MSI's GeForce RTX 4070 GAMING X TRIO 12G is a non-MSRP RTX 4070 graphics card that packs a beefy "TRI FROZR 3" thermal solution to keep temperatures at bay, all topped off by a sleek-looking aesthetic with RGB LED accents.
The dust is now settling on NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4070 GPU launch; for the uninformed, the RTX 4070 was launched for sale to the general public on 13 April 2023, where the said GPU sports a cut-down version of the 4070 Ti's AD104 GPU with 5888 CUDA cores instead of 7680 CUDA cores.
For this article, ALKtech checks out another non-MSRP RTX 4070 graphics card that is positioned at the higher-end of the RTX 4070 spectrum: the MSI GeForce RTX 4070 GAMING X TRIO 12G. Sporting a sleek-looking aesthetic with RGB LEDs, a TRI FROZR 3 thermal solution as well as a metal backplate, read on to see how this card performs with a mix of synthetic and gaming benchmark tests at the 1440p resolution, when paired with Intel's range-topping processor offering, the Core i9-13900K.
Summary of Specifications
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 (AD104)
- 5888 CUDA cores
- Memory: 12GB GDDR6X VRAM (192-bit, 21 Gbps)
- Clock Speeds
- Boost Clock: 2610 MHz
- Extreme Performance Mode: 2625 MHz
- Bus Type: PCIe 4.0 x16
- Display Output Ports: 3x DisplayPort 1.4a ports, 1x HDMI 2.1a port
- External Power Required: Yes, 1x 16-pin 12VHPWR power connector (2x 8-pin to 1x 16-pin 12VHPWR adapter cable included)
- PSU Requirement: ≥650W power supply recommended
- Card Dimensions: 338mm x 141mm x 52mm
Packaging & Accessories
The MSI GeForce RTX 4070 GAMING X TRIO 12G comes shipped in a box with a rather run-of-the-mill aesthetic. It sports NVIDIA's trademark shade of green where the "GeForce RTX 4070" branding can be found, and we get images of the graphics card splashed on the front and rear of the box for good measure.
The review unit of the GAMING X TRIO 12G came shipped with the following accessories:
- Quick start guide
- 2x 8-pin to 1x 16-pin (12VHPWR) power adapter cable
- Graphics card holder
The included graphics card holder is made out of painted metal as far as I could tell, and is to be secured to your PC case via the screws that hold your case's expansion slot covers in place.
Aesthetics & Physical Features
The GeForce RTX 4070 GAMING X TRIO 12G comes with a plastic fan shroud that is finished in a shade of metallic grey, and features angular accents that reflect light in an aesthetically-pleasing manner. The card boasts MSI's TRI FROZR 3 thermal design, which comprises of three fans that sport the brand's TORX FAN 5.0 design with dual ball bearings for improved airflow and durability. These fans are backed up by a copper baseplate with core pipes for improved heat dissipation characteristics.
As with most modern graphics cards of today, the triple fans only spin up when the graphics card is under load, making for a design that eliminates unnecessary noise as much as possible.
Over on the back of the card, it can be seen that MSI's included a metal backplate that helps ensure card rigidity, which also goes a long way in assisting with heat dissipation as well.
To spice up the appearance of the GAMING X TRIO 12G, MSI's included RGB LED accents on the long edge of the card, in the form of an illuminated dragon logo and "MSI" text, as well as a three-stripe accent that also matches the painted accent on the metal graphics card holder - a subtle design feature that most certainly demonstrates MSI's attention-to-detail when designing the card's aesthetics,
The three-stripe RGB accent further extends to the bottom long edge of the fan shroud, making this card well-suited for builds that permit for graphics cards to be installed in a vertical orientation, where end-users can then show off the RGB bling of their installed RTX 4070 GAMING X TRIO 12G.
As a GPU that sips power as compared to its more powerful brethren, where NVIDIA has an indicated total graphics power figure of 200W for the RTX 4070, board partners have the option of using the latest 16-pin 12VHPWR power connector for their RTX 4070 board offerings, or the traditional 8-pin PCIe power connector. In the instance of the RTX 4070 GAMING X TRIO 12G, MSI has opted for a 12VHPWR connector, and has also included a power adapter cable that converts two 8-pin PCIe power connectors to a single 16-pin 12VHPWR power connector - a handy accessory to have for sure, seeing as ATX 3.0-compliant power supply units have not achieved widespread adoption as of yet.
