The GeForce RTX 3080 hits the streets today. Fueled by Nvidia’s next-gen Ampere GPU architecture, it wields enough power to trample its predecessor, the GeForce RTX 2080, by up to 80 percent. Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition showed just how dominant this new GPU is—and how much juice it requires to push that many pixels. The spectacular Founders Edition deploys a new 12-pin connector and unique “flow-through” cooler design to tame the beastly RTX 3080.
But Nvidia’s $699 Founders Edition isn’t the only RTX 3080 in stores today. In an unusual move, a wide range of customized graphics cards by Nvidia partners will also be available on day one, including the $750 MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G on our test bench today. Where Nvidia turned to technical tricks with its Founders Edition, MSI cranks its overpowering card to 11. The MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10G overclocks the GPU to 1800MHz, feeds it with a trio of 8-pin connectors, then cools it down with a massive three-slot, triple fan cooler loaded with new technologies and yes, RGB lights. It dwarfs Nvidia’s offering.