MSI RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio in detail
Mid-range graphics cards with Ada Lovelace GPUs are finally here. The intergenerational speed increase is relatively lower with the RTX 4060 Ti, but the power draw has dropped significantly and the overall operating characteristics are pleasing. Especially when it comes to designs similar to the MSI Gaming X Trio with a well oversized cooler. Three fans, power draw under 170W, and gaming performance well above the Radeon RX 6650 XT.
GeForce RTX 4060 Ti are built on the AD106(-350-A1) core, which has less than half the die area of the GPU in the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti (Ampere). The claimed TDP (160W) is also lower compared to the Radeon RX 6650 XT (176W). Like the latter, the RTX 4060 Ti uses only eight PCIe interface lanes. While there are no performance limitations with the latest 4.0 standard, there may be some throttling on older boards with PCIe 3.0 or even PCIe 2.0 (for example, on platforms with Intel Sandy Bridge processors that are still in circulation).
Those graphics cards (RTX 4060 Ti) are, like the GTX 1060 of its time (with 3 and 6 GB), fitted with different memory sizes, with 8 GB and 16 GB of GDDR6. The Gaming X Trio (8G) variant we tested has 8 gigabytes like the RTX 3060 Ti did. Compared to the RTX 3060 (with 12GB), however, this may seem like a downgrade. But for now, we’re not going to ponder how much memory is enough and how much is not enough (that will become apparent in the eventual tests of the RTX 4060 Ti with 16 GB of VRAM), and we’re going to analyze the card we have at our disposal. Traditionally, a complete overview of the parameters can be found in the chart in the second chapter.
MSI RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio 8G in detail
The Gaming X Trio 8G represents the pinnacle of MSI’s RTX 4060 Ti offering. This means that it is a “premium” variant, which will not have the most favorable price-performance ratio, but then again, it will not have the noisiest cooler, on which savings are made on cheaper models.
Three 95 mm diameter axial fans are used to cool the heatsink. Their profile height is 12 mm, so average, but the aerodynamic design is efficient. Firstly because of the proven shape with a more pronounced leading edge curvature, and secondly because of the larger number of blades with relatively small gaps between them. This means that there is relatively little room for the air streams to leak inefficiently through back pressure, which means that the airflow loss due to the heatsink design will not be high. In other words, these fans have a very respectable static pressure within the capabilities of the format.
An upgrade that in turn improves the acoustic properties is the joining of the blade tips in threes. Without this feature, higher vibrations would be generated at the tip of one blade, which would spread further through the graphics card (and create secondary noise) and also be the source of sharper tonal peaks. However, this stiffening eliminates unwanted blade flexibility and results in a more pleasing sound profile, as our spectral analysis demonstrates.
The PCB is short, it makes up roughly half of the total length of the graphics card, making room for a large window in the back. In these places the backplate has a proper hole through which heated air pushed by the fans from below can escape more efficiently. Despite this cutout, the structure is sturdy and does not flex. The circumferential folds of the backplate profile also contribute to the high stiffness.
From the detail of the fins of the heatsink you can notice some semi-arc protrusions, which should also contribute to higher cooling efficiency. These are already in the second generation (2.0) and MSI talks about optimizations with them with a balance between cooling and noise. This may be based on how effective the airflow guided by the finning is with respect to “hotter and cooler” spots, and also what impact these “deflectors” have on the resonant frequencies of sound that are created when the heatsink is being traversed by air.
At approximately 138mm (from the PCI slot to the cover on the opposite side), this is a fairly wide card, but the advantage here is that the power connector no longer increases the demands on the available space. In fact, there is a large cutout in the backplate, in which the power connector disappears and the overall dimensions are increased only by the thickness of the wires. The external power supply, by the way, is implemented by only one 8-pin PCIe cable.
In length, the RTX 4060 Ti is as much as 338mm, which may collide with some cases. Especially in the lower to mid price range, which suits pairing with this class of graphics cards. At 50mm tall, expect PCI Express slots on the motherboard to be blocked.
Overall, the MSI RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio 8G makes a sturdy impression – an aluminum backplate, a solid, well-fitting plastic front cover with a more luxurious finish…
… RGB LED elements are also represented. You can see all that is lighted in the photo below.
The accessories also include a horizontal bracket –- graphics card support. It both takes some load off the PCIe slot (less stress on the contacts, especially during transport, where the kinetic energy of impacts can be devastating) and keeps the card level, which will be appreciated by users who like a nice view through the transparent side panel of the computer case. The weight of the graphics card is 1160 grams.
Please note: The article continues with following chapters.
- MSI RTX 4060 Ti Gaming X Trio in detail
- Table of parameters
- Methodology: performance tests
- Methodology: how we measure power draw
- Methodology: noise and sound measurement
- Methodology: temperature tests
- Test setup
- Age of Empires II: DE
- Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
- Battlefield V
- Battlefield V with DXR
- Borderlands 3
- Control with DXR and DLSS
- Counter-Strike: GO
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Cyberpunk 2077 with DLSS
- Cyberpunk 2077 with DXR (and DXR with DLSS)
- DOOM Eternal
- F1 2020
- FIFA 21
- Forza Horizon 4
- Mafia: DE
- Metro Exodus
- Metro Exodus with DXR and DLSS
- Microsoft Flight Simulator
- Red Dead Redemption 2 (Vulkan)
- Red Dead Redemption 2 (Dx12)
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider with DXR
- Total War Saga: Troy
- Wasteland 3
- Overall gaming performance and performance per euro
- CompuBench (OpenCL)
- SPECviewperf 2020 and SPECworkstation 3
- FLOPS, IOPS and memory speed tests
- 3D rendering 1/2 (LuxMark and Blender@Cycles)
- 3D rendering 2/2 (Blender@Radeon ProRender and Eevee)
- Photo editing (Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Affinity Photo)
- Broadcasting (OBS and Xsplit)
- Password cracking
- GPU clock speeds
- GPU and VRAM temperatures
- Net GPU power draw and performance per watt
- Analysis of 12 V branch power supply (higher load)
- Analysis of 12 V branch power supply (lower load)
- Analysis of 3,3 V branch power supply
- Noise level
- Frequency response of sound