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Best MSI graphics card 2022

Lucky will be Happy with your choices

Updated: Nov 22, 2022 3:46 pm
best MSI graphics card

Looking for your next best graphics card, and have an inclination towards MSI in particular? We bring you the ultimate guide to the best MSI graphics card in 2022. You can find a selection of both AMD and Nvidia GPUs with varying abilities. So we outline a whole range of cards for the best choice.

If you’re looking to upgrade or buy your next setup there is a lot of choices. We take the time and effort to bring you the best range of options. Going through the many differences between what the different models hold. As well as helping you decide which type of card is best for you.

MSI has a model for the majority of graphics cards out there. So we go through a range of choices, from the top best card to the budget value choices. Offering something to each person with a varied lineup.

List of the best MSI graphics cards 2022

  1. MSI RTX 3080 Sea Hawk X
  2. MSI RTX 3080 Ti Suprim X
  3. MSI RX 6800 XT Gaming X Trio
  4. MSI RX 6600 Mech 2x
  5. MSI RTX 3050 Aero ITX OC

Our Top Picks

01
Best overall MSI graphics card
MSI RTX 3080 Sea Hawk X
MSI RTX 3080 Sea Hawk X
02
Best high end graphics card
MSI RTX 3080 Ti Suprim X
MSI RTX 3080 Ti Suprim X
03
Best MSI AMD graphics card
MSI RX 6800 XT Gaming X Trio
MSI RX 6800 XT Gaming X Trio

How we choose the best

There’s a lot of consideration when it comes to picking out the best MSI graphics card. Becoming the best option does require it to meet a few different criteria. From user satisfaction to actual performance and design.

Going through the user reviews gives an understanding of what the product is like. Whilst taking a look at performance benchmarks shows how well it does what it’s meant to. Informing us of which choice of a card is best for a recommendation.

We always make sure to keep up with the newest releases to keep up with the latest models. So that along with our expert knowledge we can provide you with a well-formulated guide.

RTX 3070 Gaming Trio Front on

How we test

Performing as it should is an important factor for a graphics card. So where possible we put the card through intensive testing to make sure it is worth the money. With stress testing and benchmarking we can evaluate the card to see the performance benefits and behaviors. Comparing it to other models to see if it is up to snuff in its own league. And comparing it to those around it too. 

Putting all this work into the work allows us to give the best recommendations for you. Making sure the cards earn their place on the top spot. With the knowledge that it will be worth the money people will be paying for it.

Best MSI graphics cards: buyers guide

When deciding your next MSI graphics card there are some key factors to consider. We go over some of the most important features that may be of interest when buying your new GPU.

RTX 3070 Gaming Trio with box

Price

One of the most considered factors is how much the graphics card is going to cost you. An even bigger factor to consider whilst GPUs are expensive. You want to be sure to get the best for your money when considering which part to get. Especially when GPUs are easily the most expensive part of your build list.

When choosing your best MSI graphics card there is a range of budget options. We aim to offer a choice for everyone no matter your needs and budget. If that may be an entry card on the low-cost performance end or the absolute best consumer card on the top end.

Frame rates

Another big factor for picking a GPU is how well it will perform for you. The FPS it can achieve in games will be important depending on your monitor and what refresh rate you can run. To maximize your ability to get the most out of your setup. As there is no need to run higher than what you can see with your display.

Resolution

Higher resolutions require much higher VRAM and powerful graphics cards to run. With more pixels to render and process you need more horsepower. So if you’re looking to use a 4k display you may need a higher-end card to run well on it. However, a 1080p display is much easier to render having four times fewer pixels, so lets you choose a much lower-end GPU.

Cooling

With more powerful cards comes a greater thermal design power (TDP). This dictates the maximum amount of energy the GPU will consume and will be given out as heat. Which will need to be dissipated with the cooling solution that the board partner provides. Making sure your card doesn’t overheat means you can utilize its graphical power fully and for longer. So the cooling solution needs to be created to fit the needs of the card well.

