MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X Review: $2K+, 450+ Watts, Fastest Graphics Card Available


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Nvidia released the RTX 3090 Ti Founders Edition graphics card earlier this week. Pegged for a place on top of the RTX 3090, the 3090 Ti brings a full-fledged Ampere chip (GA102) featuring all 84 SMs unlocked. Nvidia also updated the GDDR6 memory to faster and more dense ICs. Performance is said to improve with these changes, but power requirements also increase significantly. In the end, the RTX 3090 Ti is the fastest consumer graphics card available with a price ($1999+) to match.

MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X
MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X

All board partners released their custom cards on day one. This includes MSI, who kindly sent their RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X, their flagship model, for review. As with most aftermarket cards, MSI’s Suprim X includes more robust power delivery, a huge 3.5-slot heatsink, and total graphics power of 480 W in stock form. Worth noting, MSI’s card includes the new PCIe 5.0 12(+4) 12VHPWR connector that offers up to 600 W of in-spec power.

Additionally, the Suprim X includes a dual BIOS for silence and a more aggressive profile for gaming. Both BIOS offer the same performance, just at different temperatures and fan speeds/noise. The 1950 MHz boost clocks are the fastest listed on the market, though performance between most of its peers will be very close regardless. The Suprim X variant is priced higher than the Founders Edition by $200 ($2199), making this (and its peers) some of the most expensive graphics cards to hit the market… and that’s just the MSRP/SEP.

Read on for more details on this beefy 4.5 lbs graphics card. We’ll cover high-level specifications and details below, followed by performance results, and we’ll let you know if we believe it’s worth an Overclockers.com approved stamp!

Specifications and Features

Nvidia RTX 3000 Series Specifications
ModelRTX 3090 Ti SUPRIMRTX 3090 TiRTX 3090RTX 3080
ArchitectureAmpere
(GA102)
Manufacturing Samsung 8 nm
CUDA Cores10,75210,75210,4968,704
RT Cores84848268
Tensor Cores
(2nd Gen)
336336328272
Texture Units
(3rd Gen)
336336328272
ROPs11211211288
L2 Cache6 MB6 MB6 MB5 MB
Base Clock1,560 MHz1,560 MHz1,400 MHz1,440 MHz
Boost Clock1,950 MHz1,860 MHz1,700 MHz1,710 MHz
Memory24 GB
GDDR6X
24 GB
GDDR6X
24 GB
GDDR6X
10 GB
GDDR6X
Memory Speed1008 GBps1008 GBps935.8 GBps760 GBps
Memory Bus384-bit384-bit384-bit320-bit
Supplementary
Power
PCIe 16-pinPCIe 16-pin2x PCIe 8-pin2x PCIe 8-pin
Standard Display
Connectors 
HDMI (2.1)
3x DisplayPort (1.4a)
Max Resolution8K (7680 x 4320)
TDP480+ W450+ W350 W320 W
Release Date3/29/20223/29/2209/24/202009/17/2020
MSRP$2199$1999$1,499$699

The RTX 3090 Ti is built under the same light as the RTX 3090 was… with an eye towards the ‘Titan’ crowd. Although it isn’t a direct replacement by name, most marketing materials mention them in the same breath. Both sport an obnoxious amount of VRAM (24 GB), which can be considered overkill even at 4K UHD resolution. Perhaps with the emerging 8K monitors, that amount can be utilized for gaming. So, although it isn’t named Titan, one can certainly argue it is in spirit (and perhaps price).

The RTX 3090 Ti hits the scene with its GA102 core sporting 40 shader-TFLOPS, 320 Tensor-FLOPS (with sparsity), and a whopping 1 TB/s memory bandwidth across the 24 GB of GDDRX6 memory. Nvidia says the RTX 3090 Ti has been built for not only gamers but creators who “…understand the value of a larger frame buffer and who push their creations to the limit of graphics hardware.” Compared to the RTX 3080, users will find they can work with datasets that are twice as large as those that fit into the 12 GB of onboard memory. Applications that benefit include OTOY Octane Render, Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve, and Blender, among others.

