MSI GTX 1070 Ti TITANIUM Video Card Review

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Today we get a chance to test the newest addition to MSI’s Pascal lineup, the GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G video card.  The announcement of a GTX 1070 Ti sparked a lot of discussion on the tech forums, with much speculation around performance and price but the big question was WHY? The most popular theory is the release of AMD’s Vega 56 GPU which currently sits right between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 in price and performance. If I had a definitive answer I’d gladly share, but I don’t. What I will share however are some performance figures and overclocking results.

As the name states. this is the Titanium trim-version with the familiar silver finish matching MSI’s Titanium motherboard line nicely. Built on their custom PCB which MSI refers to as the “Gaming” PCB, it has plenty of power to drive it and their TwinFrozr VI cooling solution to tame it. This should give us some overclocking headroom and we’ll see just how much soon enough.

Specifications

The table below lists the full specifications of the MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium, with its 8GB of GDDR5 memory at 2002 MHz, 2432 shaders, 64 ROPs, and 152 TMUs it sits right in between the GTX 1070 and the GTX 1080. Clocks on the core come in at 1607 MHz base clock and boost up to 1683 MHz with a 1900 MHz actual boost measured with GPU-Z.

The card supports four displays with a maximum resolution of 7680×4330 (8K) through its three DisplayPorts (v1.4), one HDMI (v2.0), and a single DL-DVI-D port.

MSI recommends a 500 W PSU for the 180 W card, this is 30 W higher than the GTX 1070 but falls even with the GTX 1080. It also requires an 8-pin and 6-pin PCIe connector for its power, giving you around 225 W of power plus 75 W from the PCIe slot for a total of 300 W available to the card. It’s not likely under normal circumstances that you will ever use that much. MSI Afterburner allows up to 133% power limit above its rated 180 W which will fall below the 240 W range so if you choose to SLI, you’ll want a quality 700 W power supply as a minimum for overclocked cards.

MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G
Graphics Processing Unit GP104-300-A1
Interface PCI Express x16 3.0
Memory Type GDDR5
Memory Size (MB) 8192
Memory Interface 256-bit
Shaders, ROPs, TMUs 2432 Shaders, 64 ROPs, and 152 Texture Management Units
Boost / Base Core Clock 1683 MHz / 1607 MHz / 1900 MHz Actual boost
Memory Clock (MHz) 8008 MHz

Maximum Displays

Outputs (DP/HDMI/DVI)

 

4 Max displays

3x DisplayPort (Version 1.4) / HDMI (Version 2.0) / DL-DVI-D

Max Resolution: 7680 x 4320

Multi-GPU Technology Yes 2-Way
Power consumption (W) / Power Connectors 180W / 6-pin x 1, 8-pin x1 (500W Recommended Power Supply)
HDCP / HDMI / DL-DVI Support Yes (all three)
DirectX / OpenGL Version Support DX12_1 / Open GL 4.5
Card Dimensions (mm) 279 x 140 x 42 mm (10.98″ x 5.51″ x 1.65″)
Weight 1096g (2.49 lbs)

Features

The GTX 1070 Ti Titanium is equipped with the TwinFrozr VI. This includes the TORX 2.0 fan, which according to MSI, offers 22% more air pressure for improved airflow through the cooler and over the heatsinks on the card. The two fans are the double ball bearing variety to help keep the noise down and provide longer life. Another cool feature is the Zero Frozr mode. The card stays silent until the temperature reaches 60°C – then the fans kick in to aid in cooling the card. This means for browsing the web, multimedia, and even light gaming, the card is silent. Even while overclocking the video card with the fans set to 80%, the TwinFrozr VI design is still very quiet on an open test bench.

The TwinFrozr cooler has been engineered to improve the airflow through the heatsink with greater efficiency.  MSI has chosen to use a premium thermal paste for improved contact between the core and the baseplate on the heatsink. The baseplate is made of nickel-plated copper to maximize heat transfer to the five smoothed and flattened heat pipes which have a diameter of up to 8 mm in size. This maximizes the heat transfer from the baseplate to the cooling fins where the Torx 2.0 fans will pull it away. They have also added heatsinks to the memory and the power delivery system to help keep their Military Class components running cool. I’m getting the impression that MSI is opting for including a Military Class standard (Certified to MIL-STD-810G standards) instead of their grade as in the past since I couldn’t find a “grade” mentioned anywhere on their site or the literature that accompanied this card.

The Titanium also comes with embedded LEDs which are controlled using MSI’s Mystic Light software or the MSI Gaming App.