RTX 3070 Gaming Trio fans closeup

Understanding the specifications

When comparing what a graphics card is compromised of there are a lot of terms to understand. So we go through what they mean and what their effect is on the GPU.

  • Clock speeds – Defined in MHz it is the cycle rate of the GPU silicon. It informs us how quickly it can process the instructions and create the graphics. Although not the only driving factor, it is highly desired with overclocking a good way to get more out of your card.
  • VRAM – the video random access memory is used as a frame buffer between the CPU and GPU. As well as a texture store, it allows for more efficient and smoother graphics processing, especially at higher resolutions. 
    • Memory usually comes in two forms in most recent cards. Either GDDR6 or GDDR6X, with the X version providing faster processing, better efficiency, and lower thermals.
  • Memory bus – the card bus is the port on the GPU and motherboard that allows them to communicate with each other. Utilizing PCI standards, there are different generations and lanes they can use. Each of these allows varying amounts of bandwidth to travel between them. 
  • TDP – the thermal design power of a GPU is the max amount of power the card will consume. Also likely to signify how much heat the card will produce which can affect energy consumption and your build temperatures.

RTX 3070 Gaming Trio IO

Are MSI graphics cards good?

MSI makes a variety of models for different GPUs. And they can vary in quality and pricing, but overall their cards are a well-rounded choice. The higher-end choices offer good performance and factory overclocking. Whilst still providing good quality more budget-friendly options at the low end. As well as easy access to RGB and overclocking options.

Is MSI the same as Nvidia?

No, they are not. MSI is a customer and partner of Nvidia. Nvidia is the graphics processor unit provider and usually creates the PCB or reference card for its partners. Then a company like MSI takes those boards and creates their own cooling and design around that to sell to consumers.

Does MSI make their own graphics card?

MSI creates custom designs for reference GPUs. So they create custom solutions for either AMD or Nvidia graphics cards that provide the PCB MSI will work on to create a whole add-in card.

The Best MSI graphics cards 2022

In-depth Review

01
Best overall MSI graphics card
MSI RTX 3080 Sea Hawk X
MSI RTX 3080 Sea Hawk X
Core Clock Speed 1440 MHz Base, 1785 MHz Boost
CUDA Cores 8704
Memory Size 10GB GDDR6X
Dimensions Card: 271.4mm x 125.8mm x 44.3mm (10" x 3.95" x 1.74")
PSU Required 750W
PROS
  • Excellent cooling
  • Great out of the box performance
  • Plenty of overclocking opportunity
CONS
  • Bulky solution
  • A lot more expensive

Balancing price and performance, we picked the RTX 3080 Sea Hawk X as our best MSI graphics card. The 3080 itself is a great GPU, with great performance across the board. It can easily handle any games that you throw at it and has the potential to even run them at 4k, which is four times larger than 1080p. So tough to do but still good without having to go for the more expensive 3080 Ti or 3090.

Comparing the 3080 vs 6800 XT you do get better performance from the Nvidia card. Although the launch price for the card is $50 higher, at $699. But for that price you also get great ray tracing performance that works much better on Nvidia cards. Along with access to DLSS and other upscaling technology that can improve the quality and framerate of the games.

For the MSI model, the Sea Hawk offers a great cooling solution for your GPU. Increasing TDPs make cards bulkier and harder to keep the temperatures under wraps. This would prevent the graphics card from thermal throttling and underperforming. So Sea Hawk makes sure it won’t come to that and offers all-in-one liquid cooling. Which also gives it plenty of overhead for overclocking to extract the most out of it. Giving the card plenty of capability to be the best performing 3080.

The 3080 contains the GA102-202-KD-A1 made with Samsungs 8nm process creating a 628mm² die with 28.3 billion transistors. Which consists of 8704 CUDA cores and 68 RT cores clocked at 1440 MHz and with a boost of 1785 MHz. Whilst consisting of 10GB GDDR6X memory with a bandwidth of 760.3GB/s all passing through the PCIe 4.0 x16 bus interface.

