This week MSI is launching an update to the GeForce GTX 1000 series family with the “Plus” models for certain GPUs. These changes only upgrade the GDDR5 and GDDR5X memory in use on select models to a much higher default speed, moving to slightly reworked memory that can clock higher with less heat output. The new Plus models don’t make any changes to the TwinFrozr cooler design or the overall makeup of the graphics cards, but there is a slight improvement in clock speed as well. Hit the jump for more.

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming Plus graphics cards

Base clock Boost clock VRAM Type Memory clock Memory bandwidth TDP Backplate
GTX 1080 Gaming X+ 8GB 1771MHz 1911MHz GDDR5X 11.1GHz 355GB/s 180W Yes
GTX 1080 Gaming X 8GB 1708MHz 1847MHz GDDR5X 10.1GHz 323GB/s 180W Yes
GTX 1080 Gaming+ 8GB 1632MHz 1771MHz GDDR5X 11.0GHz 352GB/s 180W No
GTX 1080 Gaming 8GB 1632MHz 1771MHz GDDR5X 10.0GHz 320GB/s 180W No

Keep in mind that the quoted clock speeds listed here are for the “OC Mode” preset that users can set using the MSI Gaming app available for Windows. You have to enable the option in the app manually to be able to use these rated clocks, or you can dial them in yourself using MSI Afterburner or AMD’s own Radeon Wattman overclocking utility.

The top of the line X-series is the only one that’s really any different, boosting clock speeds on the OC mode to almost 2.0GHz out of the box, and slightly increasing the memory clocks to 11.1GHz. Compared to the older series, the extra memory bandwidth will help with improving game performance in GPU-limited scenarios. The thermal properties of the cards stay the same, and the X-series retains the backplate privilege as well. Local pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but expect it to be higher than the standard cards for now.

Interestingly, neither NVIDIA nor MSI are planning to push the same memory upgrade to the GTX 1070. I expect that NVIDIA wanted a slightly larger gap between the revised GTX 1080 and the GTX 1070 in order to justify the price difference between the two, and it shows in Techpowerup’s review of the GTX 1080 Gaming X Plus, with the GTX 1070 trailing it by 25% depending on the game.

MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming Plus graphics cards

Base clock Boost clock VRAM Type Memory speed Memory bandwidth TDP Backplate
GTX 1060 Gaming X+ 6GB 1594MHz 1809MHz GDDR5 9.1GHz 218GB/s 120W Yes
GTX 1060 Gaming X 6GB 1594MHz 1809MHz GDDR5 8.1GHz 194GB/s 120W Yes
GTX 1060 Gaming+ 6GB 1531MHz 1746MHz GDDR5 9.0GHz 216GB/s 120W No
GTX 1060 Gaming 6GB 1531MHz 1746MHz GDDR5 8.0GHz 192GB/s 120W No

The GTX 1060 family also gets an upgrade, and this one sticks closer to the older cards in terms of clock speeds. The only change here is the memory bandwidth increase, but it is unlikely to change the situation much for the GTX 1060’s performance in most games. The Pascal family of graphics cards is slightly affected by memory speed, but it benefits far more from clock speed tweaks to improve raw throughput. Pricing isn’t announced for the new GTX 1060 Plus models, but I don’t expect it to be too high.

It appears that these new memory chips also clock quite a bit higher than the old ones. Guru3D’s review of the GTX 1060 Gaming X Plus saw it overclock to 5.0GHz on the memory, effectively a 10.0GHz operating speed. GDDR5 wasn’t supposed to be clocked this high on air cooling, so this is quite the achievement for NVIDIA, MSI, and their memory partner.

MSI’s GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1060 Plus graphics cards go on sale worldwide starting this week across all retailers. Keep your eyes peeled for these GPUs if you’re in the market for a new one and were already looking at the older models.

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