See these features and more at the MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G website.

ico-dispfanbld TORX 2.0 FAN
TEAMWORK FOR GREATER STRENGTH
Just like in games, the exclusive MSI TORX 2.0 Fan technology uses the power of teamwork to allow the TWIN FROZR VI to achieve new levels of cool.TORX 2.0 Fan design generates 22% more air pressure for supremely silent performance in the heat of battle.
ico-ballbrgfan DOUBLE BALL BEARINGS
Double Ball Bearings give the unique MSI TORX 2.0 Fans a strong and lasting core for years of smooth gaming. They also remain virtually silent while spinning under load, keeping your graphics card cool during intense and lengthy gaming sessions.
ico-zerofrzr ZERO FROZR-STAY UNDETECTED
First introduced in 2008 by MSI, ZeroFrozr technology has made its mark and is now the industry standard among graphics cards. It eliminates fan noise by stopping the fans in low-load situations. This means you can focus on gaming without the noise of spinning fans.Under 60C, fans stop, completely silent (multimedia or light gaming). Above 60C the fan starts.
ico-rgb CATCH THE VIBE WITH COOL LED EFFECTS
Each LED can be controlled individually by choosing any of the animation effects available in the MSI Gaming App, ranging from responding to your game sounds or music to steady light, breathing and flashing. Of course, you can also turn them off.
ico-hsairflw HEATSINK
Lurking under the cover of the GAMING graphics card is an engineering masterpiece designed to keep the graphics card cool. Every tiny detail of the intricate heatsink plays an essential part in providing a cool & quiet gaming experience.AIRFLOW CONTROL TECHNOLOGY
Using advanced aerodynamics, Airflow Control Technology directs more air directly onto the TWIN FROZR VI heat pipes. The special deflectors on the heat sink enlarge the surface area, which means lower temperatures and better gaming.

ico-smoothhtpip

ico-basplttim

SMOOTH HEAT PIPES
Up to 8mm thick copper heat pipes with a smooth squared shape at the bottom maximize heat transfer from the surface of the copper base plate.SOLID BASEPLATE
To temper the heat generated by a powerful GPU, MSI GAMING series graphics cards use a solid nickel-plated copper base plate. The base plate catches the heat from the GPU and transfers it to the heat pipes for dissipation so you can keep cool.PREMIUM THERMAL COMPOUND
Every detail counts when it comes to creating the ultimate thermal design, which is why TWIN FROZR VI uses a premium thermal compound to make sure it outlives the competition.

Enhanced PWM Design

A 10-Phase PWM design with High Quality Military Class (Certified to MIL-STD-810G standards) components ensures extreme reliability and superb overclockablity and enhanced efficiency. A tailored PCB design higher performance and extra cooling comes with a 6-pin and 8-pin connector to allow for overclocking beyond the limits.

AFTERBURNER

MSI Afterburner is the world’s most recognized and widely used graphics card overclocking utility which gives you full control of your graphics cards. It also provides an incredibly detailed overview of your hardware and comes with some additional features such as customizing fan profiles, benchmarking and video recording.

GPU-Z

Here’s the GPU-Z screenshot of the new 1070 Ti. You’ll notice that some of the descriptions are described as unknown. This is the latest version available at the time of writing and should change as the software is updated. You can still see all the important bits such as core and memory speeds, shader count which seems to be bang on but some things like the TMU count are off. It also shows the latest Windows10 x64 Beta driver, ForceWare 388.09 which was released for the GTX 1070 Ti.

 

Retail Packaging and Accessories

The retail packaging for MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G can be seen in the slideshow below. The packaging itself was quite simple with a black background and the Titanium name across the front along with a few other details such as memory size and DirectX support. The back of the box shows some specifications, MSI exclusive features, and a minimum system specification. It’s a pretty straightforward “box in box” setup with the accessories in the top box, and the card sitting below it in form-fitting foam. Only a few accessories like the installation disc but I do feel their insert deserves an honorable mention. Lucky the Dragon’s Computer Workshop, I have to admit it had me grinning from ear to ear. It’s a cartoon-based instruction manual for installing a graphics card and is actually very accurate and easy to follow, after you compose yourself that is.

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Meet the MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G

I found the overall appearance of the 1070 TI Titanium simple yet elegant. It’s very similar to their Gaming series but a titanium and black color scheme instead of the red and black. There’s a series of white LEDs around the card and a light up MSI Gaming Dragon on the outer edge. The backplate is also titanium in color with vents cut out to allow some airflow through it and adorned with the Titanium logo and the MSI Gaming Dragon.  As I mentioned earlier, the color of this card will go nicely with one of MSI’s Titanium motherboards such as the Z170A MPower Gaming Titanium or the  X370 XPower Gaming Titanium.

MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G

Back

PCIe Side

SLI Bridge Side

Side View

LEDs in Action

A Closer Look

Taking a closer look at the card, we see it is equipped with five total display outputs: 3x DisplayPorts (v1.4), 1x HDMI (v2.0), and a DL-DVI-D. This combination supports up to 8K resolution and a total of four monitors.

