With the launch of the first Ampere graphics cards for gamers, the RTX 3080, the stage is set for high-resolution gaming and advanced graphics technologies to reach everyone. Coming in at impressive prices and offering astounding performance improvements compared to the last generation Nvidia GPUs, the RTX 30-series has caused quite the flutter among gamers and creators alike. Many are waiting with bated breath for the RTX 30-series to show up on store shelves and online marketplaces.

But is your PC ready to handle these gaming powerhouses?

Let's go over a few things you should consider before picking up a shiny, new RTX 30-series graphics card for your PC.

Power Consumption Concerns: Does Your Power Supply Have Enough Juice?

Although the performance of the new Ampere graphics cards is impressive, the power draw has gone up as well. Of course, with such a massive generational leap, increased power draw is not that surprising.

With up to an 850W option, even Ampere's most powerful GPU is within your reach with MSI's brand-new range of power supply units. We've designed our PSUs to ensure reliable power delivery to your precious PC components, without compromising on safety and stability.

power supply

If you're relying on lower-wattage PSUs and have your eyes set on the latest and greatest from Nvidia, you’re due for an upgrade! Not only do you gain the additional power needed to run the newest Ampere GPUs without compromising stability, but you also gain excellent safety features that protect your PC components from harm.

That's a BFGPU! Is Your Case Equipped to Handle these Dimensions?

Nvidia's Jensen Huang quipped, "we call it the BFGPU," when introducing the monstrous RTX 3090. However, even the soon-releasing RTX 3080 has larger-than-usual dimensions, especially higher-end models. Make sure you check case compatibility before grabbing the GPU at launch.

Just match up the graphics card's technical specifications to your case’s maximum graphics card clearance. It's pretty straightforward.
We'll take MSI's listing of the RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio and the MPG SEKIRA 500X Case as an example:

RTX 30-Series Graphics Card

MSI RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO 10G Technical Specifications

RTX 30-Series Graphics Card

MSI MPG SEKIRA 500X Technical Specifications

As you can see, the maximum GPU length allowed by the case (400mm) is more than enough to house MSI's latest RTX 3080 graphics card (323mm).

Pick out a PC case that suits your requirements and make sure you match them with the technical specifications of all your components before deciding on one.

We All Hate Sag: Brace Yourself for Bigger, Heavier Ampere Graphics Cards

The newest generation of Nvidia graphics cards feature massive heatsinks and premium cooling solutions, both adding considerable weight to the card. The strain you'll put on a regular PCI-E slot would be quite substantial.

PCI-E Steel Armor

MSI's gaming motherboards come equipped with PCI-E Steel Armor on at least the primary GPU slot (x16), so you don’t have to worry about bending or sagging issues.

In addition to reinforcing the slot with steel, the armored slot also features more solder points on the PCB for added strength. What’s more, it’s built to shield against any Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) to ensure a more stable overclocking and stutter-free gaming experience.

A New Generation of PCI-E: Are You Ready to Handle the Fastest PCI-E 4.0 Graphics Cards?

Today's games and applications were designed with PCI-E 3.0 limitations in mind. However, with the launch of Ampere GPUs with official PCI-E 4.0 support, things are bound to change. Make sure your motherboards are PCI-E 4.0 ready.

PCI-E 4.0 offers an impressive bandwidth improvement over the last generation – doubling the available bandwidth! Both Intel’s Z490 and AMD’s B550, X570, and TRX40 motherboards from MSI feature PCI-E 4.0 support
AMD's Ryzen and Threadripper processors already support PCI-E 4.0, and you can enjoy blazing-fast speeds right away. The platforms will handle even the most powerful Ampere GPUs without being held back at all.

MSI has also built PCI-E 4.0 support into Intel's Z490 motherboard lineup. As the 10th Generation Intel processors don't support this new standard yet, you’ll need to wait for Intel to release PCI-E 4.0 supported processors on the Z490 platform. That’s it! You can then enjoy the increased bandwidth with all MSI Z490 motherboards without needing a motherboard change.

HDMI 2.1 Support: A New Generation of Gaming Monitors Incoming!

A generational leap in graphics compute power was bound to bring a leap in display technology as well! The new MSI RTX 30-series graphics cards boast HDMI 2.1 – ready to adopt the latest HDMI standard to bring the newest display technologies to your PC as soon as possible.

Monitors supporting this new standard will slowly start rolling out, beginning with MSI’s upcoming 360Hz, G-Sync esports gaming monitor! Let's take a quick look at the improvements HDMI 2.1 offers:

Gaming Monitor

  • Resolutions as high as 10K (10240x4320)
  • Dynamic HDR support for displaying ideal values for depth, detail, brightness, and wider color gamuts on a scene-by-scene or even frame-by-frame basis.
  • Support for uncompressed 8K@60FPS and 4K@120FPS with a new cable that features bandwidth up to 48 Gbps.
  • Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) improves the ARC standard by simplifying connectivity and expanding support for high-bitrate audio formats up to 192kHz, 24-bit uncompressed 5.1 and 7.1 audio, besides support for DTS-HD Master Audio™, DTS:X®, Dolby® TrueHD, Dolby Atmos®.

Gaming Monitor
MSI OPTIX MAG274QRF, 27", QHD, 165Hz

  • Gaming-specific technologies like Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) support, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Quick Media Switching (QMS), and Quick Frame Transport (QFT) to reduce latency, enhance fluidity, facilitate seamless transitions between different types of content, and eliminate lag and stutter from your gaming experience.