Introduction

In our review today we will be taking a look at the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO, the highest-end RTX 3060 Ti currently produced by MSI. MSI does offer a non-“X” model that has a lower GPU Boost, but the “X” model we have today has a higher boost clock. Below that you will find the VENTUS and TWIN FAN models. The GAMING X TRIO also indicates this is a tri-fan design. In essence, this is the fastest GeForce RTX 3060 Ti video card MSI offers. Also check out our recent review of the MSI GeForce RTX 3070 GAMING X TRIO, the big brother and next step up from this video card.

This video card has a clear focus on performance, with its large cooling solution and an ample factory overclock. This video card is based on the Ampere architecture that was first released in September with the GeForce RTX 3080. That initial launch primarily focused on high-end cards, but as of December 1st we are finally seeing Ampere, in the form of GeForce RTX 3060 Ti come to form in the mid-range and it looks really interesting. The default MSRP for GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition is $399, though the custom video card we have from MSI today will carry a price premium.

The MSI default MSRP for the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO will be $489.99. That is $90 over the MSRP of the Founders Edition. During our time writing this review we have found that this video card is another hard to come by release. At the moment the video card is listed at Amazon and Newegg but not anywhere near the official MSRP for the video card. Once the product is in stock more, hopefully, pricing will normalize.

At that price point of $489.99, you are right next to the $499 (MSRP) GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition pricing. With pricing this close it’s only natural to ask yourself where your money would be better spent, and that is exactly what we intend to find out in this review. In this review we will be pitting the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO against the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super Founders Edition.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Models

MSI has several custom GeForce RTX 3060 Ti models. These models are the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING, MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti VENTUS 2X OC, MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti VENTUS 3X OC, and the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO. The other products in MSI’s portfolio are lower-end variants that manage to stay closer to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti’s MSRP and reference specs. The VENTUS and GAMING video cards come with either a dual or a triple-fan option as their names imply, along with a factory overclock applied.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO

The MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO graphics card is based on the Samsung 8nm process node and Ampere architecture. It features 38 SM’s, 4864 CUDA Cores, 152 Tensor Cores (3rd Gen), 38 RT Cores (Ray Tracing Cores) (2nd Gen), 152 TMUs, and 80 ROPs. It has a GPU Boost Clock of 1830MHz, 8GB of GDDR6 memory at 14GHz on a 256-bit bus providing 448GB/s of memory bandwidth. For reference, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition has a GPU Boost Clock of 1665MHz. That is therefore a very large factory overclock of 1830MHz on the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO.

Once we received the product, we were shocked at just how large the box was for this mid-range video card. It really gave this card a more premium feel than you would get if it just came in a standard shoebox-sized container. The packaging is adorned with multiple references to NVIDIA technologies like DLSS, RTX, G-SYNC, and the like. As well as a plethora of information regarding MSI’s TRI FROZR 2 Cooling solution which we will discuss in more detail below. Inside the box, you find some common documentation as well as a Comic book guide for how to install a GPU that I found hilariously charming. Below all of this documentation is a well-packaged GPU tucked within a lot of protective foam, alongside a GPU support bracket for those concerned about GPU sag.

This GPU comes in at some rather large dimensions for a mid-range card, with measurements of 12.71 inches L x 5.51 inches W x 2.20 inches D in (323 L x 140 W x 56 D mm). This is almost entirely due to MSI deciding to stick with roughly the same cooling solution used with its higher-end MSI GAMING X TRIO video cards. CORE PIPE technology is a term used to describe MSI’s square machined heat pipes, that make full contact with the GPU die. This is part of MSI’s TRI FROZR 2 Cooling solution that also relies upon its TORX FAN 4.0, and FIN+AIRFLOW CONTROL solutions.

With TORX FAN 4.0 MSI has bound two blades together, with an outer ring design, that purports to increase airflow through the fins. While FIN+AIRFLOW CONTROL introduces channels in the heatsink that reduce unwanted harmonics leading to decreased noise. Finally, for those worried about GPU sag, no need, MSI has seen fit to include a GPU support inside the box which is a welcome inclusion with a GPU of this size.

Photos

MSI states that the back-plate is made with graphene in order to assist heat conductivity, in my humble opinion this back-plate feels like its constructed primarily of plastic and then coated with a layer of graphene. Overall, not a bad solution but I would have preferred a metal backplate personally.

On the back of the GPU, we see 3 SP-CAP capacitors being utilized. This should prove to be more than sufficient for this GPU. We also see MSI is providing power to this GPU via two 8-pin PCI-Express power connectors, this should be more than enough for some great overclocking headroom.

Build Quality

After we finished gathering all the required data for this review we went about disassembling the GPU to get a better look at the cooling solution MSI used. After what seemed like an eternity taking out screws we were finally able to carefully remove the heatsink from the GPU die. As you can see in our photo below, this is an impressive design supplied to end-users right out of the box. We can see 6 CORE PIPE heat pipes that converge upon the die area to make direct contact for maximum thermal transfer. This is two fewer heat pipes when compared to some of MSI’s higher-end models, which is inconsequential once you consider the lesser power requirements needed to run this card.

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12 Comments

  1. Trying to justify buying an overpriced lesser GPU that needs very aggressive overclocks to get "close" to the baseline of better GPU that sits only 10 dollars ahead is not very convincing……not to mention, compare apple to apples, overclock the 3070 FE and then compare them. If the 3060 you review was significantly cheaper, you might have an argument……10 bucks…..nope.
    Also, since you can’t buy either one……well who cares.
  2. Yeah… The pricing on this one doesn’t make total sense. Like Magoo was saying, it’s only $10 cheaper than the 3070 FE, and I’m sure would be stomped if the FE was overclocked too.

