MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gam­ing X 8G

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The ideal af­ter­mar­ket card

NOT TO KEEP DIG­GING on the Asus Strix on the left, but MSI’s GeForce GTX 1070 Gam­ing X truly nails it when it comes to what we ex­pect from a pre­mium grade af­ter­mar­ket card. OK, it does fol­low MSI’s ridicu­lously long-winded nam­ing scheme (se­ri­ously, who thinks these things up?), but we all re­mem­ber the old say­ing: It’s not the size of the name that mat­ters, but how it per­forms. And that’s ex­actly what the MSI Geforce GTX 1070 Gam­ing X 8G does. The GP104 at its core is no whiny slacker, hit­ting per­for­mance com­pa­ra­ble to a Maxwell Ti­tan X, yet at less than half the cost. This beauty nails 1440p into the floor, scor­ing well into the six­ties for most AAA ti­tles, tak­ing the legacy of the GTX 970 and drag­ging it by its an­kles all the way into the 1440p era.

That said, the Gam­ing X is still as well rounded as ever. MSI has im­proved its Twin Frozr cool­ing de­sign (now in its sixth gen­er­a­tion), en­hanc­ing both the ther­mal per­for­mance and noise con­trol. Cou­ple that afore­men­tioned per­for­mance with sleek aes­thet­ics and a cool, quiet de­sign, and you’re left with a card that would most def­i­nitely be an im­pres­sive lit­tle ad­di­tion for any sys­tem.

Over­clock­ing was truly joy­ous. Through MSI’s Gam­ing X app, you have ac­cess to three sep­a­rate pro­files, de­pend­ing on your pref­er­ence, each with set fan curves re­spond­ing to the vari­ances in tem­per­a­ture pro­vided by the ad­di­tional volt­ages and higher clock speeds. What is nice is that MSI has gone to the trou­ble of also over­clock­ing the mem­ory fre­quency in its high­est over­clock pro­file, and has still man­aged to re­tain sta­ble per­for­mance. All pro­files aside, we man­aged to get a man­ual fi­nal clock speed of 2,100MHz—50MHz higher than our cherry-picked ref­er­ence sam­ple.

The Gam­ing X is solid: It per­forms well, over­clocks like a champ, is sleek and quiet, and com­bined with the GTX 1070, nails what is ar­guably the sweet spot of PC gam­ing right now—1440p.

VERDICT9

MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gam­ing X 8G

PC GAM­ING Great AIB card; strong over­clocker; solid soft­ware suite; per­fect for 1440p.

MO­BILE GAM­ING RGB light­ing on red card. $ 450, www.msi.com

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