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MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G Graphic Card Review

  1. Introduction, Packaging, Specification and Initial Impressions
  2. Closer Look
  3. Utility and Overclocking Impressions
  4. Test Bench and Testing Methodology
  5. Futuremark Benchmark
  6. OpenGL Benchmarks
  7. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
  8. Rise of the Tomb Raider
  9. Hitman
  10. DOOM
  11. GPU Computation Benchmark
  12. Folding at Home and LuxMark OpenCL Benchmark
  13. Overclocking Profile and Manual OC Impressions
  14. Conclusion
  15. Online Purchase Links
  16. View All

Disclosing is caring!

MSI took itself through unnecessary controversy by having the OC profile enabled by default for reviewers. The argument from MSI is that while its card does offer two overclocked profiles, many reviewers don’t show the performance of its highest clocked profile.

While this is true that many Youtubers and newer websites don’t bother using the manufacturers’ in-house utility, informing them and giving the option for providing retail BIOS would have avoided the situation. Hardware BBQ had the same problem with a particular tier 1 manufacturer a few years ago that sent two motherboards to a former reviewer. Without informing, the reviewer was instructed by the company ( a mutual former friend) not to flash it with retail BIOS as it’s designed by one of their in-house engineers. It’s a red-flag, and it couldn’t have come at a more difficult time since it was when Hardware BBQ its ethics policy and was under the watchful eyes of potential investors for a larger expansion at the time.

The difference with how MSI handled it now and then with another brand is the opposite, while both could have been avoided if it informed in advanced and rejected/accepted accordingly. The series of events back then were so bad that it resulted in a lack of responsibility and unprofessionalism from their end, even to a point where one of their executives claimed they can make or break any review websites. Alas, our plans with investors were cut because it raised serious questions. The only part that I am glad during this worst time is that the reviews were never published. Hardware BBQ does not interact with this particular management on principle and the fact that some of their employees- former and current- and its pseudo-fanboys showered with meet invites and freebies take it upon themselves to talk bad about what is done. It’s just too bad some of them were friends, well before I even started to review in tech forums (pre-BBQ days) and before they worked in such companies.

This is terrifying because it’s not very easy for any review website to establish credibility with readers unless it works on it with consistency and plans to product quality reviews that matter.

I can understand TechPowerUp’s need to publish such findings. Even Tweaktown had to talk about Kingston V300’s NAND on the retail units which were not the same as its review unit. After the backlash from readers and reviewers, this prompted Kingston to advise its customers that they don’t make controllers and NANDs in-house (as with many SSD makers) so it might change if the chip stocks are limited. Fair enough. Something good came out of it.

It is important that review units same as a typical retail unit- software and hardware. Or it could have been discussed where the reviewer can accept or reject, depending on his work ethics and reasonable differences that don’t influence people to buy the mislabeled products. No exceptions. If a reviewer is lazy to show both profiles, then explain to that particular individual. If they are still dumb, avoid.

The other (and the main reason) is that while the BIOSes provided maintained the clock speed of its profile, it wasn’t the same as retail. I am somewhat sure MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X would have allowed me to switch between gaming and OC profiles with the actual retail BIOS without the need to start. That would have enabled MSI Afterburner to work properly. It’s just so much work and it stresses the situation at hand. It does not save time. If you know someone with this card and it does require to restart for switching between profiles, that’s a negative point. Unfortunately, I cannot verify it for the reason mentioned above. This is why I am not including it in the main cons list.

Concluding thoughts…

When MSI admits many reviewers don’t bother to use its app to switch to a higher clocked profile, it raises a question about the users. It’s about time manufacturers ditch the dual/triple settings and stick to a single, highest possible clock speed out-of-the-box. Just like the CPU, the GPU’s core downclocks itself to 200-250MHz when the system is at idle. Hence the power draw is reduced. With newer chip being more energy efficient, having such OC profiles is now a novelty item.

This is why I like Zotac GTX 1070 AMP! Extreme. It is out-of-the-box overclocked at 1632/1835MHz with 8000 with 200MHz memory overclocked. Maybe if Zotac used the same VRM plate design and take support the I/O slot that rests on the case, the sagging wouldn’t have existed. Other reasons were minor. Its warranty extension is a HUGE plus. Even Gigabyte is providing extended warranty for its Xtreme Gaming lineup.

Zotac’s GTX 1070 AMP! Extreme’s PWN design feels more fine tuned. Even with manual overclock it was cool. MSI did that, but with lesser clocks. MSI’s fans spring into action just when it crosses 60 degrees while Zotac increases the fan speed as per the temperature starting from as low as 1-4%. The fans on the MSI starts from 20% but stays under 40% fan speed. The difference in gradual fan speed increase was clear in GPUZ’s logs.

GTX 1070 Founders Edition

India US UK
INR 41,899/-  $480 £399

Zotac GTX 1070 AMP! Extreme

India US UK
Rs. 43,900/- $487 £409

MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G

India US UK
Rs. 45,800/- $489.88 £439.99

But I have no such reservations with this card. The MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X may have received a gold standard recommendation if it worked on some parts. While it had benefits, the card could have been better to justify the ‘X’ factor. MSI had lesser of everything compared to AMP! Extreme, including the factory overclock. Zotac is providing better value in that regards. MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X has a three-year warranty. Zotac provides up to five after registering the product. Zotac’s card is all metal wrapped shroud and backplate design.

I am not sure if the card even needs an 8-pin connector and a 6 pin PCIe connector. Same could be told about Zotac GTX 1070 AMP! Extreme, but it had three fans cooling design, two multi-colour LED bling, higher factory overclocks with a potential to really overclock more.

MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X

  • 100MHz bump on the memory clock (OC Mode)
  • Better than FE’s cooling design
  • Easy Maintenance
  • Should have just provided a single highest-possible out-of-the-box factory overclocked card
  • Issues with manual overclocking and fan control via Afterburner
  • Memory clock speed increase only on the OC Mode
  • Less value-for-money compared to other options
  • Warranty void label on of the screw

MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X 8G Graphic Card Review from hardware

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