Today we check out MSI‘s latest GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio graphics card. The RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio shares the same design and aesthetics with its big brothers RTX 3080 and 3090 Gaming X Trio cards. It features a Tri Frozr 2 thermal system, with Torx Fan 4.0; RGB Mystic Light; and in my opinion, one of the best looking graphics card design in the market. If you are in the market for an RTX 3070, and I hope it will be available by the time you read this, please continue reading our MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio review below.
- MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Graphics Card Review
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Specifications
- Packaging and Closer Look
- MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Test Setup
- MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Noise and Temperature
- MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Synthetic Benchmarks
- 1920×1080 (1080p) Game Benchmarks
- 2560×1440 (1440p) Game Benchmarks
- 3840×2160 (4K UHD) Game Benchmarks
- Pricing and Availability
- MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Review Conclusion
MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Graphics Card Review
Right off the bat, the MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio features a new design and aesthetics, as well as an improved thermal system from its predecessor. Like the other RTX 3080/3090 Gaming X Trio cards, this one features MSI’s Tri Frozr 2 thermal system.
The Tri Frozr 2 thermal system is composed of three components. It has the new Torx Fan 4.0 fan that helps push more focused air through the heatsink. It also features precision-machined Core Pipes that are said to offer “maximum contact” over the GPU. And finally, a new Airflow Control heatsink design that helps reduce the noise produced by air gushing through the aluminum fin stack.
MSI is also using a graphene backplate on this graphics card. When I first saw the back of the graphics card, I noticed something was different with its backplate. I thought MSI just opted for a matte finish, but the backplate itself was of a different material.
MSI was criticized before for using a somewhat smaller size of thermal padding that doesn’t cover the entire memory chip. Well, MSI listened, and they are now using an ample size of thermal padding for the memory chips.
Finally, I think the new design looks great. Aesthetically speaking, it is not quite aggressive or shouty, but it has a gaming-vibe to it. The RGB lighting is present, but this time around, the RGB lighting on the front cooler shroud is very minimal. There also an RGB lighting bar on the front-side portion of the card.
I won’t deep dive into NVIDIA’s Ampere architecture in this review. There are already a lot of outlets covering that, with a better depth and explanation. If you are interested in learning more about the new architecture, you can visit NVIDIA’s page here.
This review will focus more on the MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio itself and its performance. When it comes to performance, this graphics card features a slightly faster boost clock speed of 1830MHz. For reference, the default or stock boost clock speed is 1730MHz. Its memory speed is not overclocked and runs at 14Gbps like most RTX 3070 in the market.
Below are the technologies or features that the new RTX 30 Series GPUs and NVIDIA Ampere architecture offer. I’ve also included the specs of the RTX 30 series card below. After that, let’s take a closer look at MSI’s RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Features
- New streaming multiprocessors: The building block for the world’s fastest, most efficient GPU, delivering 2x the FP32 throughput of the previous generation, and 30 Shader-TFLOPS of processing power; 20.3 Shader-TFLOPS for the 3070.
- Second-gen RT Cores: New dedicated RT Cores deliver 2x the throughput of the previous generation, plus concurrent ray tracing and shading and compute, with 58 RT-TFLOPS of processing power; 39.7 RT-FLOPS for the 3070.
- Third-gen Tensor Cores: New dedicated Tensor Cores, with up to 2x the throughput of the previous generation, making it faster and more efficient to run AI-powered technologies, like NVIDIA DLSS, and 238 Tensor-TFLOPS of processing power; 162.6 Tensor-TFLOPS for the 3070.
- NVIDIA RTX IO: Enables rapid GPU-based loading and game asset decompression, accelerating input/output performance by up to 100x compared with hard drives and traditional storage APIs. In conjunction with Microsoft’s new DirectStorage for Windows API,(1) RTX IO offloads dozens of CPU cores’ worth of work to the RTX GPU, improving frame rates and enabling near-instantaneous game loading.