    Only positive I do have to add, is its nice to see them crush last generations GPUs with a power reduction to boot!

    PS: Nice review {NG}Fidel! Well done!

  3. Trying to justify buying an overpriced lesser GPU that needs very aggressive overclocks to get "close" to the baseline of better GPU that sits only 10 dollars ahead is not very convincing……not to mention, compare apple to apples, overclock the 3070 FE and then compare them. If the 3060 you review was significantly cheaper, you might have an argument……10 bucks…..nope.
    Also, since you can’t buy either one……well who cares.

    Look it fas some fancy lights, hey lets charge $90+
    Really there is NO scenenario where this card is a better choice than the simplest RTX3070.

  4. Pricing on everything is pretty much broken right now, a rotten time to buy any class of GPU.
    That being said, this card did impress me due to its low operating temperatures, silent operation, and its build quality. Feel free to disagree. For my part I agree that the pricing is steep, as are most premium GPUs, and perhaps I could have worded that better in my article.
    On the other hand, I think they are providing a premium product here, and MSRP’s are basically meaningless right now.

    I get the feelings here though guys, and I sympathize. Right now I am looking around for a friend, his Titan X Pascal had its VRAM take a **** on him, and it feels like looking around for replacements is a waste of time. Everything Is marked up to a ridiculous amount to a point where I think we do need to allow for some time to pass before prices settle down to something reasonable.

  5. Pricing on everything is pretty much broken right now, a rotten time to buy any class of GPU.
    That being said, this card did impress me due to its low operating temperatures, silent operation, and its build quality. Feel free to disagree. For my part I agree that the pricing is steep, as are most premium GPUs, and perhaps I could have worded that better in my article.
    On the other hand, I think they are providing a premium product here, and MSRP’s are basically meaningless right now.

    I get the feelings here though guys, and I sympathize. Right now I am looking around for a friend, his Titan X Pascal had its VRAM take a **** on him, and it feels like looking around for replacements is a waste of time. Everything Is marked up to a ridiculous amount to a point where I think we do need to allow for some time to pass before prices settle down to something reasonable.

    There are no bad products, only bad prices :LOL: :LOL: :rolleyes::rolleyes:

    I don’t really think it makes sense to make premium cards that overlap with the next tier specially with mainstream cards. There are several 3070 premium cards that retail at over $600 but they don’t overlap with the RTX3080.

  6. It’s kinda like this: Premium Card vs. Premium Card it might make sense

    But Premium Card vs. Stock Reference MSRP Card it doesn’t

    Know what I mean?

    The MSI 3070 GAMING X TRIO is $599 vs. The MSI 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO is $489

    So if you only go for premium, custom cards then there you go, there’s a $110 price separation, and so the 3060 Ti looks more appealing price-wise, and can reach almost 3070 performance. That’s not a bad deal.

    MSI 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO is $489 vs. Stock Reference MSRP 3070 is $499

    Well then that doesn’t look like a good deal, but at this point, you are comparing a premium custom card, to a no frills, stock, reference 3070 at its MSRP, and yes that would mean the 3070 is a better deal, BUT, you forgo the bells and whistles. In that comparison, it doesn’t make sense, but again, it’s two different "builds" of cards.

  7. Really there is NO scenenario where this card is a better choice than the simplest RTX3070.

    There is the scenario where this card is in stock at MSRP, and the closest 3070 is a scalped $1200 model.

    It looks a lot better in that hypothetical situation, but in deference to your point – that’s about the only situation it looks good.

  8. It’s kinda like this: Premium Card vs. Premium Card it might make sense

    But Premium Card vs. Stock Reference MSRP Card it doesn’t

    Know what I mean?

    The MSI 3070 GAMING X TRIO is $599 vs. The MSI 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO is $489

    So if you only go for premium, custom cards then there you go, there’s a $110 price separation, and so the 3060 Ti looks more appealing price-wise, and can reach almost 3070 performance. That’s not a bad deal.

    MSI 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO is $489 vs. Stock Reference MSRP 3070 is $499

    Well then that doesn’t look like a good deal, but at this point, you are comparing a premium custom card, to a no frills, stock, reference 3070 at its MSRP, and yes that would mean the 3070 is a better deal, BUT, you forgo the bells and whistles. In that comparison, it doesn’t make sense, but again, it’s two different "builds" of cards.

    I concur, but the thing is, the stock 3070 is a **** good card, even without all the bells and whistles, it runs cool, its quiet and is a nice overclocker.

    I am on the look for stock RTX 3070, I would consider a 3060Ti if I saved at least $50 with bells and whistles.

  9. I gotta say that for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to buy a next gen card during the christmas season. Only got the RivaTnT2 from my girlfriend back then (and S3X :p :p ) and a Geforce 8600 I won on a contest.

    Anyway I quickly learned it was the worst shopping time for videocards, no stock and inflated prices, got much worse in the last few years, I’d say since Maxwell. So I rather wait till spring and see what happens. Who knows, maybe Cyberpunk bugs will be ironed out :D:D

  10. I gotta say that for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to buy a next gen card during the christmas season. Only got the RivaTnT2 from my girlfriend back then (and S3X :p :p ) and a Geforce 8600 I won on a contest.

    Anyway I quickly learned it was the worst shopping time for videocards, no stock and inflated prices, got much worse in the last few years, I’d say since Maxwell. So I rather wait till spring and see what happens. Who knows, maybe Cyberpunk bugs will be ironed out :D:D

    Could not agree more regarding Cyber Punk 2077 but I will say that some of those bugs are hilarious.
    If I put a body in one car and then blow it up, that body just ends up in my arms again. This one time, it happened during a big fight near a car that I already dropped a body in. I ended up just cracking up as my character got annihilated.

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