MSI released a beast of a graphics card with their GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X. The GPU is the largest GPU that I’ve ever put my hands on. MSI was very quiet on the specifications and even the looks of the graphics card before it showed up at my house. When the shipping box arrived, it was large enough that I was wondering if MSI had shipped two GPUs. The GPU even comes with its own GPU Support bracket. It dwarfs the EVGA RTX 2070 FTW3 which, before the Suprim X was the largest card I have. Size issues aside. The Suprim X series builds off of MSI’s history of building good performing, good cooling, and silent GPUs. In the past, the MSI GPUs that I’ve reviewed have performed well. When MSI released its Frozr cooling solution, the GPUs ran some of the coolest temperatures that I’ve seen. The Suprim X improves on those qualities and ensures you are going to get the best performance out of the GPU for as long as it runs. MSI offers both the 3080 & 3090 in the Suprim configuration.
Packaging and Specifications
MSI broke away from the traditional black and green color scheme for Nvidia GPUs went with a white and green scheme. On the front of the box, it is pretty clear the GPU model as the Suprim X text is done in reflective foil. As well there is a large graphic representation of the card on the front. On the back of the box, there is another graphical representation of the GPU as well, MSI has laid out the key features of the GPU.
Once you’ve opened the box there are a few layers of things to get through before getting to the actual GPU housed inside. Once you open the box, you’ll be presented with a bit of documentation. MSI is proud of the Suprim series and has added a bit of information in the form of an info card. Below that is an MSI envelope that contains additional information such as warranty and a quick start guide.
|Model Name||GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X 10G|
|Graphics Processing Unit||Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080|
|Interface||PCI Express Gen 4|
|Core Clocks||Extreme Performance 1920 MHz (Dragon Center
Boost 1905 (Gaming & Silent Mode)
|Memory Speed||19 Gbps|
|Output||DisplayPort x3 (v1.4a)/HDMI 2.1 x1|
|Power Connector||8-pin x3|
|Recommended PSU||850 W|
|Card Dimensions (MM)||336x140x61|
|Weight (Card/Package)||1882g / 3178g|
|DirectX Version Support||12 API|
|OpenGL Version Support||4.6|
|Adaptive Vertical Sync||Y|
|Digital Maximum Resolution||7680×4320|
A Closer Look at the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X
The main body of the cooler continues with the angular shapes similar to previous Frozr coolers, the main colors have changed. The chevrons that sit on both sides of the middle fan are aRGB LEDs and are controlled through the MSI Mystic light application. The card is large and measures in at 336mm x 140 x 61.
The Suprim X features a switch that allows you to change between a Silent BIOS and a Gaming BIOS. The Gaming BIOS has a slightly higher fan curve to allow for better cooling and slightly better clock speeds than the Silent bios.
From the “under” side of the card, you can get a clear view of the large heat sink that sits under the fan shroud. The design of the heatsink will exhaust the hot air into the case as the fans blow down from the “top” of the card through the heatsink and exhausts from the sides.
This side of the Suprim X shows more of the heatsink. There’s a small protrusion in the middle of the shroud that clearly displays Suprim and Geforce RTX just in case you forgot. There is aRGB LED lighting that follows the edge of the fan shroud and backlights the SUPRIM text.
The Suprim X has a total of four outputs. Three DisplayPort 1.4a. While the I/O panel is vented, during my testing there is actually very little airflow coming through the I/O panel. Also, note that the Suprim X is going to take up three slots in the case. MSI chose to only use a 2 slot bracket. In this case, I would have much preferred that MSI used a 3 slot. The card is big and heavy as it is and I would have liked to see more support but, there are few if any cases that support a 3 slot vertical GPU mount.
To power the Suprim X, MSI chose to go with three 8-ping connectors and chose not to use Nvidia’s 12-pin connector. MSI also recommends an 850w power supply for the Suprim X. This is higher than the Nvidia recommended 650w.
