Overall and Final Verdict
Even just looking at the box for the MSI RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio you can tell it was going to be a monster of a card. Normally an xx60 range card is going to be a little smaller and will have a smaller box. But surprise surprise MSI put together an RTX 3060 with the same cooler they are running on their overclocked RTX 3090s and RTX 3080s. It is without a doubt overkill, but it does end up having a few unique upsides. For one the card looks amazing, I’m digging the styling with the angular shapes on the shroud mixed with different color shades to set them off even more. I also like the lighting, especially on the fan side though if you hate RGB lighting the light bar on the top will be a bit much for you. But the cool thing about the overall look of this card is normally only high-end models get coolers like this and mid and lower-end cards are left with coolers that look a lot cheaper. For once, if you don’t need to game at 4k you can still have a card that fills out a big build and looks just like that higher-end card. Kind of like buying a v6 or 4 cylinder Mustang or Camaro. The Gaming X Trio also has that composite backplate and because of the size, MSI even includes a full metal support bracket as well. The only cosmetic area that I wouldn’t mind seeing changed is the PCI bracket, I think a blacked-out bracket would be a nice touch to go with everything.
For performance, MSI did give the card an overclock of 1852 MHz compared to the 1777 MHz stock clock speed. That isn’t a HUGE overclock, but it did translate in my testing to a few FPS basically across the board and more than that at 1080p in most cases. That helped bump it up past overclocked RTX 2060 SUPERs and overclocked RX 5700 XT’s in some tests. The clock speed boost isn’t the main performance reason to consider this over one of the stock RTX 3060’s. It all comes back to the giant cooler. The cooling performance on the Gaming X Trio is amazing, running cooler than any other card I’ve tested including liquid cooled cards. This also translates to it being quieter when actually under load. Though I will say if your plan is to just crank the fans up, the triple fan design is going to be louder than something like the XC Black with two fans. But why would you do that, even under a heavy workload for an extended period of time the Gaming X Trio’s fans were barely running.
Of course, there is a reason companies haven’t just been tossing huge coolers on their mid-range cards this entire time. In a normal market, it would add way too much to the cost and price itself out against the competition. But we aren’t in a normal market at all right now, every card that comes in at the retailer's sells instantly. People are willing to take whatever they can get and scalpers are selling them for exorbitant amounts of money. A higher MSRP right now isn’t going to affect those scalped prices as much. Which is good because MSI has the RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio with an MSRP of $519.99. The price was also given a bump according to MSI because of the 25% tariffs that went into effect in January as well. But yeah, that is a $190 difference compared to the base MSRP from Nvidia. With the market the way it is right now, that’s high but still better than even the lowest scaler prices. But if the market gets better and people can get cards the Gaming X Trio isn’t going to be a lot of people's first choice, simply because of the price. Performance, build quality, and looks though are all amazing.
Live Pricing: HERE