MSI spills the beans on its cadre of custom GTX 1080 Ti cards


— 10:00 AM on March 28, 2017

A few weeks back, MSI was teasing a Gaming X version of Nvidia's best-on-the-block GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. Last week we spread the word that the company was planning on releasing multiple custom riffs on the GP102 monster, including three air-cooled varieties. The product planners at the dragon-branded manufacturer are keen on offering plenty of options to buyers, since each of those three custom cards can be bought in two variations. We'll examine the bunch in sort-of-ascending order of clock speed. All clocks described below refer to GPU speeds, as all cards sport the same 11GB of 11 GT/s GDDR5X memory.

The blower-equipped MSI GTX 1080 Ti Aero 11G runs at the same 1480 Mhz base clock and boost clock of 1582 Mhz as the Founders Edition model. Three DisplayPorts and one HDMI jack are present, along with six-pin and eight-pin PCIe power connectors, same as the FE card. The OC version of the Aero ramps up its clocks to 1506 MHz and 1620 MHz when boosting.

MSI's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G operates with a 1480 MHz base clock and 1582 Mhz boost clock while trading away the Aero's green-accented blower cooler for a black-and-white dual-fan unit. The I/O plate no longer has to serve double duty as an exhaust port for a blower fan, so the output cluster swells to five ports, with two DisplayPort connectors, two HDMI ports, and a dual-link DVI-D jack for gamers clinging to old monitors. The Armor OC version ratchets the core up to 1531 MHz base and 1645 MHz boost clock speeds. The power section in the Armor cards is upgraded from the Aero version above, as evidenced by the presence of dual eight-pin PCIe power connectors.

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming 11G comes with three user-selectable clock speed configurations, ranging from the silent mode's 1480 MHz base and 1582 MHz boost speeds up to the OC mode's 1506 MHz base and 1620 MHz boost clocks. Finally, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X 11G is MSI's top-of-the-line air-cooled graphics card. The 'X' card has three selectable clock speed configurations ranging up to 1569 Mhz base and 1683 MHz boost in its OC mode. Both Gaming cards have two-and-a-half slot coolers, so gamers will need to clear plenty of room for these red-and-black beasts. The port cluster is the same as the Armor models, as is the pair of twin eight-pin PCIe power connectors.

The MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Armor 11G OC went on sale last week at $710, but MSI hasn't provided pricing or availability information about the rest of the lineup. We expect the Gaming and Gaming X cards to cost a bit more. There's also no word yet about upcoming Sea Hawk liquid-cooled cards, so keep your eyes peeled.

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