MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO Review

Author:Brent Justice

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Wednesday, October 25, 2017

MSI has launched a new high end entry to its GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING series lineup. The MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO has a lot of performance with improved cooling compared to previous GAMING series video cards. We’ll see how well it performs in several games, and overclock it as high as we can.


MSI has a brand new video card based on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPU. We are going to be reviewing the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO today. This video card expands upon MSI’s GAMING series of video cards. This video card is currently selling at its $799.99 MSRP.


The new MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO fits in between MSI’s GAMING and LIGHTNING series of video cards. It is within the GAMING series, but sits at the high-end of the GAMING series right under the LIGHTNING series. In the GAMING series you will find the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING and MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X ($769.99).

While the new MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO is under the GAMING series, it doesn’t quite look like the other GAMING series video cards. This is because the GAMING X TRIO receives three of MSI’s TORX 2.0 fans, rather than two on the other GAMING series. It also has some other upgrades which separate it, and allow better cooling.

Out of the three GAMING series video cards the regular GAMING version has the lowest factory boosted overclock out of the box. Both the GAMING X model and the GAMING X TRIO model share the same factory boosted overclock in all modes. Therefore, both video cards actually ship at the same clock speeds, but the GAMING X TRIO supposedly has better cooling over the GAMING X.

The MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GAMING X TRIO comes out of the box at 1544MHz base clock and 1657MHz boost clock. This is called "Gaming Mode." Through the MSI Gaming App you can enable a software boosted OC Mode which makes it 1569MHz base clock and 1683MHz boost clock. In Gaming Mode the memory frequency is not overclocked and remains at 11GHz. In "OC Mode" the memory is overclocked to 11.1GHz. There is also a "Silent Mode" which clocks the video card to NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti default clock speeds of 1480MHz base clock and 1582MHz boost clock. Naturally, we will use manual overclocking in MSI Afterburner to see what clocks are supported by hand.

One of the key features that makes the TRIO the TRIO is the inclusion of three of MSI’s TORX 2.0 fans. Two are 100mm and one is 92mm. All three TORX 2.0 fans use a combination of a dispersion fan blade design and traditional fan blade design. The dispersion fan blade has a "steeper curved blade to accelerate airflow." The traditional blade "pushes down a steady airflow to the heatsink below." The fans also use double ball bearings.

Another key feature of the cooling system is a brand new "wave-curved cooling system" heatsink design. MSI claims a 10% better cooling performance. The fins of one of the heatsink blocks are curved, or wavy that split the airflow and increases the heat dissipation area by 10%.

The heat-pipe configuration on the cooler is beefy on this cooler. There are two 8mm "Super Pipes" and four 6mm heatpipes. That is a total of six heatpipes. The heatpipes themselves have smooth squared shapes at the bottom to maximize heat transfer from the surface to the base plate. There is also a specific separate MOSFET heatsink. The PCB itself uses MSI’s close quarters cooling to add support and PWM and memory cooling. There is also a full metal back plate.

This video card also features MSI’s RGB Mystic Light. With a downloadable program you can adjust and customize colors and LED effects of the light strip atop the video card, and the red LEDs on the shroud.

The video card requires 2x 8-pin power connectors, providing 300W of power. MSI’s Military Class Certified components are on this video card. It uses a 10-phase PWM design. There are two DisplayPorts, two HDMI, and one DVI. The video card is 12.7 inches long, so beware of sizing issues in your case. This is a big, heavy video card. The recommended PSU is 600W.