- NVIDIA Broadcast for AI-powered Video and Voice: Turn any room into a home studio with AI-taking your livestreams and video chats to the next level with AI-powered audio and video effects like noise removal, virtual background, and webcam auto frame.
- Next-gen process technology: New 8N NVIDIA custom process from Samsung, which allows for higher transistor density and more efficiency.
- NVIDIA Reflex: Low Latency Technology: Acquire targets faster, react quicker, and increase aim precision through a revolutionary suite of new GeForce and G-SYNC technologies to optimize and measure system latency in competitive games.
- AI-Powered Video and Voice – NVIDIA Broadcast: You can now transform any room into a home broadcast studio—taking your livestreams and video chats to the next level with AI-powered audio noise removal, virtual background effects, and webcam auto frame.
- NVIDIA Studio: RTX-Accelerated Content Creation: RTX 30 Series brings faster rendering and AI performance, more graphics memory, and exclusive NVIDIA AI tools such as Omniverse Machinima to help you finish creative projects in record time.
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Specifications
|RTX 3090||RTX 3080||RTX 3070||RTX 2080 Ti||RTX 2080|
|Fab Process||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||8nm Samsung||12nm TSMC||12nm TSMC|
|Base Clock||1400 MHz||1440 MHz||1500 MHz||1350 MHz||1515 MHz|
|Boost Clock||1700 MHz||1710 MHz||1730 MHz||1545 MHZ |
1635 MHz (FE)
1800 MHz (FE)
|Memory Clock||19.5 Gbps||19 Gbps||16 Gbps||14 Gbps||14 Gbps|
|Memory Bandwidth||936.2 GB/s||760.3 GB/s||448.0 GB/s||616 GB/s||448 GB/s|
|Max. GPU Temp.||93°||93°||93°||89°||88°|
|Power Connectors||2x 8-pin||2x 8-pin||8-pin||8+8 pin||6+8 pin|
|Graphics Card Power||350W||320W||220W||260W (FE)||225W (FE)|
|Price||$1,499||$699||$499||$999 (reference) |
Packaging and Closer Look
MSI’s packaging remain unchanged except for the box art. I think they are still using the same box quality with sufficient padding for the graphics card inside. I also appreciate that the box is not too big or thick and not to small either.
The MSI Gaming X Trio features a new cooler shroud, with angular design and a small touch of RGB lighting at the center fan area. This new Gaming X Trio design looks much better and is more refined, in my opinion, compared to the previous Gaming X Trio design. Everything looks symmetrical and the Torx Fan 4.0 fans are of the same size as well.
Like I mentioned earlier, when I saw and touched the backplate, it felt different. I though it was due to the finish, which is matte. But MSI is using a different material instead of the usual aluminum backplate. MSI is using a lightweight composite Graphene backplate. According to the company, it reinforces the length of the graphics card while providing passive thermal conduction properties.
The MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio has three DisplayPort 1.4a and a single HDMI 2.1 output connector. There are ventilation holes on the display output area, but hot air doesn’t exhaust through those holes. The hot air coming from the heatsink is usually blown side ways.
The RTX 3070, including the RTX 3080, doesn’t have NVLink connectors anymore. NVIDIA killed SLI for gaming at this point. Some RTX 3070 graphics cards, like the GALAX 3070 SG we reviewed, requires only one 8-pin PCIe power connector. On the other hand, the MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio requires two 8-pin PCIe power connectors. As for power supply requirement, MSI recommends at least a 750W PSU; similar with most RTX 3070 graphics cards.
As you can see, the capacitors at the back of the GPU are exposed. Not that it matters though. Just make sure no liquid drops on that area if you’re using a liquid cooler for your CPU. This graphics card features a 9-phase power for the GPU and another 2-phase for the memory. The PCB of this card is a custom one and it’s larger or has more surface area compared to a reference RTX 3070 PCB.
The RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio has a larger and heavier body due to its heatsink and cooling solution. It measures 323mm in length, 140mm in width and 56mm in height. It also weighs around 1.4Kgs and does sag a bit towards the rear end. Now let’s check if this chunky heatsink can cool the GPU properly.
MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Test Setup
For our graphics card reviews, I’m using a Z490 motherboard powered with an Intel Core i7-10700K. It is paired it with a DDR4-4000 memory. Below are the rest of the specifications of the system:
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro 64bit version 2004|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10700K (running stock)|
|Motherboard||MSI MEG Z490 GODLIKE|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix MAX RGB DDR4-4000|
|Graphics Card||MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio|
|OS Drive||WD Black SN750 with Heatsink|
|Game Drive||Crucial MX500 2TB SSD, Kingston KC600 1TB SSD|
|Power Supply||Seasonic Prime TX-1000|
|Chassis||Thermaltake Core P3|
For this test, I used NVIDIA driver version 457.09. The graphics card was tested in three resolutions – 1920×1080 FHD, 2560×1440 WQHD, and 3840×2160 4K UHD.
For synthetic benchmarks, I used 3DMark’s benchmark suite. I also used the following games to test the graphics card: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Gears 5, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Horizon Zero Dawn, Monster Hunter World, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and The Division 2.
Below is the GPU-Z screenshot of the MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio.
MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Noise and Temperature
The MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio has a feature called Zero Frozr. This means that the fans don’t start to spin under idle to light load situations. The screenshot above shows the temperature when the graphics card is in idle state. It’s playing around 44° Celsius and is expected to rise at around ~50° deg depending on the GPU load. Obviously, at this state, the graphics card doesn’t produce any noise at all.
I fired up FurMark and let it ran for a few minutes. During full load, the GPU temperature settled at 61° Celsius with a fan speed of around 1400RPMs or around 41% of its speed. That’s an impressive cooling solution if you ask me. Throughout my test, the RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio was running cool and very silent.
Now let’s see some benchmark numbers. Is the RTX 3070 faster than the RTX 2080 Ti? Is there a huge difference between a factory overclocked RTX 3070 and a reference RTX 3070? Check out the graphs below.
MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Synthetic Benchmarks
The first stop is some synthetic benchmarks. Some of you might not be interested in synthetic benchmarks, but others would like to see them. It also gives us an idea of the general performance of this graphics card and its standing or ranking.
For the synthetic benchmark results, I include 3DMark Fire Strike, 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme, 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra, 3DMark Time Spy, 3DMark Time Spy Extreme, and Port Royal (ray tracing). On the left-hand side are graphics scores, while on the right-hand side are the average frames per second (FPS). I also included benchmarks from Unigine’s Superposition. Below are the results:
The GeForce RTX 3070 performs neck and neck with the RTX 2080 Ti. Sometimes the RTX 2080 Ti is a bit faster, perhaps due to its memory size advantage over the RTX 3070. There are also instance where the RTX 3070 is a bit faster than the 2080 Ti, and this is perhaps due to the architectural advantage of the RTX 3070.
If we compare a reference RTX 3070 to an overclocked RTX 3070, we can see here that the difference is negligible. The MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio has a 100MHz higher boost clock speed than the GALAX RTX 3070 SG. But due to how GPU Boost works, both graphics card will (eventually) boost up to around 2,000MHz.
1920×1080 (1080p) Game Benchmarks
Now depending on what CPU is used, the RTX 3070 might be bottlenecked at this resolution. At 1080p, the load is usually CPU bound, that’s why using a faster CPU is preferable at this resolution. Below are the results I got with the RTX 3070 for 1080p resolution.
At 1080p, the RTX 3080 is clearly bottlenecked here. There’s a lot of performance left on the table and the RTX 3070 is sometimes even on par with the RTX 3080 in 1080p. However, the RTX 3070 is doing a bit better in 1080p than the RTX 3080. The MSI RTX 3070 is performing as expected, somewhere in the ball park of the other RTX 3070 and RTX 2080 Ti.
