MSI Gaming X Trio GTX 1080 Ti Graphics Card Review
Peter Donnell / 2 years ago
A Closer Look
First impressions of this graphics card are “wow” and “holy s***”. Many high-end graphics cards come through this office and they’re often impressive, but immediately I can tell this one that is something pretty special.
In terms of aesthetics, the design is simply amazing. The switch to a triple fan design has certainly giving this graphics card some presence. The unique and aggressive shroud design really stands out from the crowd, with some really aggressive cuts and grooves and a mixture of different textured finished surfaces that give it a unique look and feel.
MSI has switched to a more unified colour scheme on this card, with mostly black and grey hardware. However, there are some small hints of red in the fins on the card to give it some added flare. Obviously, the move to a darker design on the card is something that’s going to pay off in the long run in terms of the RGB lighting.
The new fans are very nicely designed, promising massive airflow and low noise performance. Obviously, as with most of the high-end graphics cards, it also has a zero RPM mode to allow for completely silent performance in low-load scenarios.
The fin design on the side of the card looks amazing, it’s the little details like this that set apart the premium products from the run-of-the-mill products. Aesthetics are a big part of the PC gaming market these days, in some cases, it’s just as important as the performance.
The card uses a massive dual heatsink design, offering up a huge amount of surface area for cooling the card. One of the heat sinks cools the main GPU block, while the other one will take care of the power delivery hardware.
The heat is fed through the card by 5 thick heat pipes running from front to back and bridging the two heatsinks together.
Connectivity is really good too, with a DVI connector, two DisplayPort connectors, and two HDMI connectors. I really like that they went with 2 HDMI connectors, as for those who are running an HDMI compatible display, as well as a VR headset (which typically are HDMI), it will make your life a lot easier.
You can’t have a high-end graphics card these days without a quality backplate. The Trio is treated to a full-length aluminium backplate, was some extra ventilation, and a kick ass dragon decal. And if you look closely, you will also see an inset MSI logo, which is going to offer RGB backlighting that matches up with the logo and RGB lighting on the side of the card.
Being a factory overclocked graphics card, it has a higher power requirement than the stock 1080 Ti. Towards the rear of the card, you will see there are two 8-pin power connectors, a step up from the usual 8+6-pin connectors on the stock card.