MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING X 8G Video Card Review

MSI’s GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING X 8G video card ushers in a new line of GAMING video cards from MSI with customized PCB, Twin Froz VI cooling, and enthusiast overclocking potential. We’ll see how it performs out-of-box compared to a Founders Edition and then find out how well this video card overclocks.



Naturally for the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 GAMING X 8G we will be using MSI Afterburner version 4.30 Beta 14.

Default Settings

We found on the previous page that the clock speed hovers right at 1923MHz most of the time while gaming. This will be the default frequency we compare our overclock with.

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These are the default settings as shown by MSI Aftterburner after installation. Note that the maximum voltage we experienced while gaming at default was 1.0620V and MSI Afterburner does allow us to raise the voltage by +100mv in the software. As you are going to see below however, the Power Limit can only be increased from 100 to 121%. We are going to set a manual fan speed of 75% to ensure temperature doesn’t get in the way of hampering our overclock. At 75% fan speed the fans are still very quiet.

Highest Overclock Without Changing Voltage

Before we show you what the highest overclock was with voltage adjustments, let’s first see what we could push the GPU to without changing voltage.

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As you can see the Power Limit goes to 121%. We also had the fan at 75%. We were able to push the GPU Offset up to +100. This resulted in the in-game frequency starting off at 2088MHz and then quickly declining to a steady and consistent 2063MHz while gaming. The voltage was at 1.0620V which is default.

Highest Overclock With Voltage Increase

Utilizing the maximum voltage selection our final total highest overclock is below.

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You will see we were only able to push the GPU Offset up to +110 from +100 without voltage. On the memory we were able to set +445.

With these settings the GPU clock starts off at 2114MHz and then declines down to 2088MHz and is steady and consistent at 2088MHz while gaming. The memory is overclocked from 10GHz to 11GHz. The maximum GPU voltage shown while gaming hit 1.0930V.

The reason we cannot push the GPU higher is simple, Power Target. With a lower Power Target setting (versus something high like 150% as found on the GIGABYTE GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming) we are limited by TDP. The clock speed would start out high, but quickly decline to much lower levels as the video card hit the TDP wall fairly fast. It hits it faster with voltage applied, and thus it only resulted in a small boost of performance from 2063MHz without to 2088MHz with voltage increased.

Clock Speed Consistency

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Here is the clock speed over time while gaming for a long period overclocked. You can see it is very solid, and the performance shown in-game was a solid 2088MHz according to in-game frequency. The average is slightly higher here because the GPU starts out at 2114MHz, so it messes with the average a bit. 2088MHz is the sustained frequency we experienced while gaming.


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Here is the temperature with the fan at 75% and overclocked with voltage. We hit a maximum of 66c and an average of near 57c. That’s very cool considering the overclock and over voltage.

The final clock we ended up with on the overclock is: 2088MHz/11GHz (GPU/Mem.)