MSI GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G Video Card Review

We have MSI’s new GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G video card to evaluate today. We will push this GPU as high as we can, and see how the overclock compares to the default factory overclock, and a Founders Edition NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070. This video card is a fully custom retail video card with the Twin Frozr VI cooling system.

Introduction

Today we have MSI’s new MSI GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G video card for evaluation. The MSI GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G video card is a fully customized video card from the ground up with MSI’s new Twin Frozr VI thermal design to improve cooling and reduce noise. This video card is geared for overclocking with an extra 6-pin power connector in addition to the standard 8-pin power connector for extra stable power. We will find out how well this video card overclocks and how that overclocked performance compares to its default performance and a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition.

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Before we begin looking at the video card in question we need to note that MSI has several other GeForce GTX 1070 GPU based models available. We are evaluating the "GAMING" series, specifically the "GAMING X" MSI GeForce GTX 1070. This video card lies in the middle of the "GAMING" series product line. There is a model above this one called the "GAMING Z" MSI GeForce GTX 1070 that has higher factory overclocks. There is also a lesser regular "GAMING" GeForce GTX 1070 that has lesser factory overclocks. Our video card being evaluated today sits in the middle. Other than factory overclocks, the three "GAMING" series are the same.

All three GAMING series video cards are based on the GeForce GTX 1070 GPU. For reference, a Founders Edition GeForce GTX 1070 runs at a base clock of 1506MHz and a boost clock of 1683MHz. In our evaluation of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition we found that the real-world in-game GPU frequency averaged 1756MHz while gaming, and was inconsistent. Therefore, we will compare our MSI GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G video card with that clock speed and we will overclock it and compare it to that as well.


MSI GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G

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You can currently find the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G available at Newegg for $449 and with an applied rebate it will make it $439.99. Amazon also has this video card in stock at $449 as well, but no rebate. At this price this video card competes directly with the Founders Edition pricing on GeForce GTX 1070.

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Like previous MSI video cards this video card has three clock speed profiles. The video card ships in the "Gaming Mode" profile out-of-the-box. In Gaming Mode the video card runs at 1582MHz base clock and 1771MHz boost clock. Remember, Founders Edition GTX 1070 runs at 1506MHz base clock and 1683MHz boost clock. Therefore, this "Gaming Mode" profile is a bit tame in terms of a factory overclock. For example, if we look over at the ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1070 it has a factory overclock of 1632MHz base clock and 1835MHz boost clock. This puts the ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1070 at a higher in-game frequency while gaming straight out of the box.

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Luckily the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G does have a higher preset profile called the "OC Mode." However, you have to install MSI Afterburner and manually select this higher "OC Mode" to get the slightly higher clock speeds. In "OC Mode" the base clock is 1607MHz and the boost clock is 1797MHz. Even in "OC Mode" the ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1070’s factory default overclock is higher still though!

It has to be said however, the next MSI GAMING model up, the "GAMING Z" is the video card with the higher factory overclocks. If you look at the clock speeds on the "GAMING Z" you will find much higher factory overclocks that pretty much match the ASUS ROG STRIX GTX 1070. Therefore, if you just want to rely on factory overclocks, and you want the fastest, then go for the "GAMING Z" model.