At 1440p without any Ray Tracing enabled we found that the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO is more than capable of providing playable frame rates in all titles. The lowest I saw this card get to was 56 FPS average in Watch Dogs Legions, which is playable for a single-player action title like Watch Dogs Legions. It also managed to consistently beat the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FE at stock, a $699 video card.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO came very close to the 3070’s level of performance in titles like Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Watch Dogs Legion when overclocked. It’s absolutely fair to call the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO a solid 1440p class GPU.
Ray Tracing and DLSS
As most of our readers know, Ray Tracing is NVIDIA’s playground right now and with each iteration of the RTX series, they are doubling down. The performance increase in Ray Traced titles when compared to the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FE shows the advantage of the new architecture on the RTX 3060 Ti GPU. This is a $489.99 video card beating a $699 video card in Ray Tracing.
Adding DLSS into the mix is a good way to make features like Ray Tracing very playable at 1440p in games like Watch Dogs: Legion. DLSS makes Ray Tracing enjoyable on the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO at 1440p in very demanding games. DLSS is a key technology that allows the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti to achieve this level of gameplay in an affordable mainstream video card.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO managed to only reach a maximum temperature of 69 degrees Celsius when overclocked to around 2GHz. I hate to sound like a broken record here but it did this all while staying whisper silent. With Fan speeds set to 100% I was able to get max temperatures around 58 degrees Celsius which is really impressive. None of the competing cards in this review could maintain higher clock speeds without violently annoying fan speeds.
The MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO is really not that power-hungry and anyone with a decent 600-750W Power supply should be able to handle this without breaking a sweat. When overclocked we saw power consumption rise to 365W which was well below the 381W 3070 and the 403W 2080 SUPER FE.
Overclocking the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO was enjoyable, albeit limited feeling. The lack of voltage control had us constantly wondering how much more we could have obtained if we had a little bit more access to making adjustments. Especially when you are working with such a significant cooling solution coupled with more than adequate power delivery.
One has to wonder that if we were able to push the frequency beyond 2080MHz, up to maybe 2100MHz consistently that performance would then equal GeForce RTX 3070 FE performance. Right now, it just can’t quite make it there. The GeForce RTX 3070 FE will always be faster than the RTX 3060 Ti overclocked. Unless, as we said, we could eek out this GPU to 2100MHz or higher. That is what it will take to just equal, stock, default GeForce RTX 3070 FE performance.
In this review, we had a blast taking the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO around the track. Just as much fun as we did with its bigger brother, the MSI GeForce RTX 3070 GAMING X TRIO. At $489.99 there is no doubt that this is a premium GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, with a price to match. The stock MSRP for a Founders Edition is $399, and MSI does offer $399 variants. But you just don’t get what you get on the GAMING X TRIO with the others. The GAMING X TRIO adds that extra bit of flair, that really does make a difference.
When compared to the $699 GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FE the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO at $489.99 is an easy recommendation. The MSI RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO offers better performance, and a better gameplay experience, compared to the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FE at a lower price point. More than RTX 2080 SUPER FE performance has been brought down in price, and that is always good.
When we look at the GeForce RTX 3070 Founders Edition, it becomes more complicated. The GeForce RTX 3070 FE has an MSRP of $499. With the Founders Edition GeForce RTX 3060 Ti FE being $399, this is a good price separation. However, MSI has put a hefty price premium on the GAMING X TRIO making it $489.99 and only $10 separating this video card from a stock GeForce RTX 3070. We would find it hard to not look towards a stock GeForce RTX 3070 at this point. Keep in mind the GeForce RTX 3070 can also be overclocked, furthering its potential, where the RTX 3060 Ti is really maxed out here.
One scenario we could imagine where you would prefer this video card over the 3070 would be if you were aiming to build a nearly silent machine. While the price is a tad high it’s hard not to like what MSI is offering here. Excellent Build Quality, near-silent operation, clock speeds that are consistently above boost clocks, and all that fancy RGB goodness. Plus, it does overclock very high and almost reaches GeForce RTX 3070 FE performance.
Think of it like this, with the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO you are getting a loaded video card, with all the bells and whistles that can reach close to GeForce RTX 3070 FE performance. If you spent a little more and went with the GeForce RTX 3070 you’d have to get a base model, without the bells and whistles to make the cost difference make sense. Otherwise, you would be spending a lot more to get a card with all the bells and whistles loaded to the brim which would carry a price premium. At that point, the price separation would make less sense.
That is why we feel confident giving the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti GAMING X TRIO our Silver Award. It is the best GeForce RTX 3060 Ti based video card we have evaluated so far, it’s robust, it’s custom, it boosts high, it overclocks to the extreme, and it stays cool and quiet. The video card is engineered well and deserves the award. It’s a top-end, great RTX 3060 Ti based video card. The only thing keeping it from the Gold is the price premium being very close to the RTX 3070. This video card should be on your shortlist when looking at new video cards once availability and prices normalize.