MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Mini Review
Published: 5th May 2017 | Source: MSI | Price: |
Let's get the obvious bit out of the way first. This is a GTX 1080 Ti. If you want the best gaming experience that the market has to offer you could do much worse than this. It's ridiculously capable and the first card that brings 4K gaming even close to the realms of possibility, unless you are content with slide shows of course. Even a bad GTX 1080 Ti is still brilliant, but they are so closely matched that we need to get very pernickety to separate them.
It is in these fine details that the MSI Gaming X ends up quite disappointing. We understand that if you have a great cooler already designed then there is little reason to change it for the sake of chance, particularly given the costs involved in re-tooling. But we've had the Twin Frozr VI with us since the GTX 980 - not even the Ti version - and that was a long time ago. Much has changed in the market since then. The days of red and black are largely consigned to history with neutral colours and RGB lighting dominating everywhere. Hell, MSI themselves are almost at the forefront with some of the best modern motherboards around. You just need to look at their Titanium model for an example of this. This is the perfect time to produce a graphics card that blends with modern aesthetics and yet they've stuck rigidly to something that just doesn't cut it in the modern age.
Okay, the logo is RGB. But it's also tiny and dominated by that red surround. So in the end you're forced to either make the logo red, or white. That hardly counts as giving the end user the freedom to choose their colour scheme. Also the main block of the heatsink is the expensive part to design and produce, so all this really needed was a new plastic shroud in a neutral colour with the red light bars that surround the fans adjusted to RGB ones. It would have made a world of difference.
Of course any aesthetic considerations would be rendered moot should the performance match the lofty price tag. As you saw from our graph though, neither the peak boost clock nor the average boost clock won any awards for performance. When even the nVidia reference cooler is freeing the card up more than the MSI third party one, and for a much more affordable entry price, it makes it extremely difficult to recommend. After all, it wouldn't be the first piece of hardware that we had reservations about pricing and looks but were swayed by the brick-hammer of performance.
When it comes to summing up the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X it is expensive, with poor clock speeds and what seems like an old-fashioned design now when compared to the competition. It is, still, a GTX 1080 Ti under the hood though, so if you absolutely must have a MSI card, and you don't care that its red and black, and you don't mind paying a little more money for a little less performance, then this will fit the bill. That is a tiny target audience, if that isnt you then we would go else where when there are better performing, cheaper, colour neutral cards available.
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