But it’s not all for the creator. Nvidia says the RTX 3090 Ti allows you to play games at up to 8K (7680 x 4320) resolution with DLSS Ultra Performance mode. You can use a single HDMI 2.1 cable for connectivity to 8K TVs, use the GeForce Experience app to capture 8K JDR gameplay, and AV1 decoded for 8K HDR streamed video. There’s even more power on tap for those who play at a more affordable resolution, 4K UHD, to push past the 60 FPS performance threshold. By nearly any account, cost ($2000), size (13″, 3.5 slots), weight (almost 4.5 lbs), and performance (fastest around), the RTX 3090 Ti is a beast of a graphics card.

For review, MSI sent their flagship card, the Suprim X, which they say is the next leap in graphics card design. And boy, is it a doozy. Like the previous Suprim X cards, it comes with more robust power delivery and a monster heatsink to keep this 450+ W beast cool. The cover uses polygon-type shapes, a brushed aluminum finish, and a rear cover which gives the card a premium appearance. The RGB accents are controlled via the Mystic Light software and MSI Center. If you’re just looking to tweak the card, MSI Afterburner handles all of that and offers comprehensive monitoring capabilities.

The polished heatsink surfaces are said to increase airflow along with the double ball bearing Torx fan 4’s out structure to focus airflow through the massive Tri Frozr 2S heatsink. The GPU and memory modules hit a nickel-plated copper baseplate and onto several (eight) copper heat pipes for an efficient heat transfer.

MSI’s Zero Frozr Technology is in use here, with the fans completely stopping when temperatures are low, which eliminates all noise in low-use scenarios. Once a more significant load hits the card, the fans ramp up to keep the card nice and cool. The large fans do a good job taming the 480 W of heat the card puts out and does so at more than reasonable volume levels. A Dual BIOS gives you a choice to run in a low noise silent mode or run in Gaming mode, where cooling takes priority over noise.

The fancy backplate is not only for protection, looks, and rigidity, but it also doubles as a passive cooler with thermal pads connecting it to the back of the card. An enclosed, rigid metal frame provides more strength to prevent bending with the large heatsink. MSI includes a support holder to provide additional reinforcement for the extremely heavy graphics card.

The card itself is upgraded using a thicker copper layer inside the PCB, which MSI says increases conductivity improving heat dissipation and high-performance reliability. Additional fuses are built into the custom PCB that provides another layer of safeguards against electrical damage.

 

Torx 4.0 Fan
Torx 4.0 Fan

TORX FAN4.0

TORX FAN 4.0 is a masterpiece built on teamwork, with pairs of fan blades linked together with a revolutionary ring design to focus airflow and air pressure into the heatsink.

Copper Baseplate and Pipes
Copper Baseplate and Pipes

COPPER BASEPLATE
FACING THE HEAT HEAD-ON

Heat from the GPU and memory modules is immediately captured by a solid nickel-plated copper baseplate and then rapidly transferred to an array of heatpipes. This widening of the thermal transfer systems with highly efficient mechanisms starting at the base improves overall efficiency.

Core Pipes are precision-machined for maximum contact over the GPU and spread the heat along the full length of the heatsink for optimal cooling.

Airflow Control
Airflow Control

AIRFLOW CONTROL

Don’t sweat it. Airflow Control improves airflow dynamics through the heatsink for improved thermals and quieter acoustics. Deflectors provide additional surface area and guide air to where it’s needed for maximum cooling. Wave-curved 2.0 fin edges disrupt unwanted airflow.

Double Ball Bearing Torx 4.0 Fans
Double Ball Bearing Torx 4.0 Fans

UTTERLY UNSTOPPABLE

Extremely durable double-ball bearings spin your TORX FANs for years of intense and lengthy gaming sessions in zero noise.

Included Backplate
Included Backplate

COOL ALL AROUND

There’s more than meets the eye. Thermal pads beneath the sturdy brushed-finish metal backplate provide additional cooling.

Anti-bending plate

Anti Bending Defying Gravity

An enclosed rigid metal anti-bending plate provides additional strength to ensure structural rigidity with the enlarged heatsink.

Retail Packaging and Accessories

The retail packaging for the MSI Suprim comes in a predominately white box that includes a picture of the card along with the typical Nvidia Geforce RTX colors and branding. The back of the box shares some features about the card.

After opening the box, you’re greeted by a black envelope that contains all of the instructions and other paperwork. Lifting that up exposes the card sitting snug inside the form-fitting foam. Additionally, you’ll find the GPU Support bar along with the 3x 8-pin PCIe to 12+4-pin PCIe adapter.