After pulling off the cooler, you’ll be presented with the naked board. AT the heart of the Suprim X is the GA102-200 GPU. One of the things that always amazes me is how much thermal paste is on GPUs. During re-assembly I applied Noctua’s NT-H1 to the GPU core and retested temperatures, and to my surprise, the amount of paste that it came with stock didn’t hurt temperatures nor did applying aftermarket thermal paste help temperatures much as I only saw a two degree drop from 67°C to 65°C under stock frequencies.
The OnSemi NCP302150 DrMOS are capable of 50A. There are 16 phases for the GPU and 4 phases for the memory. The voltage controller for the GPU side is an OnSemi NCP81611 and the controller for the memory is UPI uS5650Q
The GDDR6X is manufactured by Micron and has a model number of D8BGW. The memory runs at 1188MHz stock for an effective speed of 19 Gbps.
Keeping everything cool, is the massive cooler that sits on top of everything. VRM and memory cooling is provided by the pads that are shown above on a few of the memory modules and below on the heatsink. The Suprim X uses heat pipes to transfer heat from the components to the fins.
Test System and Synthetic Benchmarks
||Product Name||Provided By|
|Processor||Intel Core i9-10900K||Intel|
|Motherboard||Aorus Z490 Master||Gigabyte|
|Memory||G.Skill Trident Z Royal @ 3600MHz 16-16-16-36 (XMP)||G.Skill|
|Drive||Samsung 240 EVO 256GB SSD, Crucial MX500 1 TB SATA III SSD||Samsung/Crucial|
|Video Cards||MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 TI||MSI/Nvidia|
|Monitor||BenQ EL2870U 28 inch 4K HDR Gaming Monitor 3840×2160 @ 60 Hz|
|Power Supply||Cooler Master Silent Pro M2 1500W||Cooler Master|
|Operating System||Windows 10 2004 x64 Pro with latest patches and updates|
There are many ways to benchmark GPUs. With these benchmarks our goal is to do two things: first to show the performance of the card and secondly to make them easy to replicate. With a similarly configured system, you should be able to get similar results to compare your current graphics card against. There will always be a variance from system to system. All games for this review are tested with the HIGHEST IN-GAME PRESET unless otherwise specified. A fresh build of 2004 and all drivers and games were installed. No changes were made from the defaults in the BIOS, Windows 10 operating system, or provided manufactures software. The MSI GeForce RTX was benchmarked with the BIOS set to the Gaming profile.
3DMark Firestrike from Futuremark is a Semi-synthetic DirectX11 benchmark designed for high-performance gaming PCs. Firestrike performs advanced geometry, illumination, and particle tests with its Graphics benchmark and performs physics simulations using the CPU. Firestrike Ultra Kicks it up a notch and ratchets up the resolution to 4K and turns the quality up a bit.
MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X Gaming Benchmarks
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Metro Exodus was tested at the Ultra Pre-set for rasterization performance.
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RTX & DLSS Testing
As ray tracing and the RTX cores have matured a bit, I wanted to test out Ray Tracing only. I set each of the games below to 2560×1440 and turned ray tracing on and if there were options, I set the Ray Tracing options to high. Note that some games like Death Stranding and Call of Duty Modern Warfare either support Ray Tracing OR DLSS but not both. Which is why you’ll see Call of Duty Modern Warfare in the top chart but not the bottom and similarly Death Stranding appears in the DLSS chart but not the Ray Tracing Chart.
Ray Tracing still takes a decent performance hit from the non-ray traced results.
While at 1440p the MSI RTX 3080 Suprim did very well with ray tracing turned on, cranking the resolution up to 4k would certainly drop below 60 FPS. DLSS brought the average FPS up closer to 100 FPS.
