MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Gaming X Trio review: Premium price and performance
It doesn't get much better than the MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Ti Gaming X Trio. With the king of the Ampere architecture under its hood and a sleek cooler studded with RGB lighting, this card serves up everything you could possibly want in spades.
With a boost clock of 1,920MHz (just a tad less than the water-cooled Gigabyte) 10,752 CUDA cores, and a whopping 24GB of GDDR6X memory, this card is on the cutting edge of performance. While it may no longer be the latest and greatest, it is still among the fastest cards on the planet.
The other highlight is the Tri Frozr 2 cooler, featuring three 10-blade Torx 4.0 fans engineered for maximum cooling performance. The fan blades are linked in pairs, which helps channel air through the heatsink. If this sounds familiar, the previously reviewed MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Suprim X features the same cooler combo.
The cooling design brings the heat pipes in direct contact with the GPU die. These pipes are machined to ensure they are perfectly smooth, maximising the surface area and heat transfer efficiency.
The heatsink itself is also equipped with deflectors to improve airflow dynamics. These deflectors provide additional surface area and guide air to where it is needed for better cooling. Elsewhere, what MSI calls wave-curved 2.0 fin edges further help disrupt unwanted airflow harmonics in order to reduce noise.
No detail has been overlooked. The VRAM modules are covered by a dedicated copper baseplate for improved heat dissipation, so no component has been neglected. The Torx 4.0 fans utilise double ball bearings for improved durability, while generous thermal pads provide additional heat dissipation capacity across the rest of the board.
Of course, there is support for semi-passive operation as well. Zero Frozr tech lets the fans completely stop spinning when your GPU isn't working as hard, providing moments of silence where needed, such as when you're working.
The PCB itself is a custom design that features additional fuses for extra safeguards against electrical damage. It also uses a 2oz thickened copper for better conductivity, improved heat dissipation, and enhanced reliability.
But MSI is fully aware that this is a very, very large and heavy card. A rigid metal anti-bending plate (as pictured above) ensures the structural integrity of the PCB, so it never bends under the weight of the massive heatsink. To top it off, a bundled support bracket can be attached to your PC case for even more reinforcement.
A separate metal backplate protects the PCB, complete with a bracket that encircles the GPU die for still more rigidity.
The card measures 325 x 140 x 62mm, so you'll definitely want to check how much clearance you have in your case before going out to grab one.
It is powered by the new 16-pin power connector, which helps reduce the number of cables you have to grapple with. MSI is recommending an 850W power supply unit to go with it, but I can see many enthusiasts opting for a higher-wattage 1000W unit for peace of mind and to better pair it with the latest high performance CPUs.
Round the back, the card has three DisplayPort 1.4a connectors and one HDMI 2.1 port.