To get a sensing of the card's performance, the following tests were run:
- 3DMark Time Spy v1.2
- Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
- Cyberpunk 2077 v1.62 in-game benchmark
- Far Cry 6 in-game benchmark
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider in-game benchmark
- Fortnite (Actual Gameplay)
All tests above were run at the 1440p resolution. In addition, the results shown below were taken from benchmark runs that were performed without any screen capture software running in the background. Where necessary, readouts from MSI Afterburner as well as HWiNFO64 were obtained so as to measure FPS performance and other relevant hardware status metrics.
To put the graphics card through its paces, a test bench with the specifications below was used:
- Processor: Intel Core i9-13900K
- "Boxed Cooler" CPU Cooler Profile in BIOS with PL1=253W
- CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 622 Halo White
- CPU Thermal Paste: Cooler Master CryoFuze
- Motherboard: MSI MAG B760 TOMAHAWK WIFI (BIOS A20)
- Memory: 32GB (2x16GB) G.SKILL Trident Z5 RGB DDR5 6000 CL36 (F5-6000J3636F16GX2-TZ5RK)
- Storage: Crucial P3 500GB (CT500P3SSD8)
- Graphics Card: MSI GeForce RTX 4070 GAMING X TRIO 12GB
- PSU: MSI MPG A850G PCIE5 850W
- Case: MSI MEG PROSPECT 700R with stock MSI fan setup (1x rear-mounted exhaust fan, 3x front-mounted intake fans)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro (22H2)
- Graphics Driver: NVIDIA Game Ready Driver 531.68
- Resizable BAR: Enabled
3DMark Time Spy v1.2
With the 3DMark Time Spy test, the test bench achieved a graphics score of 18498, a CPU score of 18155 and an overall Time Spy score of 18445.
Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
The test setup scored 2876 points for Unigine's Heaven Benchmark 4.0, with an average FPS of 114.2, a minimum FPS of 47.3 and a maximum FPS of 256.1. The test was run at 1440p resolution on the maximum possible graphics settings, with DirectX 11 rendering on Ultra Quality, extreme tessellation, stereo 3D disabled, multi-monitor disabled, and anti-aliasing set at x8.
Cyberpunk 2077 v1.62 In-game Benchmark
With Cyberpunk 2077 v1.62's built-in benchmark tool, the test setup attains an average FPS of 84.19, a minimum FPS of 69.50 and a maximum FPS of 113.57 - these results were obtained on the 1440p resolution using the "Ultra" graphics preset with ray tracing disabled, and all upscaling technologies such as AMD's FSR 2.1 and NVIDIA's DLSS switched off.
To get a sensing of the RTX 4070's ray tracing capabilities, test runs on the "Ray Tracing Medium" preset at 1440p resolution were also conducted, with DLSS disabled and enabled so as to determine the amount of performance uplift one could get by enabling NVIDIA's upscaling feature. With DLSS disabled, the test system achieves an average FPS of 47.86, a minimum FPS of 40.19 and a maximum FPS of 58.87. Enabling DLSS on the "Auto" mode increases the average FPS figure by close to 75%, with an average FPS of 83.52, a minimum FPS of 69.33 and a maximum FPS of 105.10.
In terms of visual quality with DLSS enabled, for the most part, I did not observe any graphical distortion or artifacts, except for one scene at the El Coyote Cojo bar as pictured above, where I did notice that the drain covers on the floor exhibited signs of distortion when DLSS was enabled.
Far Cry 6 In-game Benchmark
Moving on to Far Cry 6's built-in benchmark test, the test bench achieves an average FPS of 115, a minimum FPS of 101, and a maximum FPS of 132. The game was set to the 1440p resolution on the maximum possible graphics settings (Ultra), with DXR Shadows and DXR Reflections enabled. FSR was also disabled for the test.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider In-game Benchmark
With Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the test bench achieves an average FPS of 82 with the game's built-in benchmark tool. The results pictured above were obtained while on the 1440p resolution with all graphics settings turned up to the highest possible settings, where Ray Tracing Shadow Quality was set to "Ultra" and all forms of upscaling technologies (e.g. DLSS, XeSS) were disabled.
