NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti 8 GB Graphics Card Review Ft. MSI Gaming X Trio & GALAX EX

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PRODUCT INFO

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio / GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX

December, 2020
Type Graphics Cards
Price $479.99 US / $429.99 US

Conclusion - Faster Than An RTX 2080 SUPER But Custom Models Have A Big Premium

The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 TI is finally here and within my tests, the car turned out to be faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER by 5% on average. This may not be a big deal in performance but we have to take into account the pricing of $699 US for the SUPER variant whereas the RTX 3060 Ti is going to sell for around $399-$479 US, depending on the variants you choose. For this review, the custom models I testes were priced at $430 (GALAX EX) and $480 (MSI). That is a $30 and $80 US premium, respectively.

Both cards performed exceptionally well at 1440p and even 2160p resolutions. The addition of 8 GB memory to a 3060 Ti class graphics card seems to have paid off since NVIDIA learned this from the RTX 2060 SUPER. The GALAX EX variant, despite its lower factory overclock, still managed to come neck-on-neck with the higher overclocked Gaming X Trio variant. The main benefits of the  GALAX variant are its lower power draw, reliance on a single 8-pin connector instead of the dual 8-pin configuration on the Gaming X Trio, and a more compact design which should fit in all cases.

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With that said, the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio is a complete beast with a powerful PCB, more power drawing towards the GPU for higher overclock and respective gains which you can see below, and lower temperatures thanks to the triple-fan cooling system. The Gaming X Trio is a huge card just like its RTX 3070 and higher-end brethren and as such will require some room installation within your setup.

Overclocking The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Graphics Cards

Both GeForce RTX 3060 Ti graphics cards allowed for some hefty overclocking and the respective gains were just too big to not mention them. Both cards easily hit +85 MHz on the GPU core and +1000 MHz on the memory which resulted in some huge gains. We are talking about 7.5% to 10% performance gains depending on the title which is a signifcant bump for any Ampere card in this generation and the performance just lands super close to the RTX 3070.

MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio Graphics Card

ProsCons
Faster Than RTX 2080 SUPER Under $500 US
Great for 1440p & 1080p gaming
Insane Productivity Performance at its price
Factory Overclocked out of the box
Great overclocking potential and performance
Tri Frozr heatsink cooling performance is great
Refreshing new MSI Gaming design
ZeroFrozr Technology Included on Torx 4.0 fans
The backplate includes heat pads for increased heat dissipation
RGB Lighting support on the shroud and sides are a plus
Support for real-time ray tracing and DLSS features in next-generation gaming titles
Good driver support for GeForce products, compatibility with DX11, DX12, Vulkan, OpenGL titles
Good increase in performance per watt vs Turing
First GPU to feature HDMI 2.1 support + AV1 Decoder
Very High Premium ($480 US)
Slower 14 Gbps memory dies
Very tall and huge graphics card
Poor power limit, could've gone higher given the fully custom PCB design

As for the cooling solution, the new Gaming X Trio design is built for the power-hungry Ampere chips and does a pretty good job keeping the card under well under 60C even in stress tests. For gaming, the average temperatures were around 52-55C. The card isn't that bulky and should fit inside most cases with relative ease and 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.

Arm Next-Gen GPU Architecture Close to Twice As Fast Than Predecessors

GALAX incorporates a much compact dual-fan cooling system which does end up with slightly higher temperatures of around 56-58C but overall, the installation should be fine and the 0db technology is another bonus that is expected from a premium custom model these days.

Both cards have their own looks and aesthetics with MSI offering a more premium look while the GALAX EX comes with a more standard facelift. The RGB is not overdone and the Mystic Light cuts on the front and sides provide really good aesthetics of the card itself. The GALAX EX on the other hand has RGB LEDs embedded within the fans and does look nice but barely noticeable inside the PC chassis.

GALAX GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX Graphics Card

ProsCons
Faster Than RTX 2080 SUPER Under $500 US
Great for 1440p & 1080p gaming
Insane Productivity Performance at its price
Factory Overclocked out of the box
Great overclocking potential and performance
Dual-Fan cooling with great aesthetics
0db Silent Extreme Fans with RGB
Single 8-pin connector required
The backplate includes heat pads for increased heat dissipation
RGB Lighting support within the shroud is a plus
Support for real-time ray tracing and DLSS features in next-generation gaming titles
Good driver support for GeForce products, compatibility with DX11, DX12, Vulkan, OpenGL titles
Good increase in performance per watt vs Turing
First GPU to feature HDMI 2.1 support + AV1 Decoder
Slower 14 Gbps memory dies
Price close the RTX 3070 FE

MSI is charging a hefty $80 US premium for its GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio graphics card. The pricing is much higher than the $399 US MSRP of the Founders Edition and the $430 US price premium of the GALAX EX variant. It also lands in the same territory as the RTX 3070 which has an MSRP of $499 US (if you can find one at that price). With that said, the MSI GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is a stunning graphics card within the sub $500 US category and if you're in for a nice looking graphics card which offers great 1440p performance out of the box with several titles hitting 100+ FPS and one of the best cooling solutions in the market, then the Gaming X Trio is totally worth the huge premium.

But if you want to save some bucks, then the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti EX from GALAX is a great option, offering similar performance with lower power draw and a standard aesthetic at a much lower price point. It will be interesting to see how the custom models fair against the Founders Edition variant since it seems like the overall purchase choice given its fantastic price to performance proposition over the custom models giving AIBs a hard time in the retail segment. You can also read our full RTX 3060 Ti Founders Edition review over here!

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