Final thoughts on the RTX 4080
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 marks a big change in the GPU landscape but one something we’ve already been anticipating since 2021. Today we’re taking a look at graphics cards from NVIDIA, ASUS ROG, GIGABYTE AORUS and MSI with more cards to follow.
The RTX 4090 made big waves when it launched and has nearly lapped every modern card in existence and those coming soon. NVIDIA also made sure there’s still space to grow, maybe as their final weapon like the RTX 3090 Ti but moving our perspective to the RTX 4080, things do look a bit different. While the RTX 4090 went all guns blazing, the RTX 4080 is positioned as a more conservative player when directly compared to its bigger brother but for the most part, performance is excellent and with 4K monitors becoming more and more accessible, the true advantage fo the RTX 4080 shines when used in 4K gaming.
Only Cyberpunk at 4K with ray tracing enabled pushed the RTX 4080 to its knees at only Ultra mode but thankfully Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the technology partners for NVIDIA that promises Frame Generation: a key feature of DLSS3. WIth DLSS33, Frame Generation in-use along with ray tracing and Reflex, we get to see what NVIDIA refers to as the full-stack innovation for Ada Lovelace. For esports gamers looking to just max-out their FPS, you’d be very CPU restricted even with the latest flagship CPUs from both Intel and NVIDIA especially on low settings so if you’re planning to go for those upcoming 1080p 500Hz monitors, a framecap may be in order or I would recommend the potential xx70 entries in the RTX 40 line-up.
Final thoughts on the NVIDIA RTX 4080 Founders Edition
The MSI RTX 4080 SUIPRIM X easily feels like the most normal card in our launch review line-up but despite its larger size, it avoids the super-massive footprint of other cards while offering the most competitive performance amongst all the cards we’ve tested. There’s nothing in particular that stands out, both physically and feature-wise on the MSI RTX 4080 SUPRIM X. True, it is MSI’s most elegant card but most of its functionality lies within its cooler which does an excellent job keeping the AD103 cool even with its reduced RTX 4080 footprint.
Subtle RGB doesn’t drown the card and the crystal touches break-up the sharp lines on the shroud. MSI’s heatsink is really something to marvel at as they’re one of the most enduring fin designs I’ve seen. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it and its does it job well but the card itself really needs a BIOS update to tune its idle power draw. Reaching as high 45W on idle desktop is off despite the MSI card matching the RTX 4080 FE in most instances. I hope this is just a launch issue much like how MSI used to use to a BIOS strictly for review samples although I am against this practice.
Speaking of used to, if there’s something I do like about MSI’s Gaming line, its that they jive well with the motherboards. In the case of the MSI RTX 4080 SUPRIM X, or pretty much any SUPRIM X graphics card, they really don’t compliment any of MSI’s current offering of MEG and Creation motherboards. While I won’t dock points for the card about this, it is quite peculiar that MSI still hasn’t gotten around to making a SUPRIM X motherboard.
In closing, the MSI RTX 4080 SUPRIM X is nice step-up if you want to go with a partner card but don’t want the inflated price nor extra large footprint that the likes of ROG and AORUS are using on their GPUs, be it the RTX 4090 or the RTX 4080. In the case of the MSI RTX 4080 SUPRIM X, it is still a large card but is no way as wide or as thick as any of the other competing flagships.
If you would like an RTX 4080 and want it a bit on the smaller side while also being a very powerfully cooled and performs well at that, then the MSI RTX 4080 SUPRIM X easily checks those boxes. An elegant cooler design with a tight profile coupled with a relatively attractive price point, the MSI RTX 4080 SUPRIM X could easily win RTX 4080 shoppers with its spec sheet for a great 4K gaming experience.