👤by David Mitchelson Comments 📅28-11-17

Adding a GTX 1080 Ti to their portfolio some 10 months after the initial launch may seem like an odd move by MSI but they’ve definitely pulled this one off.

The innards of this graphics card are based off the GAMING X, while adopting the thermal excellence of the Lightning. The eagle eyed among you will notice the Lighting has actually been removed from MSI’s product listing and in most countries this graphics card is now EOL. That is because GAMING X TRIO will replace Lighting and claim the top spot in MSI’s lineup.

By adding in a triple fan configuration and utilising a revised heatsink using 6-copper heatpipes results in some rather impressive thermal results. The Twin FrozR design has been the go-to solution for GPU cooling and the Tri-FrozR design only serves to improve this.

As we can expect, the GTX 1080 Ti is already a well-established GPU in its own right and GAMING X TRIO has no problems handling the latest gaming titles, even when the resolution is ramped up to 4K. There are three different factory overclock profiles to choose from with this graphics card, all of which are available when you install the Gaming APP software. All of the options are fairly tame in comparison to other GTX 1080 Ti cards we’ve tested in the past, but it is good to have the flexibility to choose different options, including a Silent Mode if noise is a particular bugbear.

One of the most pleasing attributes about the GAMING X TRIO is its ability to overclock beyond the factory settings. We managed to nudge the frequencies up with a manual overclock and benefits of such a modification meant a gain of 10-15fps in-game.

While there are many great aspects about GAMING X TRIO, there are some obvious caveats – size and weight are two areas which are synonymous with flagship graphics cards but will need to be taken into account. We also thought it was quite strange to have LED functionality across the card, but only the outside edge and logo is able to have RGB adjustment. The LEDs around the fans are fixed to red, which could interfere with a themed build (they will simply need disabling in the software).

Coming in at a cost of £750 GBP and $800 USD, GAMING X TRIO is priced reasonably well. There are some cards which are cheaper in this category but they certainly don’t offer some of the benefits that GAMING X TRIO puts forward – principally the strong thermal solution. Not to mention, we also get a generous 3 years’ warranty with 12 month XSplit Premium license, which will come in handy for those streaming.

In what is likely to be the last custom card for the GTX 1080 Ti, MSI are going out with a bang. GAMING X TRIO ticks all the boxes and is definitely one to add to the short list.

+ Pleasing to the eye
+ Exceptional build quality
+ Excellent performance
+ Great thermal solution
+ Low-noise operation
+ Three factory overclock profiles to use
+ Additional overclocking headroom
+ Includes 12 month XSplit Premium license
+ 3-year warranty

- LEDs around fans are fixed to red
- Large
- Very weighty

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