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First look at MSI's custom RTX 3060 PCB design for the Gaming X series

Two VRAM modules are not populated because of the 192-bit bus limitations. (Image Source: VideoCardz)
Two VRAM modules are not populated because of the 192-bit bus limitations. (Image Source: VideoCardz)
The MSI PCB includes a 8+6-pin power connector instead of an 8-pin one, which should provide more stability for the overclocked core. Despite the increased boost speeds, the TGP matches the reference 170 W. The number of inductors appears to be modified as well, and the PCB supports 8 VRAM slots, of which only 6 are populated. Unfortunately, we will not be seeing 16 GB versions, due to the limitations imposed by the 192-bit memory bus.
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The first RTX 3060 video cards are expected to launch on February 25, but there will only be AIB versions, as Nvidia itself is not going to sell any Founders’ Edition models this time around. Among the AIB cards that will be launching in two days is the GAMING X model from MSI, which features Twin Frozr 8 cooler dual fans with Torx 4.0 design that connects every two fan blades at the outer tip. Thanks to a picture provided by VideoCardz, we can also see how the MSI custom PCB differs from the reference one.

In order to support the slightly longer cooler, MSI’s custom PCB comes with an extender on the right side and it also features a 8+6-pin power connector. The reference PCB only has an 8-pin connector, and the additional 6-pin connector provided by MSI is apparently needed to ensure increased stability for the factory-overclocked core capable of boosting to 1837 MHz instead of 1777 MHz. Despite the raised clocks, the official TGP of the card matches the reference 170 W. The PCB image also reveals that the card has 10 inductors with 6 power stages for the GPU and two for the VRAM.

As per MSI’s spec sheet, this card is equipped with 12 GB GDDR6 15 Gbps, but we can see that the PCB actually supports 16 GB VRAM, as two RAM modules are empty. However, due to the limitations imposed by the 192-bit bus, only 6 GB and 12 GB configurations can actually be implemented, yet MSI could theoretically pair this particular PCB with more powerful refreshed RTX 3060 SKUs down the line. The K4ZAF325BM-HC16 VRAM modules are produced by Samsung.

Even though MSI's MSRP for this RTX 3060 model is supposed to be close to $400, the launch prices for all AIB variants are expected to exceed $600 due to the increased demand and low initial supplies. Still, unlike the current situation with the high-end RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 models severely affected by the global chip shortages, the RTX 3060 supplies should see substantial increases over the next months.

 

Buy the ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 3060 Ti on Newegg

(Image Source: VideoCardz)
(Image Source: VideoCardz)
(Image Source: VideoCardz)
(Image Source: VideoCardz)

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Bogdan Solca
Bogdan Solca - Senior Tech Writer - 1532 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I first stepped into the wondrous IT&C world when I was around seven years old. I was instantly fascinated by computerized graphics, whether they were from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I'm also an avid reader of science fiction, an astrophysics aficionado, and a crypto geek. I started writing PC-related articles for Softpedia and a few blogs back in 2006. I joined the Notebookcheck team in the summer of 2017 and am currently a senior tech writer mostly covering processor, GPU, and laptop news.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 02 > First look at MSI's custom RTX 3060 PCB design for the Gaming X series
Bogdan Solca, 2021-02-23 (Update: 2021-02-23)