Meet the MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim

MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X
MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X

The MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X is one of the better-looking cards with the polygon-inspired silver cover, highlight RGB lighting, and the MSI Gaming Dragon sitting on the fan hubs. The top of the card sports the Suprim X branding, which is also adorned with RGB lighting. In all, the Suprim would make a great centerpiece for your system and fits in with most build themes.

MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X
MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X

Back
Back

Card, Alternate 1
Card, Alternate 1

Card, Alternate 2
Card, Alternate 2

Card, Alternate 3
Card, Alternate 3

Card, Top
Card, Top

A Closer Look at the MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X

Focusing on the I/O, we spy three DisplayPorts (v1.4 with DSC) and a single HDMI (v2.1) port. The card’s maximum resolution is 8K (7680 x 4320) through the DP while the HDMI port handles up to 4K @ 120Hz. The Suprim doesn’t exhaust air directly out of the I/O plate due to the heatsink design; however, some air creeps out through the three vented slots. Most of the hot air is expelled out of the top and bottom of the card. Be sure you have good case airflow to get all of the warmed air out.

Power is sent through the new 12+4-pin PCIe connector, which takes up a lot less space than the traditional 6+2-pin PCIe connectors that we’re a lot more familiar with. Not only does the new connector take up less real estate on the card, but the PCIE-SIG designed 12VHPWR plug is also capable of delivering up to 600 W which is a lot more than a single 6+2-pin is capable of (150 W). MSI includes an adapter to connect with the card. The adapter required three independent PCIe 6+2-pin connections – you do not want to use piggybacked connectors.

Also pictured in this image is the dual-BIOS switch. While the clock speeds or power limits don’t change, fan behavior does. Just as it’s labeled, the silence BIOS has a slower ramp-up and Zero-fan capability, while the Gaming BIOS ramps up quicker and peaks at faster speeds offering more cooling.

IO - HDMI, 3x DisplayPort
IO – HDMI, 3x DisplayPort

Card, Dual Bios/12+4-pin PCIe connector
Card, Dual Bios/12+4-pin PCIe connector

MSI uses a massive Twin Frozr 2S heatsink to cool all the underpinnings. As mentioned earlier, the 3.5-slot solution uses eight heat pipes soldered to a copper base that contacts the GPU die and memory ICs. the Torx 4.0 fans provide airflow through the heatsink. In all, the card is huge on all axis and measures a whopping  13.3 x 5.5 x 2.8 inches (338 x 140 x 71 mm). Understanding if this card fits in your case is paramount as there are many it simply won’t.

Card, Heatsink base
Card, Heatsink base

Sadly, we didn’t have time to break the card down and get the review to you in a timely manner. Sadly, the card arrived while I was on vacation, so we couldn’t get it out on the release date. That said, TechpowerUp! did, and we’ll use those giving well-deserved credit back to the site/review.

​Below are closeups of the power bits, including the 24-phase 70 A GPU VRM, 2 GB Samsung GDDR6X, and the control ICs.

Below is a screenshot of GPU-Z showing the clocks we achieved at stock speeds. Out of the box, the MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X has a listed boost clock of 1,950 MHz, which it maintained throughout our testing. You can also see it’s reaching the 480 W TDP in this image.

GPUz (Stock)
GPU-Z (Stock)

MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X on the test bench…

Test Bench

Test System and Benchmark Methods

Test System Components
MotherboardMSI MEG Z690 Ace ($599.99), Gigabyte Z690 Tachyon ($549.99)
CPUIntel i9-12900K (stock)
CPU CoolerEK Predator 360 AIO, Corsair iCUE H150i
MemoryKingston Fury Beast 2×16 GB 5200 MHz CL40 ($254.99)
SSDGigabyte Aorus 2 TB NVMe Gen4 (OS + Applications)
Power SupplyEVGA 750 W G3
Video CardMSI RTX 3090 Suprim X ($2199) / 512.16 driver

 

Our test system is based on the latest mainstream Intel z690 platform and uses the i9-12900K 8P,8E/24t CPU. The CPU runs stock. The DRAM is in a 2×16 GB configuration at 5200 MHz with CL40 timings, a middle-of-the-road option balancing performance, and cost.

Since the last update, we have made some changes and updated titles. More details can be found in the GPU Testing Procedure article, which we have updated with our latest benchmarks. Below is a quick summary for easy reference.

