The Gaming X series from MSI is generally a hot seller on etailer websites and…
Best MSI GTX 1080 Black Friday Deals 2020
MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G
The GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G is a somewhat conservative offering from MSI. This is not a disadvantage by itself, because the company combines reliable factory overclocking with a good set of specs it doesn’t break your budget. Besides, MSI has its premium Lightning model for enthusiasts who demand a far more complex graphics card. Then, at the other end of the spectrum, there are simpler/cheaper Armor 8G and Aero 8G cards. MSI’s GTX 1080 Gaming X fits somewhere in the centre.
We’re testing a press sample with an MSI-supplied firmware. In this version, the OC mode is active by default, leading to approximately 20 MHz higher base and GPU Boost frequencies. Since dissimilarities between your retail model and our press version are negligible used, we didn’t re-flash the BIOS and instead switched the card back again to standard (instead of OC) mode using MSI’s bundled software. Ultimately, our card’s clock rates match the retail version.
Exterior & Interfaces
Much like most third-party GeForce GTX 1080s, the Gaming X’s shroud is made from relatively thin plastic. Beneath the hood, though, an enormous frame provides better stability than we’ve seen elsewhere.
Weighing in at 38.8oz (1101g), the Gaming X 8G isn’t specifically light. It measures 11.2in (28.4cm) long, five and one-third inches (13.5cm) high, one and three-eighths inches (3.5cm) wide, and occupies two full slots. The rotor blades of its double ball-bearing fans have a diameter of three and three-fourths inches (9.5cm), which explains the card’s towering height.
The trunk of the board is included in a single-piece plate sporting holes for ventilation. But at no point could it be linked to the PCB via thermal pads, and so it does nothing to assist cooling. Plan for yet another one-fifth of an inch (5mm) comprehensive beyond the plate, which might become relevant in multi-GPU configurations.
Using the card without its backplate is difficult because of well-integrated spacers. Furthermore, the plate is attached with screws that are too short to secure the frame and VRM cooler after the backplate is gone. Due to this fact, we had to accomplish our testing with this little bit of metal set up, notably limiting our view through the IR testing.
The most notable of the Gaming X is dominated by an illuminated MSI logo and three obvious heat pipes (two 6mm pipes and the one which measures 8mm in diameter). One eight- and one six-pin power connector sit by the end of the card and rotated by 180°. The decision of colors adheres to MSI’s black and scarlet corporate design, as the Gaming X’s condition matches previous-gen models.
The finish of the card is totally open, that is a happy coincidence because the cooler’s fins run horizontally and so channel air toward the trunk and output bracket. We think about this an advantage for two reasons. First, a substantial amount of heat exhausts from the case before it includes a chance to heat anything up. Second, the air that remains can easier be directed from the CPU and its own cooler.
The trunk bracket features five outputs, which no more than four can be utilised simultaneously in a multi-monitor setup. Furthermore to 1 dual-link DVI-D connector (remember that there is absolutely no analog signal), the bracket also exposes one HDMI 2.0b and three DisplayPort 1.4-ready outputs. Openings for airflow dot all of those other bracket. If the often-unused DVI port have been left off and replaced by a bundled adapter, the card could have had more space for ventilation to boost cooling efficiency.
Board & Components
The 1080 Gaming X uses GDDR5X memory modules from Micron, which can be purchased along with Nvidia’s GPU to board partners. Eight memory chips (MT58K256M32JA-100) transferring at 10 MT/s are mounted on a 256-bit interface, enabling a theoretical bandwidth of 320 GB/s.
Similar to Nvidia’s reference design, the 8+2-phase power system uses µP9511P as its PWM controller. Unlike the Founders Edition board, however, this controller resides on leading of MSI’s card instead of its back.
The PWM controller can’t talk to the VRM MOSFETs directly, so MSI utilizes PWM drivers (gate drivers) to speak to them. Through the use of dual-, instead of single-channel MOSFETs, MSI can construct its PCB better. And for coils, MSI complements SFCs (Super Ferrite Chokes), which are a lttle bit classier when compared to a suspects we’re familiar with finding.
Furthermore, two capacitors are installed right below the GPU to soak up and equalize voltage peaks, exactly like Nvidia’s reference implementation.
Before we look at power consumption, we ought to speak about the correlation between GPU Boost frequency and core voltage, which are so similar that people made a decision to put their graphs one along with the other. We’ll also see that clock rate doesn’t drop substantially during gaming, even following the Gaming X gets hotter.
After warm-up, the GPU Boost frequency falls to 1936 MHz sometimes. This behavior is mirrored by our voltage measurements. Although we observe up to at least one 1.062V initially, voltage later drops to at least one 1.05V. The graph itself remains mostly flat though, just as we saw whenever we recorded frequency as time passes.
MSI put its give attention to the GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G’s coolant system, and it shines due to this fact. A good frame covers almost the complete board (or at least the part not already included in the VRM cooler, which is implemented as a huge plate with fins).
There are thermal pads between your memory modules and that frame, combined with the VRMs and cooling plate, to facilitate heat transfer between them. Really, we’d have recommended a thinner and better design since MSI’s fans spin slowly, limiting airflow somewhat.
The massive cooler employs horizontally-oriented fins, four nickel-plated .25in (6mm) heat pipes, and a one-third-inch (8mm) pipe. The direction they face is pretty much irrelevant since they contain sintered composite material. The pipes all get together over a nickel-plated block.