The MSI GTX 1070 Ti requires both a 6-pin and 8-pin PCIe power lead for it to work. Being a 180 W card, if you combine all inputs, you are looking at 300 W able to be delivered in spec. You aren’t going to come close to that without some modifications, but it is always good to have for clean and stable power.

Outputs – 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, and 1x DL DVI-D

6-Pin and 8-Pin PCIe connector required

I’ve taken apart the Titanium to show the base of the Twin Frozr VI heatsink as well as how the PCB itself is cooled. MSI has heatsinks on both the memory and the VRM sections and also uses a thick thermal pad on the chokes and the capacitors which make contact with the heatsink to help cool those down as well.

Heatsink Base

Heatsink off showing ram and VRM sinks (as well as thermal pad for chokes and capacitors)

Moving on to the PCB, I’ve added a slideshow highlighting the new GP104-300-A1 core used for the 1070 Ti, the 10 phase power section, and the Micron GDDR5 IC.

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Monitoring/Overclocking Software – MSI Afterburner, MSI Gaming App

Below is MSI AB using the new skin and how it looks when using this card.

MSI Afterburner v 4.4.0 Beta 19

The MSI Gaming app, as we may already know, is a small footprint application which can help control your fan, LED’s, and one button overclocking with three built-in modes (Gaming – Default, OC Mode, and Silent). As of writing the three different card modes aren’t currently supported by the software. As you can see in the pic below they are greyed out. I have been assured by MSI that will be remedied very soon after launch.

MSI Gaming App

Test System

GPU Test System
CPU Intel 7700K @ 4.2 GHz (to match the previous testing)
Motherboard ASUS Maximus IX Apex
RAM 2×4 GB DDR4 G.Skill Trident Z @ 3000 MHz 15-15-15-35 2T 1.35 V
Graphics Card MSI GTX 1070 Ti Gaming X 
Stock (Gaming Mode) : Core: 1607 MHz, 1900 MHz (Actual Boost), / 8008 MHz Memory
Overclocked: 1812 MHz, 2113 MHz (Actual Boost) / 8280 MHz Memory
Storage Samsung 950 Pro NVMe 256 GB
Power Supply Superflower Leadex 1 kW (80+ Platinum)
Operating System Windows 10 x64 (Fully Updated)
Graphics Drivers 388.09 Beta
Other Equipment
Digital Multimeter, Kill-A-Watt

Benchmarking Method/Settings

Note all testing below uses 1920×1080 screen resolution (settings also carry over to 2560 x 1440 and Surround/Eyefinity testing if applicable).

All Synthetic benchmarks were at their default settings, with game benchmarks at noted settings:

  • 3DMark Fire Strike – Extreme, default setting.
  • 3DMark Time Spy – Default
  • Unigine Valley Benchmark v1.0 – 1080p, DX11, Ultra Quality, 8x AA, Full Screen
  • Unigine Heaven (HWbot) – Extreme setting
  • Crysis 3 – Very High settings with 8xMSAA/16xAF (2nd level when you procure and use the Crossbow to get across the level and kill the Helicopter)
  • Metro: LL – DX11, Very High, 16xAF, Motion Blur – Normal, SSAA Enabled, DX11 Tessellation – Very High, Advanced PhysX – Disabled, Scene D6
  • Dirt: Rally – 1080p, 8x MSAA, everything on Ultra that can be, enable Advanced Blending
  • Grand Theft Auto V – 1080p, high settings (see article below for details).
  • Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor – 1080p, everything Ultra that can be (Lighting quality High), FXAA and Camera + Object Blur, DOF/OIT/Tessellation enabled.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider – 1080p, SSAA 4X, VSync Off, DirectX 12 On, Very High Preset
  • The Division – 1080p, Ultra Preset, VSync Off
  • Far Cry: Primal – 1080p, Ultra Preset, VSync Off
  • Ashes of the Singularity – 1080p, DX12, Crazy Preset

More details found in our article: Overclockers.com GPU Testing Procedures

GPU’s Used for Comparison:

Synthetic Benchmarks

I would like to note here that there have been a few driver updates between our testing of the GTX 1080 at release and the 388.09 Beta released for the 1070 Ti. You’ll see in many tests the GTX 1070 Ti matching or even beating the GTX 1080, most notably in DirectX 12 scenarios. I have no doubt this is due to driver improvements but looking at it from a release date point of view it’s impressive none the less.

In the graph below you’ll see the 1070 Ti Titanium at stock taking a 10% lead over the GTX 1070 and nipping at the heels of the GTX 1080 and passing it in the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark once overclocked.

would3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) and 3DMark Time Spy

Here we see the same sort of result as above with the Titanium scoring 4,185 in Unigine Valley, while it managed 5,128 points in Heaven.