There are two games that either didn’t show any performance improvement at 1440p or didn’t support DLSS at that resolution. Mechwarrior 5 showed little to no performance difference at 2k with Ray Tracing and DLSS on as compared to off. Deliver us to the moon doesn’t offer standard FHD or 2k Resolutions. 4k was the common resolution for all games.
Both Deliver us to the moon and Mechwarrior 5 were decently playable on the RTX 3080 but not so much on the 2080 TI.
Turning DLSS on and setting the option to balanced offered the best balance of performance and image quality with ray tracing on.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
Before I go into the rest of my final thoughts, I want to go over my observations for overclocking, temperatures, and power draw. To start, I used a 2-hour loop of Superposition to test the stability of the benchmark and test my overclocks. As far as overclocking went, I was able to achieve a stable overclock at +50 on the GPU and + 750 on the memory pushing the GPU or Memory resulted in GPUz reporting the power limit had been hit consistently. Actually, GPUz reported the power limit reached in the stock configuration as well although, not as often. This pushed the boost clock to 1995 Mhz with occasional peaks to 2025 Mhz and the memory to 1281.5 MHz. As far as temperatures, there is a two-degree difference in temperature when looking at stock vs. overclocked. I used MSI Afterburner to monitor temperatures and saw 65°C when the GPU is stock and 67°C with the above overclock applied. No extra fan noise could be heard at the overclocked level. The backplate did get quite warm to the touch. I used a non-contact thermometer to measure the backplate temperature and near the end of the two-hour run, the temperature of the backplate measured 53°C. For power draw, GPUz reported a maximum board draw of 377.5 watts and an average over the two-hour test of 355.4 watts.
Aesthetically, the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X is a beautiful card. I really dig the color scheme that MSI choose to use. To be honest, the Black and Red colors have just been overdone in my opinion. It’s not that they don’t look good. More like I’ve just seen too much of it. The Silver, Grey, and Black color scheme lend itself well to this GPU and I think it gives it more of a premium look, considering that it is a premium product. The cooler itself is an evolution of the Frozr series. I’ve always liked the Frozr coolers from MSI for their good cooling capacity and low noise profile. I review all the GPUs on a DimasTech test bench which, is an open test bench. The entire card is exposed to the air. During load testing, I didn’t hear the Suprim X running at all. The fans do not start spinning until the temperatures hit 64°C. It is silent and provides excellent cooling for the RTX 3080 CPU housed underneath. MSI’s implementation of LED lighting is done well too. The edge lighting is very smooth and well diffused without any visible hotspots from the LED lights themselves. The same also applies to the chevron lighting between the center and end fans and the dragon shield on the backplate.
Taking supply issues and price out of the picture for a moment and looking at the just hardware, is the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X a great card? My answer is yes. It handled everything I threw at it with ease. 4k gaming and a comfortable framerate and maxed out image quality was no big deal. Throwing in RTX still hurts performance however DLSS helps bring the performance right back in line with expectations. There’s a pretty decent gap in performance between the 2080 TI and the 3080.
The performance of the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim X is right in line with other premium offerings from other manufactures based on other RTX 3080 reviews that I’ve read and from talking to my peers since this is the only RTX 3080 I’ve reviewed. While the MSI offering performs just as well, there’s also a significant price for similar raw performance. At $899, the MSI GeForce 3080 Suprim X is $200.00 over the retail Nvidia RTX 3080 Founders Edition and $50 more than the Asus ROG Strix. Still, I can’t help but think of taking that $200.00 and picking up a water block and founders edition. There are trade-offs no matter which way you go. However, to be fair, pricing is not really relevant at the time of this review as retailers are having a hard time maintaining stock levels so consumers can purchase them. Every detail about the MSI GeForce 3080 Suprim X screams that it is a premium product. From the packaging to the included accessories, the cooler, etc. This is MSI’s top of the line RTX 3080. If you’re looking for the top, you’ve found it. However, in the end, it is going to depend on what you want and if you’re willing to let the extra cash leave your wallet for a premium product.