The company NVIDIA continues to dominate the top-notch graphics solutions segment. Recently released GeForce GTX 1080 Ti captures a new peak in gaming performance. Unreferenced versions can offer even more due to higher frequencies and powerful cooling, which allows to realize the overclocking potential.
In this article we consider just such a model GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, belonging to the line of Gaming products from MSI. Without superfluous words and long introductions, let’s start review MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G.
The graphics card is delivered in a large box, which is made in a single design for the products of Gaming. The package includes a power adapter PCI-E 6-pin / 8-pin and a disk with software.
Externally, the graphics card resembles other models of MSI Gaming due to the unified design of the plastic casing on the cooler. The case combines black and red elements. Two large fans are still used.
MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G is larger than its predecessors. This is the first MSI graphics adapter, which actually takes three expansion slots. Previously, all Gaming fit into the dimensions of the two expansion slots. The length of the map is 29 cm.
On the side of the body is a large GeForce GTX inscription and a dragon-shaped logo.
All top computer products are now equipped with illumination. It is present in this graphics card. The side dragon logo and red dots on the case are highlighted. Below is an illustration from the official website.
The back side of the graphics card is protected by a metal plate with a perforated zone in the vicinity of the chip so as not to interfere with the convection of hot air.
In the corner there are two power connectors for eight contacts. The configuration is nonstandard. If the power supply does not have such a set of cables, a complete adapter will help.
The set of connectors for image output differs from the standard one: two HDMI, two DisplayPorts and one DVI, which were rejected in the reference version.
Let’s take a closer look at the cooling system of MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G. At external examination on the side, one could notice a stiffening rib. It is part of a large plate that covers memory chips.
The power system does not have a separate radiator. Heat from the transistors is given by the main radiator, for this purpose there is a special contact pad. Note also that the chokes are covered with a long elastic pad that can play the role of a thermal interface, although it rests against the edges of the plates, rather than in a flat surface.
The design of the main radiator MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G has changed. It looks more like a cooler in a series of MSI Duke graphics cards, only more. A similar design is used in the top ASUS Strix.
The heat from the graphics chip is removed through a large plate. Five heat pipes are involved, one of them having a record diameter of 10 mm. The radiator is made from an array of thin plates, consists of two sections. And, as already mentioned above, the side section has a contact area with VRM power elements.
From the front side of the radiator there are two thin slats, to which the casing with fans is screwed. This fixing creates minimal resistance to air flow.
Fans of large diameter are 100 mm and are made using Torx 2.0 technology. The special arrangement of the blades and their bending provide increased airflow power and better dispersion, which is good for blowing a massive radiator.
Printed circuit board of non-standard design with enhanced power supply. High-quality electronic components Military Class 4 are used.
The graphic chip is powered from eight phases, the GDDR5X memory is from two phases.
The GP102-350-K1-A1 processor operates 3584 CUDA stream processors.
Memory of 11 GB is collected by the same number of GDDR5X chips from Micron (marking 6ZA77 D9VRL).
Operating frequencies are higher than recommended. The base frequency is 1544 MHz with Boost Clock 1658 MHz instead of 1480/1582 MHz at the reference. The effective frequency of data exchange in memory at 11 GHz.
The real Boost is above the stated average. For example, in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided at a resolution of 4K, the core frequency kept between 1911-1898 MHz, and in Tom Clancy’s The Division at 1873-1886 MHz in the same 4K format. Short-term peak values up to 1949 MHz.
When tested on an open stand in a room with a temperature of 24-25 ° C, the graphics card was heated to 70 ° C. The fans spun up to 1400 rpm, creating a minimal noise.
The graphics card supports several operating modes. The initial settings correspond to the Gaming Mode profile. There is also an OC Mode profile with higher core frequencies of 1569/1683 MHz and Silent Mode, in which frequencies are reduced to the recommended level. Switching is done through the application MSI Gaming App.