2560×1440 (1440p) Game Benchmarks
For those who are looking for a suitable graphics card for 1440p gaming, I think this is where the RTX 3070 would shine best. Below are the results I got.
The MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio was able to push all games at above 60 fps in 1440p, easily. You will get better performance if you tone down the graphics settings a bit. And if the game is not as graphics intensive as some of the titles listed above, expect to get higher frame rates as well.
Still, there is no (significant) difference between the RTX 3070 and RTX 2080 Ti. They are simply similar when it comes to performance. That’s not a bad news since you are getting RTX 2080 Ti-level of performance for (more than) half the price.
3840×2160 (4K UHD) Game Benchmarks
The RTX 3070 is not the graphics card for 4K gaming. But you can get playable frame rates with the RTX 3070, depending on the game and the graphics settings. Here are the results that I got.
At 4K resolution, all graphics card are pushed to their limits. We can see that the RTX 3080 is the most suitable graphics card for 4K gaming. And we can also see that a factory overclocked RTX 3070 has a tiny bit of advantage (1-2 fps) compared to a reference RTX 3070.
If you’re still wondering if the RTX 3070 is faster than the RTX 2080 Ti, just like what NVIDIA claimed, well it’s not. The RTX 3070 is not faster than the RTX 2080 Ti. They are just in the same ball park. They have different architecture, different CUDA core count and memory size, different price, but their performance is similar.
Pricing and Availability
The MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio is now available or was available; since all RTX 30 series cards were sold out almost instantly when they were released in the market. The 3070 Gaming X Trio retails for $569.99 (MSRP), a $70 premium above the base price of $500 USD. There’s also the MSI RTX 3070 Ventus 3X with a retail price of $549.99 (MSRP). It doesn’t have any RGB lighting but it still looks great and is a bit cheaper than this model.
Hopefully, availability would improve soon since this is a really good graphics card and I’m sure a lot of people would want to get one for their gaming PC. For latest pricing and availability, you can check them out via the links below.
MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio Review Conclusion
As you have seen from the benchmark results, the GeForce RTX 3070 offers great performance for 1440p gaming. There might be a bit of bottleneck on 1080p resolution, especially if paired with a slower CPU. So if you’re planning to get one for 1080p gaming, it’s recommended that you pair it with a faster CPU to avoid any bottleneck. As for 4K gaming, it offers acceptable performance at 3840×2160 resolution. You may need to tone down some graphics settings to maintain (above) 60fps with some games though.
Aesthetically speaking, the MSI RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio looks great, and I think it’s one of the best looking RTX 3070 out there. It has a dark color theme that should blend well with most build or gaming PC. RGB lighting is minimal this time, with a few lines on the front color shroud and an RGB light bar on the front side.
Cooling performance of the RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio is superb. It’s big chunky heatsink paired with three Torx 4.0 fans keeps the GPU’s temperature at only around 61° Celsius in full load; at least in our tests. The fans are also very silent and my unit did not produce any coil whine noise.
I don’t see any problem or issue with this graphics card. And if I have to nitpick, I guess it would be the size and weight of the Gaming X Trio. It does sag a bit due to its weight. MSI included an anti GPU sag bracket, but I would rather not use it. The bracket prevents me from using the other PCIe slots on the motherboard. Also, I wish they made a slightly wrap around shroud to hide the exposed wire/cable on the front side of the graphics card.
Overall, I think the MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Gaming X Trio is one of the best RTX 3070 in the market. Aesthetics, gaming performance, cooling performance, it’s all here. True, it’s $70 more expensive than the Founders Edition, but not all may find the Founders Edition’s design to their liking. Not to mention, availability is pretty much zero at the time I published this review. Hopefully, more stocks will arrive soon.