Fortnite (Actual Gameplay)
To round off the benchmark section, I played several rounds of Fortnite on the test bench, which saw the system achieve an average FPS of 50.6, a minimum FPS of 35.6 and a maximum FPS of 67.0. The game was set to the highest possible graphics settings on the 1440p resolution with hardware ray tracing enabled, Temporal Super Resolution set to the "Native" setting, anti-aliasing and super resolution set to the "TSR Epic" option, Nanite Virtual Geometry enabled, as well as Global Illumination and Reflections set to the "Lumen Epic" settings. The FPS figures shown above were obtained via MSI Afterburner, which was used to track the game's performance in the background.
Power Consumption, Thermals & Acoustics
- Avg. GPU Power: 9.9W
- Min. GPU Power: 8.2W
- Max. GPU Power: 25.5W
Under Load (Fortnite Gameplay on Maxed Settings):
- Avg. GPU Power: 193.7W
- Min. GPU Power: 137.1W
- Max. GPU Power: 200.9W
The figures above were obtained from "GPU Power" readouts from HWiNFO64.
During the period of time in which I was testing the graphics card, I noticed that the GAMING X TRIO 12G drew between 170W to slightly over 200W of power when under various types of gaming workloads, which is very much in-line with NVIDIA's power draw specifications for graphics cards powered by the RTX 4070 GPU.
- Avg. GPU Temperature: 34.5°C
- Min. GPU Temperature: 33.7°C
- Max. GPU Temperature: 35.5°C
- Avg. GPU Hot Spot Temperature: 39.4°C
- Min. GPU Hot Spot Temperature: 38.6°C
- Max. GPU Hot Spot Temperature: 40.3°C
Under Load (Fortnite Gameplay on Max Graphics Settings):
- Avg. GPU Temperature: 62.0°C
- Min. GPU Temperature: 53.4°C
- Max. GPU Temperature: 64.1°C
- Avg. GPU Hot Spot Temperature: 73.8°C
- Min. GPU Hot Spot Temperature: 60.2°C
- Max. GPU Hot Spot Temperature: 76.9°C
The figures above were obtained from "GPU Temperature" & "GPU Hot Spot Temperature" readouts from HWiNFO64.
The ambient temperature of the test setup's surroundings was measured to be around 30°C.
In terms of acoustics, the RTX 4070 GAMING X TRIO 12G's fans were audible while the test bench was under heavy graphics workloads, but not to the extent that they were unbearably noisy. It's worth noting though, that the review unit did have audible levels of coil whine that at times, proved to be louder than the noise output from the graphics card's fans while under load.
Conclusion & Pricing
To sum up, the MSI GeForce RTX 4070 GAMING X TRIO 12G serves up a pleasant-looking gamer-oriented aesthetic that is backed up by a thermal solution that does a pretty decent job of managing the RTX 4070 GPU's heat output levels. Given its performance, this graphics card would be well-suited for a mid-range gaming PC build, where it should handle most modern games at 1440p resolution with ease. That said, it's worth noting that the GAMING X TRIO 12G can be considered one of the larger RTX 4070-powered graphics cards around, and the fact that there are variants from other board partners that use just a single 8-pin PCIe power connector might give pause to end-users who are looking to minimise their graphics card footprint within their PC case.
As of early May 2023, the MSI GeForce RTX 4070 GAMING X TRIO 12G is available to purchase for a price of around $1070 Singapore dollars from offline and online retailers in Singapore - international readers can purchase this graphics card for a price of $649.99 US dollars from e-Commerce sites such as Amazon and Newegg.
Keen to get the MSI products featured in this video? Check out the links below!
Get your Powered by MSI PC Build with a Special Promotional Bundle - https://msi.gm/SD517BD2
Motherboard: MSI MAG B760 TOMAHAWK WIFI - https://msi.gm/S492C85B
Graphics Card: MSI GeForce RTX 4070 GAMING X TRIO 12GB - https://msi.gm/S8C7244F
PSU: MSI MPG A850G PCIE5 850W - https://msi.gm/SA969FA5
Case: MSI MEG PROSPECT 700R - https://msi.gm/S74DF88A
Get this card from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3HyNgMm (affiliate link)
Get this card from Shopee Singapore: https://shope.ee/3VEc01tnd5 (affiliate link)
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The graphics card featured in this article was a review unit provided on loan from MSI. In addition, the processor, RAM, motherboard, power supply unit as well as PC case used in the test setup were also marketing samples provided by MSI for the purposes of this review.