In one of our reviews of NVIDIA 1000 graphics cards, we introduced you to the Palit GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition. As it is the case with all other manufacturers’ “Founders Edition” models, a reference design of the circuit board and the cooler included by NVIDIA has been used in its manufacturing. Today we will present you with an offer based on GTX 1070 that has a different design for its construction. After being enchanted by the MSI GAMING X GPUseries, the product we have chosen for this review is from the same series and is called GeForce GTX 1070 GAMING X 8G.
The GPU arrives factory overclocked with a 3-year warranty and 8 GB GDDR5 memory. For its creation, MSI has used a circuit board with its own design, improved power supply, high-quality components and TWIN FROZR VI cooler, well known for its efficient and quiet operation. The red and black color scheme, side logo with RGB backlight, red LED lights built into the cooler’s lid and the ventilated back plate with a dragon on it are characteristic of the GAMING X series
In the next few lines, we will take a look at the specs sheet, build quality and the GPU performance. We will also focus on the overclocking options, the operation of the cooler and CPU that the manufacturers offer for the product.
If you are interested in MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G, you can check its current price and availability here: http://amzn.to/2qyvXRV
MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G specs sheet
|Base core clock||
|Boost core clock||
|Number of CUDA cores||1920|
|Memory speed||8 Gbps|
|Memory type and size||GDDR5, 8GB|
|Maximum digital resolution||7680×4320@60Hz|
|Monitor outputs||3x DP 1.4, HDMI 2.0b, DL-DVI-D|
|Technologies supported by GeForce GTX 1070||
|Dimensions||27.9 cm x 14. cm, dualslot|
|Maximum consumption||150 W|
|Maximum temperature||94 Celsius degrees|
|Power connectors||1x 8-pin, 1x 6-pin|
|Recommended power supply||500 W|
Supported technologies and software
GTX 1070 GAMING X supports all technologies characteristic of the “Pascal” architecture. In the next few lines, we will briefly look at the more interesting ones.
The Ansel technology allows gamers to pause their favorite gaming title in a certain scene and capture the shot from every angle or point of view possible. In this way, they can enjoy once again the moment or share it with friends after a while. The taken photo can be with a resolution of up to 32 times higher that of the screen one. This allows them to zoom in the image and view the details without loss of image quality. The presence of photo-filters allows adding effects before taking the shot. With the help of Ansel, you can also make a 360-degree panorama photo that can be viewed on a VR display.
The VRWorks Graphics technology allows image rendering for both one’s left and right eye or a simultaneous multi-projection on multiple monitors. This contributes to the unique experience in the virtual reality universe or the use of multiple displays in gaming without a drastic drop in the GPU performance.
Additionally, the VRWorks Audio technology uses NVIDIA OptiX ray-tracing to track the sound path that spreads through the environment in real time, as it accurately reflects the materiality, shape and the size of the virtual objects. For example, if you are in a room with no objects, the sound and echo will be stronger than in the same room but with sound-absorbing objects.
Also, the NVIDIA PhysX for VR technology allows the game engine to provide a real visual experience as it tracks when the hand controller interacts with a virtual object. Thanks to this, all user interactions with the environment in the virtual world – whether an explosion or passing a hand over water surface – are perceived as a real experience.
NVIDIA GPU Boost 3.0
For the purpose of better performance, the NVIDIA GPU Boost 3.0 technology increases the GPU frequency in real time according to the load, voltage and its temperature.
MSI Gaming APP
GTX 1070 GAMING X has three default work modes in which the frequencies (described in the specs sheet) of the GPU and memory are different – OC, Game, and Silent. MSI Gaming APP is software without which we cannot switch between these modes and take advantage of the fastest OC Mode. The GPU works in Game Mode by default. There is also an option to disable the Zero FROZR function.
With Gaming APP we can alter the light effects of the side MSI logo and the red LED lights mounted on the plastic part of the cooler. Or if they bother us – we can switch them off. We can change only the logo color.
We also have a separate Eye Rest window with three pre-set modes with different color temperature and contrast corresponding to our current preferences. We also have the option to create customized settings.
For enthusiasts wishing to squeeze the maximum out of the GPU, we recommend MSI Afterburner. It has won recognition as a frequently used (even by owners of products manufactured by other companies) overclocking software with which allows manual input of the voltage and frequency values of the GPU and memory. Moreover, it provides hardware monitoring and additional features such as video recording, synthetic tests, and customization of fan profiles.
As expected, the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G box is good-looking. The front part displays the brand, model and product inside. The technologies supported by the GPU and its specs sheet are featured on the back.
