MSI uses the Twin Frozr cooling system, which is entirely different from what NVidia offers. It features a couple of ball bearings that direct air from above into the big heat sink with 8mm copper pipes. These pipes are essential distributing any heat generated to the GPU’s cooling fins. For increased efficiency, the MSI unit has voltage converters and RAM chips, which come with an additional heat sink. To cater for stability, the MSI graphics card has a big back plate decorated with a piece of dragon art that lights up in the dark. Other parts also light up to add to MSI’s aesthetic value. The dimensions of the graphics card are 279x140x42 mm, and it features three DisplayPort 1.4 ports, a Dual-Link DVI-D port, and an HDMI 2.0 port. Of these five ports, you can use up to four of them simultaneously.
The MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X comes with a trio of varying performance options. You can set up the default Gaming Mode, which allows it to run at 1687 MHz (RAM 10108 MHZ), the OC Mode running at 1708 MHz (RAM 10108 MHz), and the Silent Mode clock speeds of 1607 MHz (RAM 10010). While working in the default mode (Gaming), clock speeds drop to 1 MHz for the RAM and 214 MHz for the core in an idle state to save on energy. The MSI graphics card also records higher than expected frequencies when subjected to more demanding 3-dimensional applications.
The MSI cooling system is one of the quietest ones of its kind. When idle, the fans don’t spin at all, rendering the GPU entirely silent. The fans start kicking in when the temperature reaches 600C, subjecting the card to a load for a prolonged period produces a whooshing sound, which is acceptable. Even at the maximum rotation, the fan noise is still manageable and does not disturb. Occasional high-frequency whines occur during prolonger heavy 3D gaming. The maximum temperature that an MSI GTX 1080 card can reach is 720C, which is not so bad. During testing, the temperature at the back is also not so bad at 500C. The highest temperature occurs in the power supply lines, recording up to 760C.
Like any other Pascal-based graphics card, the MSI’s power consumption is moderate. If you connect to a 4K monitor through the DisplayPort, it should consume just 3 watts more than the Nvidia GTX 1080 Founders Edition, which the company optimised to draw a low amount of power. If you subject the MSI GTX 1080 to some gaming, it will take up an additional 39 watts than Nvidia’s GPU, though it offers slightly higher performance. With these numbers, you will find out that the MSI graphics card gives room for an increase in frame rate of up to 67 percent while taking up 36 percent more power.