MSI GeForce GTX 1070 SEA HAWK X Review

Published: Dec 28th 2016, 10:23 GMT


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.



16nm GP104


8GB GD5 256b

1582/1772 MHz
(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.


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


  • Corsair H55 AIO cooler with MSI original blower fan.



  • 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.


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


  • 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
CUDA Cores256019201280/1152
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
Memory Bus256-bit256-bit128-bit
Power Connector1x 8-pin1x 8-pin1x 6-pin

Silent / Gaming / OC Modes:


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