Its content is divided into two big black boxes with different size. In the smaller one, we find user manuals, a registration document, several stickers, a disk with software and drivers for the product. The GPU itself is in the larger box and is placed in a specially crafted styrofoam according to its shape that protects it from damage during transport.
Design and construction
Before taking a closer look at the GPU, we will focus on the Pascal architecture used for the creation of its graphics core.
A closer look at Pascal
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G has 8GB GDDR5 and GP104 graphics core just like the more powerful GTX 1080 but with a GPC (Graphics Processing Cluster) less. It is manufactured through a 16-nanometer FinFet manufacturing process. Its area is 314 mm2 and contains 7.2 billion transistors. Below, we will look at a detailed block-diagram of the GP104-200-А1 core used by GTX 1070.
In the image, we can see that GP104-200-А1 has one fully disabled GPC compared to the GP104 core used in GTX 1080 and has three instead of four GPCs. Each GPC consists of five SMs (Streaming Multiprocessors). Each SM has 128 CUDA cores and 8 TMUs (Texture Mapping Units). As a result, we get 1920 CUDA cores and 120 TMUs. The rest of the core is unaltered. 64 ROPs (Raster Operating Units), 2MB L2 cache and eight 32-bit memory controllers are available making the bus 256-bit.
From the written above, we can sum up that the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G features 1920 CUDA cores, 120 TMUs, 64 ROPs, 8GB GDDR5, and 256-bit memory bus with 256GB/s bandwidth.
And now it’s time to focus on the GPU itself.
From the outside, the GPU looks solid and aggressive. The cooler’s lid has a dynamic design colored in red and black and it is made of quality plastic. Additionally, the two large fans stand out in the center of which are depicted dragons marking the gaming products of the Taiwanese company. The image of a dragon but in a larger size also adorns the metal back plate fully covering the back of MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G. Ventilation openings are cut on its black surface through which you can see some of the circuit board elements.
NVIDIA have changed the SLI technology. Officially, only one configuration of two GPUs in SLI mode will be supported in games. Also, for better performance at resolutions ranging from 4K at 60Hz and above, NVIDIA recommends using the new SLI connector with high bandwidth called “SLI HB”.
The display outputs are similar to the reference model ones. Four simultaneously connected displays are supported with the maximum resolution being 7680 x 4320 pixels. GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G has three DisplayPorts (version 1.4) and one HDMI 2.0b and dual-link DVI-D port. For those of you that are not aware, we note that the DVI-D output is only digital. If you want to use the GPU in combination with an old monitor that features only VGA input you will need a special active adapter.
Just like the other Gaming X GPUs, the tribal design is also used here for the ventilation openings of the I/O panel.
The GPU is dual-slot with a weight of 1094 and dimensions of 279 x 140 x 42mm. This makes possible its installation in most of the Mid-Tower cases.
The amazing appearance is complemented by the side logo of the company with an RGB backlight and nickel-plated heat pipes going through the cooler’s body.
As we mentioned, in constructing GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G MSI have used their own design with a bigger size circuit board and the differences with the NVIDIA design are obvious.
The high-quality elements that are used (MIL-STD-810G quality certificate) can be clearly seen on the circuit board. The 8+2-phase power supply of the graphics core provides their more stable performance at the factory increased frequencies compared to the 4+1-phase one of Founders Edition. The default core frequency of 1582 MHz (Game Mode) is higher than the reference model’s one. MSI Gaming APP allows us to increase this value with one click of the mouse to 1607 MHz base and 1797 MHz boost frequency (7% higher than the reference one) just by switching to OC Mode. The third recommended mode is Silent Mode. When it is activated, the GPU performs at the NVIDIA base frequencies – 1506MHz normal and 1683MHz at boost. We believe that MSI offers this mode only to show the difference in performance of its product compared to the Founders Edition version because the noise difference is practically null and makes the designation “Silent” meaningless. OC mode has a slightly increased effective memory speed of 8.1 Gbps. In Game Mode and Silent Mode it is at a base frequency of 8Gbps.
Despite the fact that, according to NVIDIA, 150W are sufficient for GTX 1070, MSI has provided more power supply adding a 6-pin PCIe power connector.
GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G features a 300W power supply provided by a 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe connector.
In order to ensure low operating temperatures and noise levels, MSI has equipped the GPU with the already proven cooler – TWIN FROZR VI.
