MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Review
Such is the consistent yield and performance of modern GPUs, the differences between each type of card become slimmer as the years pass. Whereas once you could buy the fastest clocked card and be certain that it was the fastest of that model, with the automatic overclocking available in the drivers the rated clock speed of the card becomes much less important than before.
However, it is this very automatic overclocking method that we can then use to find the subtle differences between cards. Automatically overclocking anything will always tend towards the cautious side of things, after all Nvidia can't risk a thousand law suits, and thus the amount of smooth power delivery and thermal headroom will be the deciding factor. The MSI Gaming X Trio has as much thermal headroom as any card we've tested this side of a water-cooled offering, with a tremendously low delta temperature showing off the results of the hard work the designers have put in. Thick heatpipes, high fin density and the carefully designed TORX 4.0 fans all work in perfect harmony on the Tri Frozr 2 and this brings the clock speed up to the point it's knocking on the door of 2000 MHz average. Getting great peak clock speed is good for advertising and screenshots, but average clock speed is the element that will affect how smooth your games are during those marathon sessions. The Gaming X Trio is very smooth indeed in all of our benchmarks.
The other benefit to having excellent cooling on top of a custom PCB with extra fuses and two 8 pin power inputs is the headroom it gives you when you take control of the overclocking, should you so desire. With 20°C of thermal space to work in you can push the Gaming X Trio to new heights safely. Those of you who fear the dreaded card droop - something which the internet would have you believe happens more often than it does - will be secure in the knowledge that the MSI Gaming X Trio not only has additional support built into the cooler but the box also contains a support bracket to give you a belt and braces solution.
In plug and play performance the MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio is pretty much just behind on average with the Gigabyte RTX 3070 we reviewed. It is however close enough that it is perfect for the user who wants to stay loyal to one brand if only for the ease of controlling your RGB lighting in a single program, and the popularity of the MSI motherboards should see plenty of Gaming X Trio's flying off the shelves. Personally we were expecting a tiny bit more, given the previous state of the Gaming X Trio cards. We're not saying it's bad at all, in the slightest, but that brand name holds some kudos value that this card doesn't live up to. The amount of power it draws for no appreciable improvement over the Gigabyte or Nvidia cards is particularly galling. It looks much faster than it is in reality.
However, it's extremely cool, supremely quiet, and looks very nice with plenty of RGB lighting and that matte black Graphene backplate sets things off perfectly. It's RTX 2080 Ti performance for half the price you'd have paid just a month or so ago and wins our Gamers Choice award.
The MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio has a MSRP of £539.