MSI GeForce RTX 4070 Gaming X Trio Review

By | May 9, 2023

For about 6 months now, Nvidia has started making its RTX40xx series of GPUs available. And while it started with the flagship RTX4090 and the excellent but expensive RTX4080, we had to get to the beginning of the year to see cheaper proposals with the RTX4070Ti. At the beginning of April, the RTX4070 was presented, which is currently the cheapest proposal from Nvidia. This particular GPU is used by the card we got our hands on from MSI. This is the MSI GeForce RTX 4070 Gaming X Trio, which comes with 12 GB of memory. Right now, with some research we did, it can be had at a price of around €800, around €150-200 cheaper than the Ti version (MSI GeForce RTX 4070Ti Gaming X Trio). Sure the money is a lot for Nvidia’s xx70 series card, but that’s the reality with all of the current generation. So the question is what do you get with these €800.

The package includes within the card itself, a 16-pin to 2x 8-pin power converter and a holder for the card in the box, mainly due to its long length. However, taking the card itself, we note with great relief that we are dealing with a traditional dual-slot solution, which will at least make many users happy. At just 52mm thick, it’s definitely the “thinnest” RTX 40xx we’ve ever seen, with a length that tops out at 338mm, a height of 141mm, and a weight of around 1200 grams. It really is a reasonably sized card, but somewhat reasonable since the AD104 (AD104-250-A1 to be precise) chip it’s based on has a relatively low TDP of around 200 watts, so the cooler didn’t need to be either. big. . Of course, this is not to say that MSI hasn’t paid attention to the card’s cooling system, with the three TORX Fan 5.0 technology fans (ball bearing type) occupying the entire top of the card.

The base of the GPU heat removal brush is made of copper with the 6 heatpipes transferring the heat to the fins and from there the fans remove it inside the computer. The fans turn off completely when the GPU is running at low temperatures (for example, using Windows) and are silent. However, even at full GPU load, the fans are really not audible at all, while throughout our tests, the GPU temperature did not exceed 64-64 degrees Celsius. Even setting the fans to their minimum rotation speed via MSI Afterburner, we saw the temperature reach 75 degrees, but a completely satisfactory value.

On the back of the card we find a metallic backplate, of outputs we find 3 Display Port 1.4a and an HDMI 2.1, while RGB lighting could not be missing in several places. Overall, the card is compact, quiet, and runs at low temperatures, but the design is definitely a bit over the top, in the sense that the card’s PCB is actually very small, about half the length of the card. We should also point out that the MSI GeForce RTX 4070 Gaming X Trio uses the newer 16-pin power connector and for those who have an older PSU (650W PSU recommended) use of the adapter is required. is in the package. Also, although the TDP of the GPU is at 200Watt, the BIOS of the card offers the possibility to increase the power limit by 10%, which leaves some margin for overclocking, since in most cases the consumption power limits the increase in operating frequencies. . Speaking of which, the GPU boost clock can reach 2610 MHz (or 2625 MHz via MSI Center) with 12 GB of GDDDR6x memory running at 21 Gbps, connected to the GPU via a 192-bit bus. Beyond that, the AD104-250-A1 chip is manufactured at 4nm by TSMC, it has 5888 shaders, 184 tensor cores and 64 RT cores, all new generation.

One of the new features it supports is frame generation, a technique of increasing frames that appear on the screen artificially via AI and can deliver significantly better frame rates (but at the expense of latency in some cases). As with the entire 40xx series, here too we have a new encoder chip with AV1 encoder support, however the RTX4070 is the first to have a new single rather than dual encoder. Still, we did some testing and compared to an RTX3080, the encoding in OBS is much better. Specifically, we tried to record Hogwarts Legacy video in 4K Ultra graphics (no DLSS/frame generation/Ray Tracing) and with all three encoders on P7 presets (slowest and best quality) recording in 4K resolution. The RTX3080 was never able to write video correctly (except on P3 with the h264 encoder), but here we had no problem writing it with the h264 encoder (using the encoding engine at about 84%). of the game decreases a little) but tolerable. With h265, OBS crashed. However, with the new AV1 encoder, which can achieve the same final video quality as h265 but with lower bitrate, the encoding engine did not load more than 50%, and the game frame rate dropped, but less, making it a great solution for those streaming games from a system.

Using the 4K encoding engine to play Hogwarts Legacy in 4K/Ultra with h264 (left) and AV1 (right) with P7 preset.

Now let’s get to acting. We tested a total of 8 games in two resolutions (4K and 1440p), skipping 1080p because we would have frame rate throttling due to the older CPU we used (AMD Ryzen 9 3900X). You can see the related charts below. Overall, the MSI GeForce RTX 4070 Gaming X Trio performs like the MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Ventus 3X OC that we use on a daily basis. Sometimes a little higher, sometimes a little lower, but generally the same.

But having the advantage of a much lower consumption since in no case did we see more than 200-210 Watts of consumption, when the RTX3080 wants more than 320 Watts, while making much more noise and even reaching more than 80 degrees Celsius. What we can say is that the card is a good solution for 1440P gaming even in modern games, as we also tested it in titles without an integrated benchmark like Hogewarts Legacy and The Last Of Us. However, at 4K resolution, in these games, 12 GB of memory is probably not enough for Ultra graphics settings. For example, in Hogwarts Legacy (even without RT), we saw textures disappear when playing in native 4K resolution with Ultra graphics settings, while in The Last Of Us, with everything on Ultra, memory requirements exceed 12GB. , so concessions are needed.

Latest US memory requirements with Ultra graphics settings. Left in native 4K, right in 4K with DLSS quality (1440p upscaled).

Of course, one can use DLSS in quality and play games clearly better (with the native 1440P resolution upscaled via AI to 4K). Somewhere in here comes frame generation which can help significantly in situations where the frame rate is limited by the CPU (eg Hogwarts Legacy) or power requirements are very high like in Cyberpunk 2077 with Ray Tracing or even more with the new Path Raytracing. mode. Especially the last one, it can bring any card to its knees in native resolution. We tested it at 1440p with DLSS in Performance and got 54.8 fps, while with frame generation enabled we hit 89 fps.

Running the Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark with Path Raytracing graphics mode at 1440p resolution with DLSS quality without (left) and with frame generation enabled (right).

In general, the MSI GeForce RTX 4070 Gaming X Trio performs just as well as an RTX3080 (+/- depending on the game and resolution), with much lower consumption (around 120-140 Watts or around 35% less), plus a much faster (and more capable) video encoder and support for frame generation. Certainly €800 for an xx70 series card is a lot and we can hardly recommend it to someone who owns an RTX3070Ti/RTX3080. On the other hand, those who stay with an older card, it is a good solution, if we accept the new prices of Nvidia and their cards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *