NVIDIA launched the GeForce RTX 30 Series starting with the GeForce RTX 3080 on September 16th of 2020. The GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition from NVIDIA debuted at an MSRP of $699. The GeForce RTX 3080 is based on NVIDIA’s new Ampere GPU architecture and brings with it improved Rasterization performance, improved Ray Tracing performance, and improved DLSS and machine learning/AI performance. It also adds new features such as GDDR6X, HDMI 2.1 and AV1 support, NVIDIA RTX IO and NVIDIA Reflex, and new capabilities with NVIDIA Broadcast.
Today we have our first custom retail add-in-board partner video card to review based on the GeForce RTX 3080. We are starting with a high-performance custom SKU from MSI today with the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 SUPRIM X 10G video card review. This video card has a high price premium MSRP of $899, but it packs a punch loaded with custom hardware, custom cooling, a high factory overclock, dual BIOS and is geared for the overclocking enthusiast.
Before we look at the MSI video card, let’s remind ourselves of the specs of the GeForce RTX 3080 so we can compare clock speeds. The GeForce RTX 3080 is made up of 68 SMs, 8,704 CUDA Cores on Samsung 8nm. It has 68 2nd generation RT Cores, and 272 3rd generation Tensor Cores. It has 96 ROPs and 272 Texture Units. The GPU Boost runs at 1710MHz. It has 10GB of GDDR6X VRAM at 19GHz on a 320-bit memory bus providing 760GB/s of memory bandwidth. The TGP is 320W.
MSI GeForce RTX 3080 SUPRIM X
MSI has come out swinging offering multiple product models and SKUs of GeForce RTX 30 Series video cards. In the GeForce RTX 3080 series alone, there are three distinct model brackets that fit a certain type of gamer or enthusiast and price point. At the very high-end is the new SUPRIM model we are reviewing today; this is a brand-new model type from MSI. Then following that is the well-known GAMING series, and then finally under that is the also well-known VENTUS series.
Under the highest-end, SUPRIM (which is pronounced “Supreme”) series is the non-X and the X models. The only difference is that the X model has a higher factory boost clock. The non-X model has a Boost of 1815MHz in GAMING and SILENT mode and 1830MHz with a software-selectable option in Dragon Center. The “X” model has a Boost of 1905MHz in GAMING and SILENT mode and a software-selectable option of 1920MHz in Dragon Center. We are reviewing the “X” model in our review.
Let’s look at what MSI has to say about this new SUPRIM lineup and what it is all about.
There’s a lot of material to unpack in these slides, so let’s go over the main points. The new SUPRIM is a new graphics card series from MSI. MSI claims decades of work and history and has gone into the design of this new series. Everything they have learned from previous series and new technologies integrated are involved in the making of this new series from the ground-up. One of the big factors in this video cards conception was the design and attention to detail at every component level.
The entire video card encompasses a brushed aluminum plating that is both eye-catching and functional. The edges include 45-degree anodized gilded edges along the cutouts of the shroud. RGB is integrated well as part of the design, instead of a slap-on. The thermal solution consists of TRI-FROZR 2S. The fans use MSI’s TORX FAN 4.0 design. It has pairs of fan blades that are linked together with a ring design. With all fans spinning sound is at 35dB and static air pressure is increased.
Cooling is furthered with dedicated cooling for the memory modules with robust heatsinks. There is a solid nickel-plated copper baseplate to transfer heat to an array of heatpipes. The base has been widened as well. Core Pies are precision-machined for maximum contact over the GPU and extend the full length of the heatsink. Airflow is actually part of the design with Wave-Curved 2.0 and Deflector heatsink technologies from MSI employed to direct airflow and reduce noise. The fans themselves support Zero Frozr so that they stay off while at low temperatures. The TORX FANs use double-ball bearings for longevity.
Hardware components receive an abundance of thermal pads to dissipate heat and make contact with heatsinks. Even the backplate is functional, as it has heatpipes beneath to provide cooling for the memory modules on the rear of the PCB. This design is on the RTX 3090 models. The RTX 3080 just gets a metal backplate without the heatpipes. The RTX 3070 series gets a Metal Flow-Through backplate. Each has a unique backplate design.
MSI goes further by also providing a dual-BIOS on these video cards. There is a GAMING profile and SILENT profile. Interestingly this generation SILENT is the DEFAULT setting, and the setting the card ships in. You have to manually enable the GAMING BIOS if you want to switch over to it. We will test both BIOS’s performance in our review today.
There are also fuses built into the custom PCB to provide safeguards against electrical damage. The PCB is thickened with 2oz Copper on RTX 3090 and RTX 3080. The video card also remains rigid with a strategically placed anti-bending strap. There is also a bundled support stand for additional card reinforcement in your case.
With Dragon Center software you can control all aspects of the video card including Mystic Light RGB and fan profiles. Of course, you can manually overclock with MSI Afterburner.
The box is quite big, but it needs to be because this is a large video card. It is 13.2″ inches in length, 5.5″ in width, and 2.4″ in height. It requires 3 slots free to fit. The box is robust, protects the video card very well. Inside is a paper about the SUPRIM series, the video card, some manuals, a card support, and a mouse pad. The mouse pad is a rectangle, quite large, and feels of high quality. This is a good mouse pad for gaming.
This video card requires 3 8-pin PCI-Express power connectors for operation, there are no adapters included in the package. We suggest using separate dedicated power for each. The recommended PSU for this video card is 850W, so that is pretty hefty. The power consumption is rated at 370W on this video card. You will also find three DisplayPorts and one HDMI. You will be happy to know there are 4 banks of 10 MLC’s, for a total of 40 MLC’s, in addition to two SP-CAPs. This setup is robust and should overclock well.
This video card is larger in every dimension compared to the GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition. At 13.2″ in length, it is 2″ longer than the 11.2″ Founders Edition. It is also a full inch bigger in width, and it is bigger in height or slot space.
The RGB is customizable, and looks very good on this video card. It is naturally integrated and very smooth with smooth transition between colors. It looks good from all angles.