MSI Radeon RX 5700 Gaming X 8 GB Graphics Card Review – Navi 10 Lite Gets The Gaming X Treatment!
MSI Radeon RX 5700 Gaming XOctober, 2019
MSI Radeon RX 5700 Gaming X Closer Look + Teardown
MSI’s Twin Frozr heat sinks are some of the most iconic heatsink cooling solutions that I have ever tested. With the Radeon RX 5700 series cards, MSI is offering a brand new Twin Frozr 7 design. The Radeon RX 5700 Gaming X measures at 297 x 85 x 140 mm while it is also slightly taller, taking up 2.5 slots of space.
The design of the MSI RX Gaming X series is brand new, as in we haven't seen a similar shroud and backplate design on any other cards even though there have been several Twin Frozr variants that came before it. The red and black color scheme along with the brushed aluminum finish does look good, offering a cleaner look than the more futuristic-looking GeForce based Twin Frozr cards.
The back of the card features a solid backplate which looks stunning with its dual-tone finish that comes in matte grey and brushed aluminum colors. The backplate is made out of solid metal and has several heat pads to dissipate heat off the back.
The dual fan Torx Fan 3.0 has already been seen on MSI's Gaming (Twin Frozr) variants but the Gaming X series for Radeon RX 5700 just has that unique feeling which I got when I tested their Evoke OC series card last month.
The new heatsink is a slightly modified version of the one used on MSI's Gaming X series with the main changes being the shroud and a massive wave-curved heatsink design that takes up most of the space on this behemoth.
Coming to the fans, the card actually features two based on the Torx 3.0 system. Both fans combine traditional and dispersion fan blade technology to offer better cooling performance.
The dispersion fan blade technology has a steeper curved blade that accelerates airflow and as such increases effectiveness in keeping the GPU cool. All fans deploy double ball bearing design and can last a long time while operating silently.
The MSI TORX 3.0 fans deliver 50% more air pressure than standard blade fans and 15% more air pressure than MSI's TORX 2.0 fans. Utilizing the dispersion blade fan technology allows for higher static pressure and air to be pushed through the aluminum fin heatsink.
MSI also features their Zero Frozr technology on the Twin Frozr heatsink. This feature won’t spin the fans on the card unless they reach a certain threshold. In the case of the Twin 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 which both card use. The whole plate is made of solid metal with rounded edges that add to the durability of this card. The matte and brushed aluminum finish on the backplate gives a unique aesthetic.
We can also see the MSI Dragon logo 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.
There's no multi-GPU connector on the card as AMD uses their XDMA architecture for CrossFireX capabilities. This allows GPUs to communicate directly over the PCIe bus rather than an external bridge.
With the outsides 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 which the cards utilize.
The dual fin stacks run all the way from the front and to the back of the PCB. It also comes with the wave-curved fin stack design which I want to shed some light on as it is a turn away from traditional fin design and one that may actually offer better cooling on this monster graphics card.
You can see that through large copper heat pipes run through the aluminum finned heatsink. The copper heat pipes come out from the GPU block and cover the entire aluminum heatsink block.
Talking about the heatsink, the massive block is comprised of five 6mm and a single 10mm super 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, MSI uses its exclusive Thermal Compound X which is said to offer higher thermal interface and heat transfer compared to traditional TIM applications.
I/O on the graphics card sticks with the reference scheme which includes three Display Port 1.4a, & a single HDMI 2.0b.
MSI Radeon RX 5700 Gaming X Teardown:
The MSI Radeon RX 5700 Gaming X makes use of a full non-reference PCB design, featuring a 9+2 Phase design and coupled with better components such as solid-state capacitors along with a series of higher-quality chokes. MSI also uses several thermal pads and an anti-bending bracket, however, the two top-most heat pad only covers 60% of the DRAM surface area which may not be an ideal scenario for a card that costs almost $400 US.
The MSI Radeon RX 5700 Gaming X has dual 8 pin power connectors that feed the card. The Radeon RX 5700 Gaming X has a rated TDP of 225W, the same as the reference model.