Unigine Valley and Unigine Heaven (Hwbot – Extreme)

Gaming Benchmarks

The driver differences become even more apparent in the 1080p gaming benchmarks. As most will know, after a new architecture release the drivers need to be refined to suit the different gaming titles. The pascal GPU has been around for several months and it’s obvious Nvidia is doing a fine job optimizing their drivers.

Crysis 3, Dirt: Rally, Metro: Last Light

We continue to see a similar pattern here as well with the newer titles.

Far Cry: Primal, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and GTA V

Here you’ll see what I mentioned previously with the DirectX 12 improvements

Rise of the Tomb Raider, The Division, and Ashes of the Singularity

2560×1440 Results

The 2560x1440p results fell in line a bit more as expected pretty much cutting a path in the middle of the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 results from our previous reviews. As you can see, most titles hit well over 60 FPS with the graphics quality cranked up as high as it can go. With the few games lagging below that 60 FPS mark you wouldn’t have to sacrifice much in visual quality to boost the FPS to a more acceptable level.

2560x1440p Results at Stock Speeds

Cryptocurrency Mining

One of our Editors was curious about the performance of the 1070 Ti and suggested the NiceHash Miner v2.0.1.0 beta software that’s free to use and will benchmark your system for various cryptocurrency mining algorithms. I felt with the popularity of bitcoin mining at present it would be worthwhile to add some results for any who may be interested in that aspect of GPU usage. The following results are done at stock clocks and overclocked.

MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G Stock MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G OC

Pushing the Limits

From my previous testing, there wasn’t much left in the 1070 Ti Titanium. The GPU core was solid at +205 for a 2113 MHz boost clock but the Micron memory was a bit limited at +139 in AfterBurner (+70 real) for a max of 8280 MHz effective memory clock. I overclocked the system to 5.16 GHz on the 7700K with a 4.74 GHz cache speed and hit the XMP on my ram for 4266 MHz CL19. Any gains you see in the next screenshots came mostly from the system and not the 1070 Ti Titanium. I’ve also included a shot of MSI AfterBurner with my overclock settings. The key with the Pascal architecture overclocking is temperature and power limit so I set the power limit to 133% and the fans to 86% on manual. Adding any more than the 35 mV was futile and didn’t extend my range overclocking at all.

Unigine Heaven Extreme (HWBot), 3DMark Firestrike (Extreme)

3DMark Time Spy

MSI Afterburner Overclock settings

Temperatures and Power Consumption

The combination of the ZeroFrozr and TwinFrozer VI technology kept the temperatures relatively equal during these tests with the fans on full auto. Setting the fans to 86% in my testing, the core never went over 48°C just to give you an idea and as I said earlier these fans aren’t loud at that speed. I’m on an open test bench and would speculate that you wouldn’t hear them over any case fans.

Temperatures

When overclocked, the 1070 Ti Titanium was pulling close to an extra 30 W of power from the wall. You’ll notice the low idle power consumption, this due to the fact that I don’t run any extras on my bench such as cooling fans unless required and my CPU cooling is powered externally.

System Power Consumption

Conclusion

MSI’s version built around its “Gaming” PCB brings more to the table than your average GPU. A nice beefy 10 phase power delivery system built with Military Class components for durability and cooled by MSI’s TwinFrozr VI cooling system. Pair that with MSI’s AfterBurner software and you have a nice overclocking experience that won’t leave you disappointed. With the lower base clocks, it makes the overclocking potential much more impressive.

The Titanium also has the looks. Breaking away from their traditional red and black gaming cards, the Titanium finish will look good in almost any PC, and makes a very suitable addition to one built with an MSI Titanium motherboard. With just the right amount of LEDs and the MSI Gaming Dragon, it won’t leave a dark spot in your windowed PC case.

If Nvidia’s intentions were to take a shot at the AMD Vega 56 then, in my opinion, they did a fine job of it. In terms of performance, the GTX 1070 Ti is right on par with Vega 56, pricing, on the other hand, is a different story. AMD’s initial MSRP for the Vega 56 GPU was $399.  Cryptocurrency mining and the inflated video card prices that have resulted from that have put the AMD Vega 56 in the $550 range if you can even find one in stock. This is well over the GTX 1070 Ti price range and leaning toward GTX 1080 territory.

In general, the GTX 1070 Ti seems to fit nicely between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 performance-wise, and if anything is leaning toward the GTX 1080 side of the fence. The pricing on the MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G rings up at $489.99 at newegg.com. Compare that to a GTX 1070 of similar build in the $440 range and a similar GTX 1080 coming in at $570 it splits the two nearly straight down the middle in terms of pricing as well. The MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium would definitely be worth considering if you’re looking for a better-than-reference graphics card with that added horsepower and the good looks to go with it.

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Discussion
  1. Thanks Don, here's a few more benches I ran for any interested http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php/785510-Additional-1070-Ti-Benchmarks?p=8039332#post8039332