Graphics Card MSI GeForce GTX GAMING 1080 the Z has become the second model in our test lab with an alternative design after the first review of the five cards GTX 1080. MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z – the fastest graphics card with air cooling from MSI, it relies on the same TwinFrozr IV cooler, and that model GAMING X. Another advantage can be called a software that makes it easier to unleash the power of performance. Of course, not without RGB-illumination, which now considers it his duty to install nearly every manufacturer.
Some manufacturers have limited versions of their graphics cards GeForce GTX 1080 one-two models except Founders Edition, but MSI decided to release a pretty decent range, namely seven models GeForce GTX 1080. After Founders Edition followed Aero 8G OC video card, also used turbine. Next it was released Armor 8G OC with two fans focused on the lower price segment (for the GeForce GTX 1080). With Corsair MSI has developed a graphics card GeForce GTX 1080 Sea Hawk X with a water cooling system with a closed circuit. If you want to integrate into an existing circuit card CBO, then pay attention to the GeForce GTX 1080 Sea Hawk EK X. Finally, as the champions are positioned two graphics cards Gaming X and Z. Model MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z runs a little faster, it is also equipped with RGB-backlit.
The GeForce GTX 1080 can not be called cheap, but expect to pay more for MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z. In Europe, the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z can be purchased from 899 euros, and is by reservation only. In Russia, at the time of the publication of the video card has not yet appeared.
By overclocking the GeForce MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z from MSI is based on flexibility, the user can choose between high performance and quiet operation as much as possible. The Gaming and OC mode, the base rate rises from 1.607 MHz to 1.733 or 1.771 MHz. In Boost mode, we get an increase in the minimum bracket with a 1.733 to 1.873 MHz and 1.911 MHz. We conducted tests in the OC mode with the frequencies 1.873 / 1.911 MHz. If you plan to run the card in Silent mode, the frequency will correspond to the reference. MSI Memory in Silent mode did not disperse, although Gaming and OC modes to work on 2.527 MHz.
If you are interested in architecture Pascal, we encourage you to read our review of the standard version GeForce GTX 1080. In it, we looked at Pascal architecture, the new 16-nm process technology and FinFET other details.
As we have noted in many GPU tests, whether the NVIDIA or AMD, graphics card performed better paired with alternative cooling systems, as performance depends on frequency and temperature. All this was perfectly evident in the video cards in the first consolidated overview of GeForce GTX 1080.
MSI to OC mode, put the frequency Boost 1.911 MHz frequency in practice are higher, namely in the range of 1.961-1.974 MHz. The MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z remains one of the fastest video cards, but the absolute leader can not call it. Temperature a few degrees below the limit strap, it does not exceed 80 ° C, and therefore is not a limiting factor. Frequencies run into the limits GPU voltage as power strip exhibited fairly high.
Before we consider in detail the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z, let me give the technical specifications of the cooler, PCB, etc.
With a length of 276 mm graphics card MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z is quite usual size. It is neither compact nor too long. It is easy to fit in most cases. The height of the PCB a bit more familiar values – 140 mm, but the manufacturer had to take this step in order to fit the components on the PCB. Below we look at them in detail.
MSI has remained committed to its traditional design, dominated by red and black colors. The first distinctive feature of high-end graphics card, you can call the two fans 95 mm in diameter, the majority of the competitors we have only three fan. MSI has optimized the shape of the blades and their number, promising better performance than its competitors.
Back plate fully covers the PCB. The presence of numerous cutouts that allow air to circulate beneath the rear plate. On the left you can see the MSI logo, which pleases another special function. To her we will return below.
As we have noted, two fans have a diameter of 95 mm each. A large number of blades provides a significant air flow blown air. Fans run at GPU heated to 62 ° C. When the load is removed the fans are stopped when the temperature drops to 52 ° C. In the range between the two values of the fans slowly reduce or build momentum. The maximum speed is 1,770 rev / min.
Two SLI connectors allow you to combine up to four graphics cards in multi-GPU configurations. In practice, this number is very rare, since the majority of games wins, at best, on two cards. In addition, even buy two cards for 900 euros will be few users.
Extra power is supplied through one 6 and one 8-pin connector. Together with a PCI Express slot on the video card can theoretically be made up to 300 watts of power. So the margin of power up there. But to cope if the available power phases?
Behind the video can be seen additional radiators are covered Components PCB power subsystem. Visible and of the GPU cooler with heat pipe heat from the GPU is transferred to the radiator fins.
Top video heatpipes are visible very well. Cooler MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z picks up heat only from the GPU. All other components, including memory chips, are cooled separately.
The back plate is present line logo MSI Gaming G in the form of a dragon. Top LEDs illuminated icon, which is not the MSI inscriptions. With the help of the utility you can control the lighting.
In the slot plug MSI offers a standard configuration for Pascal map. Namely, three-port DisplayPort 1.3 / 1.4, one HDMI 2.0b interface and dual-channel DVI. The holes in the plug slot for adding more beauty, because through them is thrown out a very small part of the air. The cooler does not throw out the air is forced through the holes.
Below we look at the graphics card with the cooler removed, which will consider it in detail.
After removing the cooler TwinFrozr VI pay attention to two features. First, the cooler removes heat only from the GPU. Secondly, MSI PCB used for cooling two plate components. Separately, “look out” high components.