  • UL 3DMark Time Spy – Default settings
  • UL 3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) – Default settings
  • UL 3DMark Port Royal – Default Settings (Ray Tracing capable cards only)
  • Unigine Superposition – 1080p High, 1080p Extreme
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider – DX12, “Highest” preset
  • The Division 2 – DX12, Ultra preset, VSync Off
  • Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – Ultra High preset, VSync Off
  • Far Cry 6 – Ultra defaults, HD Textures enabled
  • F1 2021 – DX12, Very High defaults, TAA, and x16 AF, Bahrain track, show FPS counter.
  • Metro: Exodus – DX12, Ultra defaults

Synthetic Benchmarks

Our first set of benchmarks hails from Underwriters Laboratories, which acquired Futuremark back in 2014. Earlier in 2018, a rebrand occurred, and since that time, Futuremark is now UL. The benchmarks have not changed, just the name. We chose to stick with 3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) and 3DMark Time Spy as these tests give users a good idea of performance on modern titles.

3DMark Fire Strike (Extreme) is a DX11-based test that runs at 1080p resolution. UL says the graphics are rendered with detail and complexity far beyond other DX11 benchmarks and games. 3DMark Time Spy is a DX12 benchmark designed for Windows 10 PCs. It supports new API features such as asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, multi-threading and runs at 2560 x 1440. 3DMark Port Royal is the first Ray Tracing benchmark designed for Windows PCs and graphics cards with Microsoft DirectX Raytracing capabilities.

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Looking at the charts above, we see that the MSI RTX 3090 Ti is generally faster across all of these benchmarks. Only 3DMark’s Fire Strike Extreme (which tends to favor AMD cards) has any card beating the 3090 Ti in these synthetic benchmarks. Port Royal, on the other hand, a Ray Tracing benchmark favors Nvidia for now, but this is expected with AMD’s first attempt at hardware-based Ray Tracing. Just as Fire Strike Extreme seems to be AMD-friendly, Unigine’s Superposition is the opposite, with the 3090 Ti Suprim X and Nvidia cards leading the way in this test.

Gaming Benchmarks

We have updated our testing suite for gaming benchmarks to bring more modern titles into the mix. Gone are Battlefield V, F1 2018, Far Cry 5, AOTS:e, and World of Tanks, which have been replaced with Metro Exodus, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, F1 2021, and Far Cry 6. We kept The Division 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The games should provide a good view of the card’s overall performance with many DX12-based.

One thing worth noting with these high-end cards, they aren’t really made for 1080p gaming, so the gaps between cards tend to get minimized.

1920 x 1080 (1080p) Results

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Here again, for the most part, we see the 3090 Ti dominate our high-end cards. It’s only in Far Cry 6, an AMD title, and the 6900 XT leads the Nvidia cards.

2560 x 1440 and 4K UHD Results

Below are the higher resolution results starting with 2560 x 1440 and the gaining in popularity 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD). These resolutions prove to be a bit of a stretch for lower-end cards, but we’re focusing on the high end in this review. It’s clear the flagship 3090 Ti easily handles the middling resolution and 4K UHD (and beyond with DLSS).

2560 x 1440
2560 x 1440
3840 x 2160
3840 x 2160

Moving up in resolution, the song remains the same, with the 3090 Ti easily beating the rest of the datasets. This card can easily handle 144 Hz+ gaming at 2560 x 1440 and eclipses the 60 FPS threshold at 4K UHD across the board.

Ray Tracing and DLSS Testing

Below, we tested Shadow of the Tomb Raider with ray tracing at 1440p and 4K. Even with the frame-reducing ray tracing enabled (without DLSS), the 3090 Ti easily handled this title.

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[email protected] and Mining Results

Sadly, we didn’t set up the folding or mining tests due to time constraints. For the latter, I don’t imagine this to be the card to have, considering the significant price point and power use yields a much longer ROI than other, more efficient, and less expensive options.

Overclocking the MSI RTX 3090 Ti Suprim X

For overclocking, we used the latest version of MSI Afterburner without issue. The OC Scanner also did the job of finding a stable overclock. In the end, we settled on +53 Mhz for the core and +400 for the memory. While the scores didn’t go up much (a couple of percents) on these mid-resolution benchmarks, there was still some improvement to be had. Also worth noting is the lack of power limit headroom. There’s no headroom in the current version of MSI Afterburner at all. 100% is the maximum that can be reached at stock speeds. In short, there’s not much headroom to overclock as is.