TWIN FROZR VI features two 100-millimeter fans blowing over a large part of its radiator’s area called Torx 2.0 (we would like to warn you that in this type of cooling most of the heat released by the radiator remains in the case – good airflow is required for optimal cooler performance). They have an alternative blade design which, according to MSI, provides a 22% higher air pressure.
The fans are equipped with 14 blades arranged in pairs. Every other one is more curved and inclined, thus speeding up the airflow. The rest have a traditional design providing stable airflow. For longevity and silent operation the fans use double bearings.
Thanks to all this we get better cooling and silent operation. For the fans of absolute silence GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G is equipped with Zero FROZR technology. Trox 2.0 fans do not start spinning until the temperature of the graphics core reaches 60 degrees. This option can be turned off using the MSI Gaming APP program.
Another essential part of TWIN FROZR VI is the cooler itself. Five nickel-plated, copper heat pipes (one 8 mm and four 6 mm) are placed in an SU-shape along its length in order to take away the heat from the graphics core as efficiently as possible. They do not communicate directly with the graphics chip but through a nickel-plated, copper pad.
For additional cooling of the other circuit board elements MSI uses “Close Quarter Cooling”.
Close Quarter Cooling is a cooling system that is realized by two metal plates located under the cooler. They are mounted on the circuit board and are in contact with the elements soldered on it. One of the plates is ribbed and serves as a radiator cooling VRMs (voltage regulator modules) and the elements around them.
The other plate serves two functions. The first one is to cool the GDDR5 memory chips (in this case Micron). The second function of the plate, as well as the above-mentioned back plate, is further reinforcement of the plate against twisting or bending caused by the massive cooling load.
For this review we used a configuration with the following components:
|CPU||Intel Core i7-7700K (4-core, 4.20 – 4.50 GHz, 8MB cache)|
|Cooling||DEEPCOOL Gamer Storm CAPTAIN 240 CPU Liquid Cooler|
|Motherboard||MSI Z270 GAMING PRO CARBON|
|RAM||Crucial Ballistix 16GB (2x 8192MB) – DDR4, 2666Mhz|
|GPU||MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X (8GB GDDR5)|
|Case||be quiet! Silent Base 800|
|Power supply||be quiet! Power Zone 650W|
|Operating system||Windows 10 64-bit|
In the next two sections, we will acquaint you with the work of MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X using the most efficient factory OC Mode. When OC Mode is activated, through MSI Gaming APP the operating frequencies are 1797 MHz of the core in Boost mode and 2027 MHz of the memory. Thanks to the combination of NVIDIA GPU Boost 3.0 technology and TWIN FROZR VI cooler, the actual measured stable frequency in Boost mode of the graphics core is 1974 MHz.
Synthetic benchmark tests
Unigine: Heaven & Valley
Unigine Heaven and Unigine Valley are two of the most frequently used benchmark programs that test GPU stability. We recommend these programs if you overclock your GPU. The tests are conducted at Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) with maximum graphics settings.
3DMark: Time Spy & Fire Strike
3DMark is one of the heaviest software packages that you can use to load and check the capabilities of your GPU while enjoying good graphics. Default graphics settings were used for our test.
|F1 2015||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Max (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||210 fps||190 fps||147 fps|
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||161 fps||91 fps||57 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||153fps||78 fps||52 fps|
|Tom Clancy’s The Division||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|Average FPS||146 fps||83 fps||31 fps|
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X provides perfect gameplay at Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolutions even for the most demanding gamers.
Comparison with the base GTX 1070 Founders Edition and the low and high-end Gaming X representatives
|Model||GTX 1060 Gamig X 6G||GTX 1070 Founders Edition||GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G||GTX 1080 Gaming X 8G|
|3DMark Time Spy||4 266 (-31%)||5 674 (-8.3%)||6 189||7 436 (+20.1%)|
|3DMark Fire Strike||13 881 (-28.4%)||18 123 (-6,6%)||19 403||22 236 (+14.6%)|
|3DMark Fire Strike Ultra||3 113 (-31.9%)||4 164 (-8.9%)||4 571||5 396 (+18%)|
|3DMark Sky Diver||45 670 (-30.1%)||59 970 (-8.2%)||65 355||77 591 (+18.7%)|
|GTA 5 (Max)||42 (-26.3%)||52 (-8.7%)||57||63 (+10.5%)|
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G is around 29% faster than MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G, 8% than GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition and 16% slower than MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming X.
Options for overclocking and results
The displayed results from overclocking tests are with standard settings of the fans and voltage as set by the manufacturer.
We are aware that because of the specific production process of the memory chips or graphics core in all GPUs the options for increasing the frequencies above the factory default ones are different. Therefore, consider the results we have achieved as tentative.
