MSI GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB SUPRIM XJanuary, 2022
Conclusion - Premium Ampere Cards With Tri Frozr 2S Cooling
The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 12 GB screams premium, from its design, performance, and to its price.
MSI's SUPRIM X Custom Design Rocks Once Again
The card comes with the same cooling design and premium PCB components which are outfitted with a top-of-the-line and updated, Tri Frozr 2S cooling system. The cooler is very much needed to keep the card running at stable clocks both cards have a 350W+ TGP. The extra power limit for these cards also provides some decent OC capabilities but you can push Ampere all you want but only get minute returns. Do note that the RTX 3080 12 GB gets close to 450W usage which is literally bonkers for a single graphics card.
The cooler does an incredible job by keeping both cards steady and cool under 70C. The RTX 3080 12 GB saw temps peak around 66C but the memory was always under control with a max temp of 74C during peak gaming load. The card is coupled with the superb silent profile which equals near-zero fan noise. If you want that extra cooling performance, then turning the fans all the way to 100% will lead to sub-60C temps but in return, you'd have to face the louder fan noise which gets a bit noticeable at that point.
The triple-fan solution comes with 0db fan technology which unless or until you're touching 60C won't spin at all. This allows lower noise levels when you're not doing any graphics-intensive tasks. MSI went all the way by including a full metal backplate on the card which comes with dual copper heat pipes to effectively transfer heat from the back.
The RGB is not overdone and the Mystic Light cuts on the front and sides provide really good aesthetics of the card itself. The brushed aluminum backplate, the dual BIOS switch, and the stunning design are what make these cards truly stand out from the Gaming X Trio variants.
Is The 5% Performance Uplift Worth The Premium Over The 10 GB 3080?
While the MSI SUPRIM X is great, I think this is one of the worst launches that NVIDIA has ever done. Most of us reviewers had the 3080 12 GB weeks prior to launch but we weren't provided access to any drivers till the launch day. Furthermore, NVIDIA hasn't even released an MSRP for the 3080's with 12 Gig memory. Even AIBs aren't disclosing it which means we have to use whatever the retail outlets are putting these up for. For now, the RTX 3080 12 GB has been spotted at around 1400-1700 USD on a few retailers and that's a few hundred dollars more than the RTX 3080 10 GB (1100-1500 USD) and a few hundred dollars cheaper than the RTX 3080 Ti (1900-2300). So the main point is, is it worth the extra over the RTX 3080 10 GB?
Well if you take the performance of the card which is an average 5% more than the RTX 3080 10 GB, I wouldn't recommend the 3080 12 GB variant over the standard 10 GB model. Sure in some cases you will be getting almost 3080 Ti performance with the same amount of memory but those are just a tiny fraction of workloads and games. The card has 20% higher memory bandwidth, 2 GB more memory, a higher frequency, and even comes with more cores and 50W uplift in TGP, yet a 5% gain is abysmal which makes us wonder if the RTX 3080 12 GB was ever needed?
The only logical way this card would've made sense was if the original RTX 3080 was discontinued and the 12 GB model had replaced it at the same price point. That however isn't the case and this just looks like NVIDIA's way of jacking up those *080 segment prices before the next-gen arrives. The RTX 3080 12 GB is a weird and unwanted graphics card but if you're looking to save a few bucks, then it ain't that bad a choice over the 3080 Ti since you get the same amount of memory minus a few performance points. But we have to give credit to MSI here whose SUPRIM X lineup has amazed us so far and the trend continues with their latest outing on the RTX 3080 12 GB, its just that NVIDIA should be making better product choices in these dire times for gamers.