This graphics card has plenty of oomph up to even Ultra HD gaming (especially with DLSS3 / Frame generation enabled) with the option for a mild overclock.The market for graphics cards is in dire need of high-performing products that cost less than $500. At $599 you however can now find a proper WQHD graphics card with Raytracing options and DLSS3.With the ability to overclock mildly, this graphics card has all the features of a powerful enthusiast graphics card. The Gaming X TRIO impresses with its excellent cooling and superb acoustics, making it a fantastic design graphics card. While the default added performance is only 3~4%, this is still a card that we recommend, particularly if you value silent operation and an aesthetically pleasing appearance in your chassis. It has to be stated though at $599 the founder edition card perhaps remains the better choice as this Trio is bound to carry a price premium of at least $100.
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