MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X Plus Video Card Review

A Closer Look


The MSI Gaming X 1080 Plus look like any other card with the Twin Frozr Plus Cooler.

Here are several shot from all sides and angles of the MSI GAMING X 1080 PLUS

The MSI Gaming X 1080 Plus comes with a black, vented back plate with the MSI logo and dragon, as well as the Gaming Plus branding.

Here you see the gaming plus branding on the back plate

The back plate is vented to help dissipate heat better.

The MSI GAMING X 1080 PLUS has 3 DisplayPort ¼, 1 HDMI 2.0 and one DVI-D port.

The ports come with red protective covers

The Gaming X 1080 Plus requires a 6-pin and an 8-pin power connector.

From the rear of the card, you can see the micro fin heatsink cooling the PWM.

The heatsink on the Twin Frozr Cooler is made up of a series of heat pipes that run the length of the card.

Like any other 1080, the heart of the MSI Gaming X 1080 Plus is Nvidia’s GeForce Pascal, or GP104 GPU.  This GTX 1080 has 2560 Cuda cores. The Gaming X Plus has 8192 MB of GGDR5X memory running at 11 Gbps on a 256-bit memory bus. There is the main difference between the Gaming x and Gaming X Plus. The Original model had the same 8192 MB of GDDR5X, but running at 10 Gbps. Other than that, the MSI Gaming X 1080 Plus is almost identical to the original Gaming X 1080 in every way. They have the same base clock and boost clock speeds, and even the same cooler. The only other difference would be the GAMING PLUS branding on the back plate.

Here we see the back plate of the MSI GAMING X 1080 Plus.

My favorite part of the back plate is the MSI Dragon logo.

The posts on the MSI Gaming X 1080 Plus are relatively the standard. It has one DL-DVI-D, one HDMI 2.0 and 3 Display Port 1.4. SLI fingers are present as this card officially supports up a to 2-way SLI configuration. If there is one thing I love about MSI cards, it’s that they all come with a very attractive back plate. It has the MSI Dragon etched on the backplate, with the MSI logo and the Gaming Plus branding. The backplate is also vented to allow for heat to dissipate off the card more efficiently.

A close up of one of the fans shows of their dual blade design.

Up close, you can clearly see the differences in the 2 blades.

I’ve many times, I’m a huge fan of MSI’s Twin Frozr Cooler. It not only looks great, but it runs near silent thanks its ZERO FROZR technology, first introduced in 2008. This allows the fans to remain idle if the card is under 60°c. The TORX 2.0 fans, with their dual blade design do an excellent job. They generate up to 22% more air pressure than traditional fans. The double ball bearings in the Torx 2.0 fans allow the Twin Frozr VI cooler to stay near silent, even under load. The dispersion fan blade has a steeper curved blade which increases the rate of airflow, while the traditional fan blade pushes down the air to the massive heatsink below.

Here are the SLI fingers

The MSI Dragon logo on the side of the card is one of the two RGB zones on the TRWIN FROZR Cooler.

With it being 2017, you know this card has RGB lighting. However, it’s very subtle. The MSI Gaming X 1080 Plus has two RGB lighting Zone. The RGB lighting can be controlled in the MSI Gaming App, in the LED section. The MSI Gaming App allows for 16.8 million color combinations and 5 different options for LED effects. These effects include a breathing effect, a flashing effect, double flashing, set it for a random effect or just leave it as a static color. Another cool feature is the ability to set the RGB effect to the neat of music. The MSI Gaming App also allows you to set both the color and effect for each of the separate RGB Zones. The first RGB zone is where the MSI dragon logo on the side of the card, near the SLI connector. The second RGB Zone is around the rear fan, furthest from the connection ports.


The second RB zone is around the fan at the rear of the card.

Also in the Gaming App is the ability to switch between the 3 modes the card offers; silent Mode, Gaming Mode and OC Mode. Each mode has a different base and boost clock. Silent Mode has a base clock of 1607 MHz and a boost of 1733 mhz. Gaming mode has a base clock of 1683 MHz and a boost of 1822 MHz and OC mode has a base clock of 1708 MHz and a boost of 1847 MHz. All cards are set in Gaming Mode by default. For this review, all benchmarks were run in OC mode.

Here you see the cold plate, heatsink and heat pipes on TWIN FROZR COOLER.

In this shot shows how thick the copper base plate is and the heat pipes are.

The heat pipes flatten out so that each one contacts the base plate.

Underneath the TORX 2.0 fans and RGB lighting, is the massive fin array and series of heat pipes that make up the rest of the TWIN FROZR cooler. Copper heat pipes as thick as 8mm with a squared shape maximize heat dissipation to the nickel-plated copper base plate.  The plate make direct contact with the GPU die, and transfer the heat to the heat pipes, for the TORX 2.0 fans to cool. MSI uses only premium thermal compound on their TWIN FROZR cards to ensure maximum cooling performance.

However, the cooling continues even under the heat sink. Below the heatsink, you fine “Close Quarters Cooling.” A PWM heatsink with micro fins helps to keep the temperatures down, and clock speeds up. Thermal pads cover the chokes, which only helps with heat dissipation. There is also a cooling plate for the 8 gb of memory on the MSI Gaming X 1080 Plus. This memory cooling plate has an anti-bending strip to keep it from bending. The design of the TWIN FROZR VI cooler is well thought out and how this card was able to stay about the low to mid 60’s, even under load.

The fin array on the TWIN FROZR Cooler is very dense.

This rear view gives you a better idea of how dense the fins are.

The MSI GAMING X 1808 PLUS is powered by the GP104 GPU.

Here you can see how thick the PWM heatsink is.

You can see that the PWM heatsink covers roughly a third of the PCB.

There is a long thermal pad over the chokes for additional heat dissipation

Here you see the memory cooling plate, as well as the PWM heatsink with micro fins

The MSI Gaming X 1080 Plus is a custom PCB card. This custom PCB is large. The larger PCB allows them to spread out the components a bit, to allow for better cooling. The Gaming X 1080 Plus has an 8-pin power connector and an additional 6-pin connection, delivering an additional 75 watts of power to the card. It’s 10-Phase PWM design adds to the cards efficiency, reliability and overclockability. The card is constructed with Hi-C CAPs, Super Ferrite Chokes and Japanese Solid Caps are all certified High Quality Military Class components.

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