MSI's new line of Gaming X Slim graphics cards has made me irrationally angry

MSI RTX 4070 Ti Gaming X Slim
(Image credit: Future)

As well as showing off new graphics card prototypes with all new kinds of super cooling arrays slapped on them, MSI has also given us a preview of its new Gaming X Slim line of cards at Computex this year. 

We've been told that it is launching these cards "later this year" and that they will be covering GPUs from the whole Nvidia RTX 40-series range as it stands today. That means it will be shipping on everything from the RTX 4060 Ti up to the RTX 4090

Presumably also the RTX 4060 when that launches in July, too.

None of that is what's got me irrationally angry, however. No, it's because our Jacob has been walking the sweaty halls of Computex out in Taipei and sent back this news, which immediately grabbed my attention. I've been hankering for new single slot GPUs for the best part of 15 years now, and I though maybe, just maybe MSI was about to answer my prayers.

But no, it's Slim graphics cards are just slimmer. They're certainly not what I'd call slim and they still look like they're 2+ slot cards, anyways. And I dread to think how "slim" the RTX 4090 version is going to be. Oh, just the three slots, then? Thanks for getting my hopes up, MSI.

We've seen the RTX 4070 Ti version up close and it does certainly look less chonk than the rest of MSI's current RTX 40-series lineup, but I've definitely seen third-party cards that match this scale and without any pretence of slimness.

And it's not like MSI couldn't actually make a proper single-slot slim version of the RTX 4060 Ti, for example. That's a card built from the super-efficient AD106 GPU, which has a 160W TGP and runs cool on its current dual-slot cooler. 

Knock that down to a single-slot heatsink design and I'll bet you could still get decent temperatures out of Nvidia's lowest spec Ada GPU. Still more so if we start bringing in the miniscule merits of the AD107 chip at the heart of the upcoming RTX 4060.

But no-one's going to make me a beautifully svelte single-slot card, are they? Not when they can slap an unnecessarily large heatsink on it—one they've obviously just pulled from an existing design—and deliver a tremendous sense of value based purely on the amount of aluminium sitting on top of the GPU.

I guess it makes no sense to got to the design effort of creating a gorgeous actually slim design if it's just going to be for a single mainstream graphics card. But I can still grump about it, can't I?


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Dave James
Managing Editor, Hardware

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.