Modern graphics cards are notorious for their massive cooling systems and dimensions that are hard to fit into mainstream PC chassis and almost impossible to fit into compact PC cases that are rather popular among gamers. MSI this week attempted to address these concerns by announcing a family of GeForce RTX 40-series graphics cards called Gaming Slim that are meant to be slimmer than a typical add-in-board. But are they?

Judging by MSI's GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Gaming X Slim (which measures 307×125×51 mm and weights 1086 grams), it is indeed considerably more compact than MSI's GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Gaming X Trio (337×140×62 mm @ 1594 grams). What is no less important is that the Gaming Slim is nearly as fast as its full-fat counterpart with its maximum 2745 MHz GPU clock vs. 2760 MHz.

With that said, despite the "slim" designation, we're still looking at a graphics card that is 2.5 slots (51 mm) wide. So the most densely packed of systems that can't take a card over 2 slots will still need to look elsewhere. For everything else, it will certainly be easier to assemble a PC with MSI's Gaming Slim graphics card due to its squeezed dimensions.

MSI says that its Gaming Slim-badged graphics cards will provide signature features of its Gaming-branded graphics cards, including factory overclocked GPU and enhanced cooling system, but will be thinner and lighter, enabling 'flexible system assembly.' MSI further noted that it would offer all of its Gaming GeForce RTX 40-series products in Gaming Slim flavor, including GeForce RTX 4090, RTX 4080, RTX 4070, and RTX 4060.

MSI says that its Gaming Slim graphics cards will come in black and white versions, will use the company's latest cooling solutions (Tri Frozr triple-fan cooling system with Fan Torx Fan 5.0 fans and up to eight pipes), and addressable RGB LEDs.

For now, the company has Gaming Slim versions of GeForce RTX 4070 Ti, GeForce RTX 4070, and GeForce RTX 4060 Ti, so the higher-end products will probably be available at a later date. Meanwhile, we can only wonder how compact will MSI manage to get NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4090 and whether the company's GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming Slim will be more compact than NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition.

Source: MSI

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  • boozed - Wednesday, August 30, 2023 - link

    2.5 slots is "slim". American sizing.
  • meacupla - Wednesday, August 30, 2023 - link

    They are like Slim jeans, except in 5XL size.
  • PeachNCream - Thursday, August 31, 2023 - link

    Smaller GPUs are a nice idea, but its pretty clear space savings has limits due to the various competitive and technological forces that drive a company like MSI into marketing something that requires 3 slots of space (because really, slimmer or not, using the 3rd slot for expansion is just as unrealistic with "2.5" slots of width as it is with 3) as "slim" which just demonstrates one element of how stupid and pointless it is to chase PC performance.

    Buy a PC that does your PC chores and keep the games manageable by said hardware. Get a console or play games on your phone. There are lots that need no obnoxica-level graphics processor and CPU combo that turns your computer into a space heater.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, August 31, 2023 - link

    The half slot of space does give better air flow if there's a card 2 slots below it; but overall I agree that making it a bit thicker and either being no taller than a standard card or a bit shorter instead would have been a better tradeoff.
  • meacupla - Friday, September 1, 2023 - link

    Some ultra compact cases, like the Fractal Terra, have acoustic benefits when the fan isn't sitting right next to the side panel. gamersnexus review covers it.

    Now, having said that, Zotac already sells a 2.5 slot 4070Ti, and 2 slot 4060Ti. They are the exact same thing MSI is trying to sell. Between Zotac and MSI GPUs, I feel like it is a toss up in terms of quality.
  • Samus - Saturday, September 2, 2023 - link

    My take is compact video cards should have blowers. It will require a most custom PCB, possibly mounting some smaller components on the rear side, and potentially lengthening the card, but it will actually makes the product "slim" because the fan will not be surface-mounted, but rear-mounted.

    And for the applications these smaller cards are designed, a blower is more realistic since these cards will likely find a home in a tiny ITX-style case with airflow challenges for the heat these cards generate. Exhausting heat out the back solves that.

    I don't understand why blower coolers disappeared. Yes, they're louder, but functionally superior in almost every way to axial fans.
  • PeachNCream - Saturday, September 2, 2023 - link

    In general, yes blowers seem to make more sense. One is required to vent hot air versus up to three fans to accomplish the same chore in an open air HSF. It's still disappointing to see computer components require so much power and work so inefficiently that they need three slots worth of case volume and multiple fans to even operate. Kinda sucks we can't run a good performing PC on only 100 - 200W at full load. The industry is stupidly wasteful in (brace for the inevitable stupid automotive comparison) the same way most of the United States drives one person around in a gigantic truck that hauls no cargo or a huge SUV that hauls no people. Self-invented non-necessity drives a lot of the inhospitable places we now live in with an absence of adequate resources and most people seem blind to it and would rather go forward with pooping out more children like mindless drones.
  • abufrejoval - Monday, September 4, 2023 - link

    Boy, sure seems you had a bad day...

    I'd say these cards are actually true wonders of efficiency, it's just that the quest for more realism and resolution eat all the power savings and then some, ...because it can be done.

    The only way to get things back into proportion is to have people sit on a bycicle-power-generator and leg in all the gaming power they consume...

    The industry serves the people who buy product, so faulting them alone is not looking in the mirror.
  • PeachNCream - Monday, September 4, 2023 - link

    The only way? That's a logical fallacy to say the least, but if that sort of thing helps you sleep better at night in the soiled cage we all share then by all means do continue to live in an alternate reality.
  • Samus - Monday, September 11, 2023 - link

    While he does seem to have had a day, the point isn't wrong. People are more wasteful than ever, and the industries we support capitalize on that, be it technology or transportation. Things were getting so efficient through the 90's and 2000's, from PC's to vehicles, while now we have taken steps backwards by grossly oversizing everything.

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