This program allows you to manage other parameters of MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G. So, MSI Gaming completely stops fans in idle time at low temperature, but this function can be turned off if necessary.
There was additional testing in OC Mode. The increase in frequencies is minimal, for example, in The Division it is 1886-1911 MHz.
The graphics card was able to overclock to 1659 MHz at the base frequency with peak Boost up to 2076 MHz. Memory steadily earned at 12 GHz.
In games, Boost held within 2025-2050 MHz. And this is the best performance among the previously tested GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The reference version showed frequencies of about 2 GHz and below, and the ASUS ROG Strix frequencies Boost kept within 2012-2025 MHz.
The overclocking potential was realized with moderate noise with fixing the fan speed at the level of 1700 rpm. More significant increase in frequencies led to unstable work.
The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti has an advantage over the GeForce GTX 1080 in Battlefield 1 at 32-34%. MSI Gaming is faster by another 6%, a gain from overclocking to 7%. In the overclocked state, MSI provides about 50 fps in a heavy test scene, but in most game situations the performance will be higher.
The difference between the older and younger graphics cards of the GTX 1080 series in Mankind Divided is up to 35%. MSI Gaming is faster than the reference companion by 5-6%, overclocking provides acceleration by an additional 7%.
In Fallout 4, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards provide excellent performance in the 2560×1440 format and good fps at 3840×2160. MSI demonstrates little superiority over the reference companion in denomination and in overclocking.
In Gears of War 4 there is a serious advantage of MSI Gaming relative to the reference, which may be due to a newer video driver. And after overclocking, the difference between the two variants of GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is more noticeable than in other applications. This graphics adapter initially shows about 60 fps in 4K mode, and overclocking only improves the performance.
The performance difference between the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and the GeForce GTX 1080 is 35% at a lower resolution and 36% at the maximum resolution. And if the junior video adapter allows you to play only in 2560×1440, then the senior on the 4K mode at a frame rate of 46-53 fps.
In Witcher 3 users of GeForce GTX 1080 can count on the resolution of 2560×1440, and Ti-version again allows to play in 4K. The difference between them is about 30% at a lower resolution and 35% at the maximum. MSI is faster than the reference companion by 6%, overclocking provides an acceleration of 6-7%.
At a lower resolution, the difference between the younger and older GeForce is 25%, in 4K the gap is more than 30%. MSI is faster than the reference by 5%, acceleration provides an acceleration of 7-10%.
In The Division, we again see a good break from MSI Gaming from the reference companion. The reason for this acceleration is not only in higher frequencies, the new driver from MSI could also help. As a result, when comparing overclocked GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, the difference is 3-5% in favor of Gaming.
The MSI video adapter is faster than the usual GeForce GTX 1080 Ti by 4-5%, overclocking provides acceleration up to 8%.
MSI is 5% faster than the usual GeForce GTX 1080 Ti and 26% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080 in overclocking. Gaming from the increase of its frequencies gets an acceleration of 7%.
Operating modes MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G
In addition to the main results, we present the results of testing the MSI video adapter with different frequency profiles (Gaming Mode and OC Mode).
Here everything is predictable: the minimum difference in the results between the MSI Gaming X modes, which corresponds to the minimum difference in operating frequencies.
MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G offers maximum gaming performance with high-quality cooling. The updated Twin Frozr VI cooler with a large heatsink and a pair of large fans ensures efficient cooling of all components at low noise levels. This is combined with factory overclocking and increased speed. Even more can be obtained during overclocking.
And although the overclocking for all GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is approximately on the same level, it is implemented on MSI with maintaining an acceptable noise level, while overclocking the reference versions without replacement of the cooler-turbine has no practical sense. The MSI graphics card showed the best GPU overclocking results, although this is the minimum win over other versions and the advantage of a couple of percent is not critical. But such indicators strengthen the top-level status of the graphics card. This is one of the best versions of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, which will suit the most demanding player, who wants to get not only the maximum performance, but also the maximum comfort in operation.