The MSI Gaming X was already one of the better GeForce GTX 1080 Tis and the Gaming X Trio performs even better than this card. The extra fan means that the card is slightly cooler at equal noise levels. The performance is practically equal to that of the regular dual-fan edition, but that means that they are still very good. The only thing to bear in mind is that the card is rather long; with its not exactly subtle 32.5 centimeters you should make sure that it actually fits inside your case.
We do not primarily base our conclusions on the aesthetics of a product, but we can say that we like the design of the Gaming X Trio. It differs enough from the existing Gaming X cards to consider this to be a new look, but nevertheless it it still undoubtedly an MSI graphics card. We do think that the red lighting at the front is a bit out of tune and the fact that there is no lighting of the logos at the top, visible in most cases, is something that MSI can improve.
Our main objection against the purchase of the GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio is mainly that the regular Gaming X was already a great card. While the triple-fan cooler is slightly more efficient, which is of course to be expected, the practical differences in cooling performance and noise levels are nearly unnoticeable. We presume that the third fan will only really show better performance when used with a graphics card that consumes even more power - another extra reason that it is a shame that MSI will not release one such custom RX Vega 64.
All in all MSI still offers an excellent GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, with primarily an excellent cooler. The Ultimate Product-award is deserved, but we do hope that MSI takes notice of our feedback so that they can improve upon this design for possible reuse with the next generation Nvidia-cards.