3DMark - Fire Strike Extreme, Overclocked
3DMark – Fire Strike Extreme, Overclocked
3DMark - Time Spy, Overclocked
3DMark – Time Spy, Overclocked

The card peaked at 2115 MHz and ran around 2,000 MHz consistently and ran at that speed through most of our benchmarks.

GPUz - Overclocked
GPU-Z – Overclocked

Temperatures and Power Use

We test power consumption by running through the game benchmarks of Shadow of the Tomb Raider and F1 2021 at stock speeds and while overclocked. We monitor temperatures throughout this testing, with the peak temperature listed in the data below. The benchmarks are extended (time) to allow the card to settle to simulate real gaming conditions more accurately.

Temperatures on the MSI RTX 3090 Ti peaked at 79°C in F1 2021 and 78°C SOTR at stock settings. After overclocking the card, temperatures increased slightly in each game, peaking at 80°C in F1 2021 and 79°C in SOTR. While it seems hot, these are solid results considering the 480 W of power coursing through the card. While longer runs will inevitably yield higher temperatures, the Twin Frozr 2S cooling solution keeps the card running in spec without making a lot of noise.

TemperaturesTemperatures

Power use for the 3090 Ti Suprim X peaked at 640 W (system total power) at stock, reaching well over 650 W while overclocked (both in SOTR). For most systems, a quality 850 W power supply will be adequate for your needs, even while overclocking both the card and CPU. But holy cow, folks, power use is just out of control these days, it seems.

Power Consumption
Power Consumption

Conclusion

So what do we have to say about the Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti? It’s a beast, no other way you can describe it. From the wallet-crushing price point ($1999+), its sheer size (13″ long, 3.5-slot width), and the insane power consumption (450+ W), it’s a monstrosity… but one that brings with it is the fastest graphics card we have available. If you’re into 4K gaming and need the most frames, the 3090 Ti is it. If you’re a content creator that needs the 24 GB of VRAM, you’re all set there too. While it isn’t a direct replacement for the Titan line, the price and some features can make it attractive to blended users or those who want the best of the best of the best.

There is some competition with this card, with each sporting its own build quality, appearance, and price point. Asus released the 3090 Ti Strix LC, which is a liquid-cooled version of the card ($2200), EVGA came out with the FTW3 Ultra ($2200), Zotac has the Amp Extreme, which comes in as the least expensive of the listed cards ($2000). Gigabyte has a couple of options out there as well, including the Gaming OC 24G, which we expect to be around that $2000 price point.

MSI’s version of the card, like its peers, comes equipped with better hardware than reference, along with better cooling and, arguably, a more premium aesthetic. Which one looks best is subjective, of course, but the Suprim X is a looker. Not only a looker, but it’s also an incredible performer easily eclipsing the RTX 3090 it sits on top of in the product stack.

For a lot of users, the $2000+ price point can certainly be offputting. We all feel that pain. But looking at things in a vacuum, the MSI RTX 3090Ti Suprim X brings users a well-balanced card that performs well, does so quietly, and looks good in your chassis. But it’s simply not for everyone. If you’re a hardcore gamer at higher resolutions and/or work with content creation, it’s a solid card. If you aren’t working with large data sets and run on a lesser resolution, there are less expensive options available. But for now, the RTX 3090 Ti, and more specifically the Suprim X, is the best Nvidia has to offer until the next generation of cards is released. In that light, we can give the card Overclockers.com stamp of approval.

 

Overclocker Approval Rating
Click to find out what this means.

– Joe Shields (Earthdog)

About Joe Shields 308 Articles
Joe started writing around 2010 for Overclockers.com covering the latest news and reviews that include video cards, motherboards, storage and processors. In 2018, he went ‘pro’ writing for Anandtech.com covering news and motherboards. Eventually, he landed at Tom’s Hardware where he wrote news, covered graphic card reviews, and currently writes motherboard reviews. If you can’t find him benchmarking and gathering data, Joe can be found working on his website (Overclockers.com), supporting his two kids in athletics, hanging out with his wife catching up on Game of Thrones, watching sports (Go Browns/Guardians/Cavs/Buckeyes!), or playing PUBG on PC.

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yoadknux

Member

320 messages 23 likes

Great review. I'm really impressed with my 3080 version of the Suprim X, it's a quiet card with good thermals.

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