The last years more and more manufacturers make the switch to graphics cards with a triple-fan cooler. Recently introduced graphics cards do not have the tendency to become more efficient, while nobody wants a lot of noise coming from their fans. MSI managed to keep pace with the competition with their dual-fan Twin Frozr-coolers, but now they also make the switch to three fans with the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio. We tested the youngest MSI graphics card extensively.
What do you do as a manufacturer when a new generation of grahpics cards is released? You keep the positive aspects of your previous product, try to fix the negative aspects and maybe you change the design to give the complete package a fresh look. For years the MSI Twin Frozr-coolers have been a part of the top segment in terms of cooling efficiency and therefore you were able to purchase pretty much every Gaming X-card safely without having to do a lot of research. The downside of this was that there was barely anything to improve upon with new generations: according to MSI they received the feedback that the design of the cards - which barely changed since the GeForce 900-series - had become 'boring'.
It is a bad-kept secret that the GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio is a try-out of MSI to give their cooler a new look with the coming Nvidia Volta-generation. The changes are not simply limited to adding a third fan. While there are still elements of the traditional design language, MSI now chooses completely black instead of black-with-red, which were the colours of all 'gaming hardware' a few years ago. This opens the doors to rgb-lighting: as long as the graphics card was even slightly red, lighting in other colours was not very useful.
The MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio should cost about 59 dollars more than the regular Gaming X.