The back of the PCB installed power subsystem components, MSI is added radiators. Black radiator fins blows air from the main fan cooler.
After removing the two additional plates can consider the PCB. There are no special features to note difficult. The area around the GPU and memory chips is quite free, but in the last third of the video we get very closely spaced components: inductors, capacitors, etc.
Eight Micron memory chips are cooled by a metal plate, the heat which is transmitted through the white napkin. MSI paid a large amount of thermal paste on the GPU, it is enough to re-use after the removal of the cooler.
Ten phases provide enough power GPU, memory, and PCI Express interface. That is, four MSI established phase more than the reference NVIDIA Founders Edition. However, some graphics cards with the alternative design is also based on the ten phases. In standard mode, the user is unlikely to notice the difference, but overclockers road each additional phase.
Height 140 mm from PCB linked mainly to the number of voltage phases. MSI neatly distributed adjustment phase. Around the GPU and memory chips components is very small, as well as tracks in the top layer of the PCB.
In the back of the PCB, you can see the electronic components responsible for the correct operation of the Boost mechanism. There are some resistors, shunts with low resistance, designed for current measurement.
Without rear plate PCB can be considered in all its glory. It is clearly seen where the GPU installed power subsystem components. MSI of the components installed on the rear side of the PCB, but the height they do not conflict with the rear plastinoy.s
We took pictures of the two cooling plates on the front side of the PCB. In contact with the components of the MSI used a thermal interface material.
The back plate is added the dragon logo backlit, you can see the corresponding power cables. Before removing the connector plate connecting cables should be carefully disconnected from the PCB, so it does not become loose. The same applies to the connection of the front fan connector.
Cooler TwinFrozr VI only removes heat from the GPU. It uses a large base of which overlook six heatpipes. Frankly, the base seemed to us too close, especially since it is not in contact with the memory.
dragon logo on the back plate looks very nice. The user can control the logo illuminated by the utility, as well as backlit MSI inscription on the face of the video card.
The software is well familiar to us. On the left we have led Gaming application screenshot in version 6, which allows you to switch between different modes. Right visible select different LED colors.
Proceed to estimate noise power and temperature.
Noise level measurements in idle mode for most modern video cards do not make sense, because they shut off the fans. The same applies to MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z, when the GPU is cooled below 52 ° C.
Under load, the GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card with alternative CO show similar results in terms of noise. At MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z we get 40.1 dB (A), the card runs quietly, but some competitors show even less noise.
In idle mode, MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z heated strongly enough, to 44 ° C. We get the highest temperature level among the GTX video cards GeForce 1080. But technically it does not cause any problems.
Under load, the GPU MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z is heated to 80 ° C, but there is no problem, since the temperature remains below the ceiling 83 ° C.
idle mode for the MSI is not a problem. Despite the high clock frequency, the power consumption remains within reasonable limits. Small differences between high-end graphics cards are acceptable.
Under load, power consumption is increased, but due to the high efficiency of Pascal architecture remains relatively small. Still, we should take into account the performance of the graphics card. Do not forget that we measured the power consumption for the entire system.
With connection of several monitors is not a problem. Energy consumption increased slightly.
MSI adds to the GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z decent factory overclock, but we decided to squeeze extra performance using manual overclocking. We have increased the Power Limit bar at + 20%. Since the GPU in normal mode was heated to 80 ° C, we have significantly increased fan speed. As a result, we were able to achieve GPU 2.026 MHz frequency. The result is not bad, but not outstanding. But at least you’ll be able to squeeze out a few more frames per second in your favorite game.
With the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z MSI introduced another high-end model on the fastest single GPU. But the performance is inferior to the leaders of Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme Edition and Inno3D iChill GeForce GTX 1080 X3. More often than MSI GeForce GTX GAMING Z 1080 behind them, but it all depends on the particular test. In any case, the difference is a matter of fps to, so choose a card based on this difference is hardly reasonable. Yet other factors should be considered.
Among them – the cooling system. All tested video card with an alternate design cut off fans at idle – unlike the Founders Edition. Therefore, this argument is lost. The noise level under load is not a strong point of the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z – we got 40.1 dB (A), although it can not be called high. Temperatures in the MSI graphics card relatively high. From a technical point of view, 44 and 80 ° C in operation and under load – not a problem, but other producers managed to cool the GPU more efficiently, allowing a little squeeze higher levels of performance. However, the graphics card is not limited by the restriction on temperature or power consumption, frequency limits the maximum voltage level, exposed NVIDIA. In view of energy efficiency can be called pleasant low.
Let us turn to the unique features of the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z. Here, I would like to note the RGB backlight. Although if you have a closed housing with a side panel, the backlight can be safely ignored. If in case there is a window, the Gaming line logo in the form of a dragon MSI highlight very nice. With the tool you can change the colors RGB backlight back plate and end graphics card.
MSI GeForce GTX graphics card with MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z is targeting a leading position. At least, for the price it is possible – it is 899 euros. At that price, you expect that the card will be the lead in all the tests, but in practice this has not happened. Of the additional features MSI only offers RGB backlight, although other manufacturers are added, such as corporate or SLI bridge module for connecting the VR glasses. So full recommendation MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING Z of us do not.