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Another worthy 1070 Ti.

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Nvidia’s newest Pascal GPU is the GTX 1070 Ti. It’s a great line for 1920 x 1080 and 2560 x1440 gaming. So far we’ve reviewed GPUs from Zotac, Asus, and EVGA, and now we’re taking MSI’s flagship offering for a spin around the test bench. The company is offering three versions of the card; two on the lower end of the spectrum, and one high-end model that’s available in two color schemes; red and black, or silver and black.

I received the silver and black combo, dubbed the Titanium model (See it on Amazon) / (See it on Amazon UK), but it’s exactly the same as the red and black Gaming 8G model. It has a fancy backplate that looks like it’s made from Titanium but it’s sto;; made from steel, and it sells for $489.99, which is a $40 premium over the base model’s pricing. Let’s get into the specifics:

Design and Features

With GTX 1070 Ti it seems as though Nvidia is requiring its partners to not deviate from a specified set of clock speeds, so therefore this GPU has the exact same specs as all the rest of the GTX 1070 Tis you’ll see online.

Some companies, such as Asus, are including software that allows you to overclock the GPU, but MSI has chosen to not do that with this model. I have to assume this is Nvidia’s directive, as MSI has included its MSI Gaming software with all its previous GPUs, and that lets you overclock it quite easily. The overclocking is a moot point though, because the cards still overclock all by themselves as high as possible thanks to GPU Boost 3.0, and there’s always MSI Afterburner if you want to do it manually.

The only notable difference in terms of hardware on the MSI card is that it has both an 8-pin and a 6-pin PCIe connector, whereas the reference model has just a single 8-pin. Beefier GPUs like the Asus ROG Strix and Zotac AMP! Extreme require dual 8-pin connectors, however. It offers three DisplayPort 1.4, HDMI 2.0, and one DVI-DL port. Like other GTX 1070 Ti cards it supports SLI.Otherwise, this GPU sports the exact same design and hardware we’ve seen on previous MSI GPUs from this generation, so there’s nothing new here aside from the Titanium branding and color scheme.

The GPU is 10.9 inches long, and takes up two slots. It sports a custom PCB with a silver backplate, and an RGB LED on the side and white LEDs in in the “blades” along one of the fans. Though you can customize the color of the logo, you can’t change the color of the white LEDs on the fan, and this has been an issue with MSI GPUs for the entire 10-series. On the previous models the “blade” LED was red, but on this one it’s white, and you can’t change the color of it, so if you do change the logo color you’re mismatched. It’s pretty annoying.

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Software

MSI’s Gaming App is not compatible with the GTX 1070 Ti for some reason, so you don’t get access to one-click overclocking or the cool OSD feature that displays GPU temp, clock speeds, and other GPU-related information in-game. It’s actually a really cool feature, and I’ve used it in the past as it’s useful to see things like GPU temp and memory usage while you’re playing a game. Luckily NZXT’s free CAM software can do this, however, so you still have options. Instead you’re left with just MSI Afterburner for monitoring temps and overclocking.

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Afterburner has been around forever, and is easy to use as well as powerful and flexible. This card runs cool and quiet enough that you never really need to worry about messing with any of the controls to begin with.

To control the lighting, MSI offers a program called Mystic Light, which is a pain to use for just the GPU but is designed to let you synchronize the lighting between the GPU and your motherboard, assuming you have an MSI motherboard of course. As I wrote earlier, you can only change the color of the side light, which is an MSI logo. The other light is underneath the GPU (when installed) and it’s only white, which can lead to weird, mix-and-match color combos. You’re probably better off leaving it white.

MSI's Mystic Light software lets you control the lighting on both your GPU and MSI motherboard, if you have one.

MSI’s Mystic Light software lets you control the lighting on both your GPU and MSI motherboard, if you have one.

Since you can only change the color of the side LED there's a chance your colors will get mixed up!

Since you can only change the color of the side LED there’s a chance your colors will get mixed up!

Benchmarks

To see how the MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium holds up to the competition I wedged it into our hand-built test bench, outfitted with an Intel Core i7-7700K CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, Intel SSD, and Asus motherboard. Since all of the GTX 1070 Tis have the exact same specs, with no variation, I was expecting it to perform exactly like the previous models I tested.

Big surprise! The MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium performed exactly the same as the other GTX 1070 Ti GPUs I’ve reviewed, which was expected. Though this GPU can’t quite handle high-end 4K gaming, it does a darn good job at 2560 x 1440 and can hit the glorious 60fps mark with all settings maxed out, making it the perfect GPU for that resolution, or for high-framerate 1080p gaming.

The only really interesting thing to say about this card is that even under full-load it is totally silent. I let it loop Heaven 4.0 for a few hours in an open test bench a few feet away from me and I honestly couldn’t tell if it was running or not; it’s that quiet. Temps hit around 70C under load and overclocked, which is still rather cool for a high-end GPU. It’s not as cool as the massive GPUs from Asus and Zotac, but for me personally anything under 80C is pretty good, and totally tolerable.

Overclocking

Just for fun I decided to see how much I could overclock the MSI GTX 1070 Ti, and the TL;DR version is that I got it up to 2,062MHz. That’s about average for this GPU, as it appears to be a better overclocker than some of the other 10-series GPUs. Of all the ones I’ve tested so far they’ve all been able to get pretty close to this clock speed, or slightly beyond it to the fabled 2.1GHz world. I ran a few benchmarks with it overclocked to see if there was any uplift at 1080p and I was able to net a performance boost that range from five to seven percent, so not too shabby overall.

The MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium ran at a decent 2,062MHz overclock.

The MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium ran at a decent 2,062MHz overclock.

Purchasing Guide

The MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Titanium 8G has an MSRP of $489.99, and that’s the exact same price it’s usually found for online:

The Verdict

MSI’s high-end 1070 Ti offering is available in either silver or red, which is pretty cool, but its permanently red or white LEDs will likely turn some people off. Competing GPUs have better lighting, but similar performance. It’s a great GPU overall, with expected performance, silent operation, and it’s not crazy expensive either. There are marginally better options, but this MSI card is still an excellent pick.




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