MSI GeForce GTX 1070 SEA HAWK X Review

Published: 28th Dec 2016, 10:23 GMT

MSI GeForce GTX 1070 SEA HAWK X

For this review we have completely changed our testing methodology. We said goodbye to basic average framerate charts and developed new tools to measure not only the framerate but all metrics that matter to GPU enthusiasts. This means that our single-page reviews are no more, there is simply no way to fit so many charts into one page without causing problems to your Internet browsers.


The first card to be tested with our news tools is MSI’s GTX 1070 Sea Hawk X. This model is just one of the few watercooled cards in MSI’s portfolio, but this one is the cheapest. In terms of the design, this card is identical to MSI’s GTX 1070 AERO, with the only exception of the GPU heat sink being replaced with Corsair’s AIO cooler. The support plate, which covers memory and VRM section was also slightly modified to host the pump.

While AIO cooler is responsible for GPU cooling, there are other components that still need to be cooled down, and that’s where blower-type fan comes into action. It’s mounted right on top of base plate, which covers memory, VRM and power section. It’s relatively quiet, it was never noisier than the fan mounted on the radiator.

The shroud is made of plastic with some carbon fiber texture and brushed aluminum.

On the side we have one 8-pin power connector and three logos, but only MSI logo is illuminated by LEDs.

Unlike AERO, the Sea Hawk X comes with a full cover backplate. The disassembly process requires all screws to be removed (including three screws on the bracket).

The pump is directly connected to the same cable as the blower fan.

This is Corsair H55 AIO cooler. What’s interesting is that the speed of this fan is not controlled by the card, but instead, it has to be connected external fan header. We connected it directly to the CPU fan header (through a splitter) which means that the same voltage will be applied to CPU fan and GPU radiator fan. In other words, the speed of the GPU fan is controlled by the CPU temperature.

Here’s the pump up close before and after cleaning off.

 

AT A GLANCE

16nm GP104

1920

8GB GD5 256b

1582/1772 MHz
GRAPHICS
PROCESSOR
UNIFIED
CORES
MEMORY
CONFIGURATION
BASE/BOOST CLOCK
(Gaming Mode)

The MSI GTX 1070 Sea Hawk X has three modes, which you can control through MSI GAMING App. Gaming mode is what you get out of the box. Later in this review, we compare each mode to see if there’s actually any difference in performance.

MSI GTX 1070 Sea Hawk is equipped with Pascal GP104-200 GPU. This means we have 1920 CUDA cores and 256-bit interface connected to 8GB of GDDR5 memory.

Just like AERO, the Sea Hawk X has NVIDIA’s reference PCB, which means 4+1 phase VRM and single 8pin power connector.

PHYSICAL EXAMINATION
DIMENSIONS

  • WIDTH: 27.5 cm (cooler shroud)
  • LENGTH: 9.6 cm (cooler shroud)
  • HEIGHT: 2-slot
  • WEIGHT: 2.7 kg (AIO cooler + card)

COOLING SOLUTION

  • Corsair H55 AIO cooler with MSI original blower fan.

 

DISPLAY CONNECTORS

  • 3x DisplayPort 1.2
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x DVI-D DL

Please note this is an official picture, the actual bracket is not black but silver.

PCB DESIGN

  • 4+1 Phase power design
  • 1x 8-Pin power connector

INTERFACE

  • PCI-Express 3.0 x16

 

MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Sea Hawk X Specifications
VideoCardz.comGeForce GTX 1080MSI GeForce GTX 1070
Sea Hawk X
GeForce GTX 1060 6GB/3GB
Fabrication Process16nm FinFET16nm FinFET16nm FinFET
GPUGP104-400GP104-200GP106-400/300
CUDA Cores256019201280/1152
TMUs16012080/72
ROPs646448
Mode —SilentGamingOC Mode
Base Clock1607 MHz1506 MHz
1582 MHz 1607 MHz 1506 MHz
Boost Clock1733 MHz1582 MHz
1771 MHz1797 MHz 1708 MHz
Memory Clock1250 MHz2002 MHz
2002 MHz2027 MHz 2002 MHz
Eff. Mem. Clock10000 MHz8008 MHz
8008 MHz8108 MHz 8002 MHz
Memory8GB GDDR5X8GB GDDR56GB/3GB GDDR5
Memory Bus256-bit256-bit128-bit
Power Connector1x 8-pin1x 8-pin1x 6-pin
TDP180W150W120W

Silent / Gaming / OC Modes:


 

Review Contents
Page 1 Overview MSI GeForce GTX 1070 SEA HAWK X
Page 2 Testing platform & methodology
Page 3 STABILITY Temperature ● Core Clock ● GPU Usage ● Memory Usage
Page 4 DirectX 12 Battlefield 1
Page 5 DirectX 11 Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Page 6 DirectX 12 Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Page 7 DirectX 12 The Division
Page 8 DirectX 12 HITMAN
Page 9 DirectX 11 Metro: Last Light
Page 10 DirectX 11 Project Cars
Page 11 DirectX 11 Rainbow Six: Siege
Page 12 DirectX 11 Titanfall 2
Page 13 DirectX 12 Rise of the Tomb Raider
Page 14 DirectX 12 Total War: Warhammer
Page 15 DirectX 11 Witcher 3
Page 16 Overclocking
Page 17 Conclusion




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