02
Best high end graphics card
MSI RTX 3080 Ti Suprim X
MSI RTX 3080 Ti Suprim X
Core Clock Speed 1365 MHz base, 1830 MHz boost
CUDA Cores 10240
Memory Size 12GB GDDR6X
Dimensions 336mm x 140mm x 61mm (13.2" x 5.5" x 2.4")
PSU Required 850W
PROS
  • Performance on par to the 3090
  • Sleek and colorful design
CONS
  • More expensive option
  • More than most gamers need

If you’re looking for the top end of the performance, then the RTX 3080 Ti Suprim X has what you need. It slots in just under the 3090 whilst still keeping on par in terms of performance. But it still isn’t a cheap card so for most of us coming in at $1,119, it isn’t a necessary card for the vast majority of users.

The MSI Suprim X range offers a robust and sleek design for the well-performing card. The high-quality metal shroud gives it a solid build quality to last. While also providing plenty of cooling opportunities for the card. As the cooling solution is of a three-slot design which makes it on the heavier and larger side of things. This may be a consideration for when you’re trying to fit more into a smaller build. However, you will not be missing out on performance from thermal throttling with this GPU.

Along with the thermal solution, the outside design is a good look still. With a triple fan setup, the features surrounding it highlight the rest of the design. As the tasteful application of RGB to bring out the edges of the card. Along with some fun and personalization for the user.

The 3080 Ti is built with a GA102-225-A1 Ampere chip built with Sasmsungs 8nm process. Giving it a die size of 628mm² with 28.3 billion transistors. And is made up of 10240 CUDA cores and 80 RT cores clocked at 1365MHz, with a boost of 1830MHz. With a VRAM of 12GB GDDR6X capable of a 912.4GB/s bandwidth, going through a PCIe 4.0 x16 interface.

03
Best MSI AMD graphics card
MSI RX 6800 XT Gaming X Trio
MSI RX 6800 XT Gaming X Trio
Core Clock Speed 1850MHz base, 2285MHz boost, 2045MHz game
CUDA Cores 4608
Memory Size 16GB GDDR6
Dimensions 324mm x 141mm x 55 mm (12.8" x 5.6" x 2.2")
PSU Required 750W
PROS
  • Best graphical performance
  • Great price to performance
  • Great cooling and overclocking capabilities
CONS
  • Under par ray tracing performance

AMD has made great progress in its graphics department as well as CPU, so we like to recommend the RX 6800 XT Gaming X Trio. The card may lag slightly behind the 3080 but it’s still a great offering on its own. With good performance across the board. With great recent software support, such as RSR coming out for the range allowing for upscaling in any game.

Whilst the Gaming X Trio build also gives the GPU more potential with a sharp design and plenty of cooling. The three-slot design with three fans offers plenty of thermal capacity to dissipate all the heat generated by the chip. This means that you’re unlikely to find the thermal throttle of the card and worry about it underperforming. Along with some dashes of RGB to light up the look of it.

The RX 6800 has the larger AMD chip in the Navi 21 XT. Also built with TSMCs 7nm process it comes in a 520mm² package size with 26.8 billion transistors. It contains 4608 shading units, with 72 RT cores that are clocked to 1850 MHz, with a game clock of 2045 MHz and a boost of 2285 MHz. With 16GB GDDR6 memory with a bandwidth of 512GB/s over a PCIe 4.0 x16 interface.

04
Best budget MSI graphics card
MSI RX 6600 Mech 2X
MSI RX 6600 Mech 2X
Core Clock Speed 1626MHz base, 2491MHz boost, 2044MHz game
CUDA Cores 1792
Memory Size 8GB GDDR6
Dimensions 235mm x 125mm x 46mm (9.3" x 4.9" x 1.8")
PSU Required 132W
PROS
  • Great 1080p performance
  • Minimal and compact design
  • RSR compatibility
CONS
  • Lacking ray tracing performance

For a more budget-friendly option, we suggest the RX 6600 Mech 2x. Aimed towards 1080p gaming it does limit its capabilities but for an MSRP of $329, it can be a better choice for some people. Especially if your gaming experience is more focused on esports titles relying more on FPS than quality. But with the support of AMD’s software, you may be able to get even more out of it. Such as with RSR and FSR support for upscaling is in most games so you can run them higher if needed.

