Card Layout and Photos
The MSI RX 6700 XT Gaming X has the same styling that the RTX 3060 Gaming X Trio that I recently reviewed has. Only this card isn’t a trio with three fans, it is shorter with dual fans. The fan shroud has a heavy angular design, especially in between the fans, angles are all over the place. They have two sets of RGB accent lighting at the top and bottom between the fans which I dig. Then they used silver for part of the shroud and black for the other half, mixing it up and using the color contrast to accent the fans and to make the angles stand out even more. Being a Gaming X card, this is one of MSI's overclocked models and the cooler design isn’t as overkill as the 3060 Gaming X Trio but it is still large.
Speaking of the size, MSI has the overall card dimensions to be 279mm long, 131mm tall, and 58mm thick. That card height puts the top of the card up about 25mm over the top of the PCI bracket so in compact cases you will have to keep that in mind and the thickness is just a hair short of being a full triple-slot, it only attaches with two but you will need the full three slots to fit this card. As for the length, it isn’t as long as the monster triple fan cards but it does extend out even past the PCB. The fan shroud also sticks out pack the backplate and the rest of the cooler because of its pointy angular design. This gets the fan all the way out to the end of the heatsink below it but if you have a tight case keep in mind that will be sticking out 15mm past the end of the rest of the card.
The Gaming X has MSI's Twin Frozr 8 thermal design which includes their Torx Fan 4.0 fans. These were the same fans on the Gaming X Trio and they have a very unique design. A lot of fans have been going to a full ring around the outside to give the blades strength but MSI has just linked together every other blade so they all have some strength but aren’t all connected together on the outside. Each fan looks to be 95mm and have 10 blades. The blades have a heavy curvature to them giving them more surface area as well and then they have mixed in a slight texture on part of the blade with glossier near the center and the outside. Looking down through the fan you can also see that the cooler itself has a ribbed-like design. These are staggered and help stick up and catch airflow while also letting the air spread across the entire heatsink.
Up on the top edge, the most visible area of the card has a few things going on. Down at the end, it has two 8-pin power connections which have the PCB notched so they can be flipped with the clip towards the PCB. They aren’t sunken down at all, so your power plugs will start at the top of the card. But MSI did do a great job of packing in that meaty heatsink around the plugs. Then the shroud itself has the MSI logo with the MSI Gaming dragon logo which are both backlit with RGB lighting and then Radeon in a gloss finish on the textured plastic. I’m not a big fan of backlit branding. I would much rather there be accents like on the front of the shroud in RGB up here or rather than a brand tell you what card you have. Having Radeon RX 6700 XT Gaming X on this edge backlit would look great and let you show off your hardware.
That near triple slot thickness is really visible once you look at the 6700 XT Gaming X from the edges. But what is also very noticeable is how thick the heatsink is. MSI doesn’t just have a universal heatsink here, each capacitor is notched around and it sits down as low as it can be to use almost all of the space. The only exception to that is down at the PCB bracket end which is open. You can see from the bottom the full thermal plate that covers the GU and memory with the heatpipes all going down to it. The cooler is split in two under each fan. The end has five heatpipes visible and on the PCI bracket side, you can see the heatpipes on that end are looped back around to spread the heat out more.
The backplate covers the entire card except for the tip of the fan shroud sticking out at the end. It is motel and the bends added around the edges as well as in the back for styling also add a lot to its overall strength. In the center between the main mounting screws is just a single white MSI Gaming dragon logo which is flips to be seen better when installed in a traditional case. Then up in the top corner near the PCI bracket, they have used gloss black to add a little accent as well. One interesting thing that happened with our card that I have to at least point out is the white box in the center is where your serial number is printed because you can’t see the PCB. Well, it ended up being printed on top of the clear plastic that comes over top of the backplate. MSI thinks this was just a fluke with our preproduction card, but if you do get one with this issue make sure you don’t throw away that back plastic!
Like I mentioned earlier, this might as well be a three-slot card but the PCI bracket is only a dual-slot. MSI has ventilation holes in the bracket even though the axial fans won’t be blowing in this direction. Then below that, you have four display connections. Three are full-sized DisplayPort and then the third one down is HDMI. Each is labeled with it stamped into the bracket. Speaking of the bracket, I would also love to see this get a nice black finish to match the rest of the card and go better with more builds.
Before getting into testing I did take a look at the RGB lighting with everything up and running. MSI lets you control the addressable RGB LEDs with their RGB Mystic Light software but by default, it runs in this scheme which looks nice. I like the triple claw-like accents on the front. The MSI logo up on top I could go without, that isn’t MSI specific, I just prefer to avoid backlit billboard-like branding when I can and have RGB for accents or to show off the card model. Overall the lighting wasn’t as bright as on my motherboard, but it was visible during the day and looked even better in the dark.