We didn’t manage to surpass the desired 2100MHz range. The highest measured Boost frequency of the core was 2076MHz, and during continuous load in our stability tests and in gaming, it stabilized at 2018MHz (3% overclocking). Having in mind, however, that GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X is factory overclocked, the frequencies we achieved are 11% higher compared to those defined by NVIDIA as base Founders Edition.
Despite updating the vBIOS to the latest version on the manufacturer’s website, we didn’t manage to squeeze out more than 2202 MHz (9% overclocking) from the Micron graphics memory.
|Model||GeForce GTX 1070 (OC Mode)||GeForce GTX 1070 (Overclocked)||Difference|
|3DMark Time Spy (Graphics Score)||6 189||6 560||+6%|
|3DMark Fire Strike (Graphics Score)||19 403||20 628||+6.3%|
|Unigine Heaven 4.0||97 fps||103 fps||+6.2%|
|Unigine Valley 1.0||97 fps||104 fps||+7.2%|
|F1 2015 Full HD, Max||147 fps||157 fps||+6.8%|
|Grand Theft Auto V (GTA 5) Full HD, Max||57 fps||62 fps||+8.7%|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) Full HD, Max||52 fps||56 fps||+7.7%|
|Tom Clancy’s The Division Full HD, Max||31 fps||33 fps||+6.4%|
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X scored around 7% better results after overclocking.
Temperatures and comfort
Based on everything we wrote about the TWIN FROZR VI cooling in the “Construction” section, we would hardly surprise anyone by announcing that the GPU did a great job in our tests.
Thanks to the Zero FROZR function, the fans remained switched off until the graphics core temperature reached 60 degrees. This happened after we loaded it as much as possible during our prolonged game and benchmark tests.
The maximum measured GPU temperature in the OC Mode configured by the manufacturer was 68 degrees Celsius. The fans worked at 46% of their maximum potential with their revolutions rpms from 1134-1155. This makes their work virtually silent against the background of the other fans in the case.
In the measurements during the tests after overclocking, the maximum temperature of the graphics core reached 71 degrees Celsius. The fans were spinning at 1259 rpm which is equivalent to 50% of their full speed. Noise levels remained unchanged.
We decided to check up to what fan speeds the cooling works silently. For this purpose, when the system was at idle we turned off all additional fans except for two blowing over the CPU water cooling radiator. We decreased them to the minimum 967 rpm and left the side case lid open. After that, with the help of MSI Afterburner, we started manually increasing the rpm (of the GPU fans) with steps of 5%.
After we reached the value of 55%, we witnessed a slight change in the noise which remained the same until we crossed the limit of 65% and 1632 rpm. It was only then that we could hear the GTX 1070 Gaming X fans more clearly than those of the water cooling.
For a final test, we set all fans in the case to the speed they were working at in our temperature tests in overclocking and closed the case. We left the Trox 2.0 fans at 65%. After the subsequent test with the same duration and load, the temperature of the graphics core didn’t cross the 64-degree limit. We can boldly say that no matter how hard we tried we couldn’t distinguish the noise coming from the GPU from that emitted by the other fans in the case.
Once again the impressive TWIN FROZR VI proved to be an efficient cooler maintaining low temperatures at excellent noise levels.
And so the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X performance is sufficient to satisfy even the most demanding gamers playing at Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. The GPU has a solid construction with high-quality components. For its creation, MSI has used their own circuit board design with improved power supply and very efficient cooler.
During our tests, the temperature didn’t exceed 71 degrees Celsius even after overclocking, and the sound coming from the cooling fans remained indistinguishable.
The nickel-plated heat pipes that run through the cooler’s base, as well as the amazing design of its lid that contains a logo with an RGB backlight and red LED lights, give the product aggressive look. The two big Trox 2.0 fans and the ventilated back plate with a dragon on it take care of the finished beautiful and gaming look.
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X has factory increased frequencies of the graphics core and memory. Its performance is around 8% higher than the base Founders Edition one. However, thanks to the TWIN FROZR VI cooler and the circuit board capabilities, we managed to increase its performance with another 7% with manual overclocking via MSI Afterburner.
For those of you that consider the capabilities of GTX 1060 insufficient or the GTX 1080 price high – MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G is a great choice.
If you are interested in MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G, you can check its current price and availability here: http://amzn.to/2qyvXRV
- Sleek design and high build quality
- The highest performance of the GTX 1070 models we have tested so far
- Cool and silent
- Factory overclocking
- Option for additional overclocking
- Relatively high price