MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio review: more is better?

The longest GTX 1080 Ti up until this point – but is it also the best one?


The Tri Frozr-cooler

The Tri Frozr-cooler on the GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio is somewhat in between the triple-fan cooler of the Lightning Z and the dual-fan, but it is still the two-and-a-half slot thick cooler that we saw on the regular 1080 Ti Gaming X. You can roughly say that the heatsink of the Gaming X is used, although it is a slightly longer version, while the three fans come from the Lightning. 

On the PCB that is designed by MSI - more on that on the next page - we find a metal plate that is supposed to prevent sagging, while it also offers extra cooling for the power supply and the memory chips. The heatsink itself comes into contact with the GPU and mosfest via nick plated copper baseplates. Six copper heatpipes, four of them 6 mm tichk and two 'superpipes' that are 8 mm thick, convey the heat through to the aluminium heatsink. 

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio

When we take a closer look at that heatsink we find something special, because MSI uses so-called 'wave-curved cooling system'. Below every heatpipe we find a small wave in the fins, which increases the cooling surface by 10% according to the manufacturer. At the same time the other parts of the fin are straight, to prevent too much friction. The cooling performance and noise levels have to be considered, and these should be balanced. 

At the top we find a black shroud with three Torx 2.0-fans put into it. The outer two fans are 10 centimeters big, while the middle fan is slightly smaller with 92 mm. All of them are equipped with double ball bearings and of course they are silent when the card is not under load, which means that you do not hear the graphics card inside your pc when your are doing office work and when surfing the web. 

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio

At the back of the card we of course find a black backplate, as well as a strip of rgb-lighting. This can be controlled and synchronized using the MSI Mystic Light-software. The led-strips at the front unfortunately only show red light. Furthermore the MSI-logo at the top, visible in a lot of cases because of the sidewindow, does not have lighting. 

Product discussed in this review

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MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, 1544 MHz, 11264 MB

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