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MSI raises eyebrows with its GeForce RTX 3090 Aero 24G

by Mark Tyson on 21 December 2020, 11:11

Tags: MSI, NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

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MSI has launched a new GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card design with some interesting qualities. The MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Aero 24G design uses a blower-style shroud as is usually associated with the 'Aero' family - however it looks a little misplaced here on such a powerful premium GPU.

Old and new

Firstly, MSI's shroud is very retro in design, taking strong visual cues from Nvidia's GeForce GTX 480 reference card from 2010. Secondly, perhaps most importantly, the design features "a mini wind tunnel" where nothing about this card's thermal design should be mini – remember this is a 350W GPU. MSI even shows two of the cards sandwiched together in a system as it boasts of the space saving qualities of the Aero (2 slot) design.

Another oddity of the MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Aero 24G design is that the "reinforcing backplate" only appears to extend half the length of this graphics card (see below). The grille situated on the face of the graphics card, beside the single fan, appears to be a vented radiator rather than just a textured surface design. In the description MSI says the shroud takes in 'fresh air' from your case and expels heat through the rear I/O panel.

Would be purchasers should expect this Aero card from MSI to be priced at around the same price as an Nvidia reference design, perhaps it will be a bit lower than the standard US$1,500. MSI's blower cooled effort features the same key performance specifications for GPU (1.7GHz boost) and GDDR6X VRAM.

On the I/O plate users have the following ports to plug into, beside the large vent cutouts: DisplayPort x 3 (v1.4a) / HDMI 2.1 x 1 (max 3 simultaneous displays). MSI's GeForce RTX 3090 Aero 24G measures 300 x 111.15 x 38.67mm, and is a 2-slot design.

We don't currently have official pricing or availability information.



HEXUS Forums :: 15 Comments

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HEXUS
Firstly, MSI's shroud is very retro in design, taking strong visual cues from Nvidia's GeForce RTX 480 reference card from 2010

They've been at this ray tracing malarkey quite a while then with the RTX480 :)
Definitely looks focused on high compute density chassis like workstations where airflow will be good but not good enough for a passive card like the A100 and current 3090 designs will reduce the overall capacity.

For instance, technically the Gigabyte SRU 8 (WRX80) Mobo could theoreticall fit 4 of these whereas the founders and many of the 2.5 slot designs would only be able to fit 3 at a push.
Another oddity of the MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Aero 24G design is that the “reinforcing backplate” only appears to extend half the length of this graphics card (see below).

If this is a lower-cost non-premium card that's not very odd at all - the heatsink's only half the length of the card, so why reinforce the bit that's not going to be under any stress?

If the heatsink's dense enough and the fan can generate enough static pressure the cooling shouldn't be a problem. Presumably it'll be loud, but that's a fairly small compromise for a gaming PC, IMNSHO…
Got to be honest, it doesn't exactly look great for cooling in the 2 slot config, at least on the top card, there just doesn't look enough of a gap.

I just don't understand why no one seems to be doing a design like this which pulls air in from the end opposite the IO shield (bit closest front of case and similar principle to how the server cards will work) where most cases have fans blowing into it… ie front to back airflow
LSG501
I just don't understand why no one seems to be doing a design like this which pulls air in from the end opposite the IO shield (bit closest front of case and similar principle to how the server cards will work) where most cases have fans blowing into it… ie front to back airflow

Radial fans small enough to work in that kind of setup would have noise, performance or packaging issues depending on how it's put together. Blower fans by design push air perpendicular to intake and aren't applicable.

It's not impossible, but it would be a compromise. The stubby nVidia FE boards would be a decent starting point if someone wanted to make one.