Cooling, Noise, and Power
For the last batch of testing, I focused on all of the other aspects of a card that you need to keep in mind. Most of these are also very dependent on things that MSI would have decided on and are a lot of times the only things that separate cards from different manufacturers with the same GPUs. My first test was to check out the total power draw of our test system with the 1080 Gaming X+ under load. To do this I tested using 3DMark and a Kill-A-Watt to record the peak wattage draw. I was specifically curious how much power this card was pulling compared to the GTX 1080 Founders Edition. The end result was 371 watts over the 332 watts of the stock 10 Gbps Founders Edition card. This was still down below the 397 watts of the 1080 Ti and surprisingly close to the RX580 numbers from earlier this week as well.
Next, I busted out our decibel meter and tested the fan noise. This card, like every other card out now turns the fans off under light load so I tested the noise with the fan at 50% and 100% fan speeds to get an idea of the overall noise range of the card, not specifically what kind of noise it will make in game because that depends more on the game, room temperatures, and other aspects. The results were very surprising with the 1080 Gaming X+ being at the bottom of the chart making it the quietest card tested. The result was the same at 50% fan speed as well. It’s a good thing I keep track of fan speeds because taking a look at that chart actually explains exactly why this card is so quiet, the two fans run 500 RPM lower than everything else.
For my last test, I wanted to check out the cooling performance of the twin Frozr cooling. Especially after seeing that the fans run at an even lower RPM than everything else tested. I used Valley Benchmark on loop to heat up the card and then tested with the stock fan profile and then again with the fans turned all the way up. I did this to see what MSI has the profile doing then again to see just how much the cooler is capable of if needed. At the stock fan speeds the Gaming X+ actually came in closer to the bottom of our charts right out of the hole with an impressive 62 degrees, 19 less than the Founders Edition. With the fans cranked up it also showed that there was still more room left as well with that number dropping down to 45 giving us a delta of 17 degrees of extra cooling. Impressive results on both test.