The Mech 2x is a simpler design, it doesn’t have any flashy RGB but still gets the job done and keeps costs down. Featuring a metal backplate and dual-slot cooler it can manage the lower TDP of the AMD GPU and keep it performing well. Also, the help of the dual fans and cut-out pass-through allows for good airflow and heat transfer. Giving the card good performance over long periods of time and not taking up too much space.

The RX 6600 is made with the Navi 23 XL chip made with TSMCs 7nm process. Creating a die the size of 237mm² made up of 11.06 billion transistors. Along with 1792 streamers and 28 RT cores, which have a base clock of 1626 MHz, game clock of 2044 MHz, and boost of 2491 MHz. Along with 8GB of GDDR6 memory with a bandwidth of 224 GB/s going through a bus interface PCIe 4.0 x8.

05
Best value MSI graphics card
MSI RTX 3050 Aero ITX OC
MSI RTX 3050 Aero ITX OC
Core Clock Speed 1552MHz base, 1807MHz boost
CUDA Cores 2560
Memory Size 8GB GDDR6
Dimensions 172mm x 125mm x 43mm (6.8" x 4.9" x 1.7")
PSU Required 550W
PROS
  • Compact ITX design
  • RTX and DLSS capability for cheap
  • Budget friendly and powerful
CONS
  • Limited overclocking capabilities
  • Potential for thermal throttling

For a more constrained and compact graphics card there is an offering of the RTX 3050 Aero ITX OC. The card has a low enough TDP of 130W that it does not require the biggest cooling solution. This allows it to fill the smaller market of ITX GPUs, able to fit in much smaller builds without too much penalty on them. The Aero card features a fan able to dissipate all that heat away effectively to be overclocked from the factory.

While the 3050 is a great entry card into the scene. As the lowest-end option from Nvidia, it isn’t aimed at the best performance, but it can achieve good 1080p performance edging on 1440p. With it being an Nvidia card it also has access to good software support. Ray-tracing performance is good, whilst DLSS allows the card to scale up and gain performance benefits.

RTX 3050 utilizes the GA106-150-KA-A1 chip built upon Samsungs 8nm process to create a 276mm² die. It contains 12 billion transistors which feature 2560 CUDA cores, along with 20 RT cores. These have a base clock of 1552MHz and a boost of 1777MHz. And the card holds 8GB of GDDR6 with a bandwidth of 224 GB/s over a bus interface of PCIe 4.0 x8.

Best MSI graphics cards 2022 frequently asked questions

Are MSI graphics cards good?

MSI makes a variety of models for different GPUs. And they can vary in quality and pricing, but overall their cards are a well-rounded choice. The higher-end choices offer good performance and factory overclocking. Whilst still providing good quality more budget-friendly options at the low end. As well as easy access to RGB and overclocking options.

Is MSI the same as Nvidia?

No, they are not. MSI is a customer and partner of Nvidia. Nvidia is the graphics processor unit provider and usually creates the PCB or reference card for its partners. Then a company like MSI takes those boards and creates their own cooling and design around that to sell to consumers.

Does MSI make their own graphics card?

MSI creates custom designs for reference GPUs. So they create custom solutions for either AMD or Nvidia graphics cards that provide the PCB MSI will work on to create a whole add-in card.

Final Word

There is our list of the best MSI graphics cards in 2022. With a roundup of a wide range of choices, take a look at the high end and low end. Offering choices for anyone looking to buy an MSI GPU. That’s if you’re looking for a card right now, as there are new ones on the way. With Intel’s ARC Alchemist GPUs as well as Nvidia’s RTX 4000 series around the corner. Which will likely have their own MSI custom solutions.

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