MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Gaming Z review: Premium and a little bit more

MSI GeForce RTX 2070 Gaming Z review: Premium and a little bit more

MSI has sent on of their premium RTX offerings in the market and unlike the ASUS ROG Strix 2070 that we have previously looked at, the MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z offers a new look  instead of keeping with their older gen designs and in my opinion, they have made one of the best looking RTX graphics cards in market  right now at an SRP of Php35,550. The ASUS card also has a slightly lower boost clock.

Quick Specifications
GPU Clock 1410 mhz
Boost Clock 1830 mhz
Memory Clock 14000 mhz
Tensor Cores 288
Cuda Cores 2304
Memory Bandwidth 256 bit
Board Size
295 x 140 x 56 mm
Max Resolution 7680×4320
Power Connectors
1 x 6-pin, 1 x 8-pin
RT Cores 36
Slot-width 2 slot

Let us begin by taking a moment to appreciate how this RTX card from MSI looks. The Gaming Z series is an MSI premium product line and it is really nice to see that they have increased the level of their design game.

The GPU shroud  has two TORX FAN 3.0 that provides efficient cooling to the heatsink to keep the temperatures low so that the GPU can have improved performance. The heatsink has a large nickel-plated GPU base plate which helps spread the heat along the concentrated heat pipes for maximum heat dissipation.

On our FurMark GPU stress test, the card had an idle temperature of 32°C and after 20 minutes of GPU load, the card maxed out at 70°C.

The temperature test was done on an open air test bench inside an air conditioned room up to 24°C

The graphics card’s back plate is one of the best looking designs offered in the market so far but unlike the other cards who have an RGB lighting on the backplate logo, this one doesn’t have that bling. As you can see, MSI has also provides an anti-sag bracket with the card which is made of steel.


The MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z has one HDMI port and three DisplayPort connectors as well as a new virtual link connector for VR. The DisplayPort 1.4 connectors is 1.4a Ready, which means it can support for 8K displays at 60Hz.

MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z, lit up

I guess one of the most important aspect to most people, is the RGB. As you can see on the photos above,  the MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z has a lot of that and it can be customized using MSI’s MysticLight app.

Testing rig:

CPU – Ryzen 7 2700x (stock clocks)

Memory – 2x8GB G.Skill Sniper X 3400MHz DDR4 memory

Motherboard –Asus ROG Crosshair VI Hero X370

Graphics Cards:

Asus ROG Strix Gaming 2060 6GB

MSI RTX 2070 8GB

Palit Super Jetstream 2080 8GB

Rvidia RTX 2080 8GB

Gigabyte Gaming OC RTX 2080ti 11GB

Performance testing

Here are the relative gaming performance charts in different sets of games that we tested in 4k resolution to see how it stacks up against other Turing-based graphics cards.

3DMark Time Spy Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
Rainbow Six: Siege, 4K, Ultra


Ghost Recon: Wildlands, 4K, Ultra
Strange Brigade, 4K, Ultra
Ashes of the Singularity, 4K, Standard
Ray Tracing

We tested Ray Tracing performance against other RTX graphics cards using the 3DMark Port Royal benchmark which is dedicated for real-time ray tracing performance of any graphics card that supports Microsoft DirectX Raytracing—including multi-GPU systems.

The benchmark features ray traced reflections, ray traced shadows, transparent surfaces with ray traced reflections, volumetric lighting, particles, and post-processing effects. The rendering resolution is 2560 × 1440.

3DMark Port Royal
Battlefield V DXR and DLSS

As for Battlefield V DXR and DLSS performance, this was the only card available that we were able to test when we got the game but I’m including it here for reference.

Battlefield V

Turning on DXR causes a massive performance drop in Battlefield V. NVIDIA tried to reduce the performance loss with DLSS but in return, there is a loss in image quality which we will tackle in a separate article.

Final Thoughts

The MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z is an impressive product because of the way it handles GPU temperatures and how silent the fans are. With it’s temperature headroom, I’m sure you can tweak the GPU a little bit more  that it can surpass the older GTX 1080 or even up to the borderline performance with the GTX 1080Ti.

Gaming-wise, at 4K it was able to maintain good frame rates in most games and we are very positive that it will do even better at lower resolutions. Seeing how it stacks up with the higher-tier RTX cards, we see the RTX 2070 positioned as a 1080p or 1440p gaming graphics card.

As for the aesthetics, I love how the MSI RTX 2070 Gaming Z looks once powered on. It is a nice improvement from the previous generation of MSI’s designs like the Gaming X and Armor. The card’s back plate design is kind of okay but the included GPU bracket is definitely a huge plus as you don’t see any other brands offering it out of the box.

Ray tracing performance is still a bit of a sketch for me as there aren’t many game titles offering it as of today. That, and the huge performance impact when it is actually turned on. However, if you are looking for a gaming graphics card that can surpass the older gen cards of NVIDIA without paying too much of the RTX tax, I’d personally say that the RTX 2070 is the sweetspot.

MSI has done a great job overall with this card, not only aesthetically but in terms of the cooler design as well: silent and efficient. With a nice overclock you can expect huge performance gains with this card. With these things in mind, we’ll hand them an Editor’s choice award for this one.


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