MSI GeForce RTX 4090 SUPRIM X Closer Look + Teardown

MSI’s Tri Frozr heat sinks are some of the biggest heatsink cooling solutions that I have ever tested. I first tested the Gaming X Trio when MSI released the 1080 Ti variant back in 2017 and that was a very aggressive design in its own right. Since then, I have tested the RTX 2080 Ti, RTX 3090, RTX 3090 Ti in their Tri-Frozr iterations. With the RTX 40 series cards, MSI has further refined the Tri Frozr design. The card measures the same at 336 x 142 x 78 mm and weighs in at 2413 grams, respectively. The card features a standard 3.5 slot height which is expected of today's high-end cards.

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You would have to keep in mind the height when going for a triple or quad-slot card solution as your case or motherboard PCIe slot combination may not allow such a setup. The cooling shroud extends all the way to the back of the PCB and it requires a casing with good interior space for proper installation.

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The back of the card features a solid backplate that looks stunning. The backplate offers a lot more functionality than just looks which I will get back to in a bit.

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In terms of design, we are looking at an updated version of the Tri Frozr heatsink known as Tri Frozr 3S which is now in its eighth variation while for the SUPRIM X series, this is the 2nd iteration. The first variation started off with the GTX 780 Ti Lightning, the second was the 980 Ti Lightning, then came the 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio, the 1080 Ti Lightning, then the RTX 20 & RTX SUPER Gaming X Trio graphics cards while the seventh generation was introduced on the RTX 30 series. Now we are in the eighth generation.

The new heatsink looks like a beefed-up version of the SUPRIM X heatsink that we saw on the 3090 Ti with the main changes being the shroud and heatsink design that feature a neater shroud design on the front, absorbing the black and silver color platelets while featuring the RGB emitting V-shaped acrylic cutouts at the front. The sides also come with a large RGB accent bar which lights up when the card is powered on.

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Coming to the fans, the card actually features the latest fan designs based on the Torx 5.0 system. All three fans feature a ring-based design to allow for higher airflow to be channeled within the main heatsink. All fans deploy a double ball bearing design and can last a long time while operating silently. Each fan has three blades that form three sets and each fan has three sets of them that make up a total of 9 fan blades. Each blade is tilted at a 22 degrees angle to the main high-pressure airflow.

MSI also features its Zero Frozr technology on the Tri Frozr heatsink. This feature won’t spin the fans on the card unless they reach a certain threshold. If you notice closely, you can see that the card features beveled edges that are polished several times with a diamond-tipped cutter to achieve a mirror finish and that can give a slight gold effect which looks great.

In the case of the Tri Frozr heatsink, that limit is set to 60C. If the card is operating under 60C, the fans won’t spin which means no extra noise would be generated.

I am back at talking about the full-coverage, full metal-based backplate that the card uses. The whole plate is made of solid metal with rounded edges that add to the durability of this card. The brushed matte-black finish on the backplate gives a unique aesthetic. The graphics card also comes with a compact PCB design which means that the shroud, heatsink, and backplate are all extended beyond the PCB. The third fan blows air through the heatsink and blows it out from the cutouts that are situated at the very end of the backplate.

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There are cutouts in screw placements to easily reach the points on the graphics card. We can also see the mew SUPRIM logo which drops the Dragon design and goes for a Diamond shape on the back which looks stunning. MSI is also using heat pads beneath the backplate which offer more cooling to the electrical circuitry on the PCB. The most interesting thing to spot on the back aside from the backplate is the large retention metal bracket which adds more mounting pressure to effectively disperse heat from the GPU to the heatsink.

With the outside of the card done, I will now start taking a glance at what's beneath the hood of these monster graphics cards. The first thing to catch my eye is the humungous fin stack that's part of the beefy heatsink that the cards utilize.

The large fin stack runs all the way from the front and to the back of the PCB and is so thick that you can barely see through it. It also comes with the wave-curved 3.0 fin stack design which I want to shed some light on as it is a turn away from traditional fin design and one that actually offers better cooling on high-end graphics cards such as the RTX 3090 Ti. The card also uses antegrade fins on the back that direct and optimize air pass through on the back, allowing more warm air to pass out of the card like a nozzle.

The heatsink has been designed to be denser by using a wave-curved and filled-fin design. It allows more air to pass through the fins smoothly, without causing any turbulence that would result in unwanted noise. Airflow Control Technology guides the airflow directly onto the heat pipes, while simultaneously creating more surface area for the air to absorb more heat before leaving the heatsink. The heat pipes have also been arranged in a way that allows MSI to stack even more fin room.

Talking about the heatsink, the massive block is comprised of 11 copper squared-shaped heat pipes with a more concentrated design to transfer heat from the copper base to the heatsink more effectively. The base itself is a solid nickel-plated base plate, transferring heat to the heat pipes in a very effective manner. To top it all off,

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MSI adds extra protection to its impressive PCB by including a rugged anti-bending plate. This also acts as a memory and MOSFET cooling plate while the PWM heatsink with micro fins keeps the VRM cool under stressful conditions.

I/O on the graphics card sticks with the reference scheme which includes three Display Port 1.4a & a single HDMI 2.1 port.

There's also a dual-BIOS switch on the card which comes pre-configured with Silent & Gaming modes. The BIOS doesn't affect the clock profiles but rather affects the maximum power limit, enabling higher fan speeds for better cooling and more stable clocks. The limits are 450W for the silent and 480W (550W power limit) for the gaming profile.

MSI GeForce RTX 4090 SUPRIM X Teardown:

MSI makes use of a 26+2 phase PWM design that is made up of high-quality components such as  HCI or High-Efficiency Carbony Inductors, SPS (Smart Power Stages), and hardened defense fuse.

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The card also uses the latest GDDR6X DRAM from Micron which operates at 21.0 Gbps alongside a 384-bit wide memory interface.

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The MSI GeForce RTX 4090 SUPRIM X is a very power-hungry graphics card as showcased by its custom design. Being so, the card utilizes a single 16-pin connector which can deliver up to 550 Watts of power to the graphics card. The card is rated at 480W but ends up around 550W with its full power limit.

MSI GeForce RTX 4090 SUPRIM X RGB Lighting Gallery:

MSI SUPRIM X series cards utilize their Mystic Light RGB technology to offer you a visually pleasing lighting experience on your graphics cards.

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There are a total of 5 different RGB effects that you can choose from and the cards have 3 RGB accent points on the front, one on the back, and one lightbar surrounding the side of the card which looks really good. You can fully customize the RGB lights to your preference using the MSI Mystic Light application from MSI's web page.

Following is what the graphics card looks like when lit up.

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Products mentioned in this post

AMD Ryzen
USD 340

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