Remember back in 2008, when you could get a high-end graphics card that only took up one PCI slot in your desktop case? Good times, good times. It isn’t 2008 anymore, and today a “slim” version of a mid-range card still needs 2.5 slots…which effectively means three slots taken up in your motherboard and housing. So it is with the new MSI GeForce RTX Gaming Slim series, coming in RTX 4060 Ti, 4070, and 4070 Ti flavors, with 4080 and 4090 versions coming later. The cards still come with support brackets.
To be fair, the Gaming Slim cardsare smaller than most cards with OEM-supplied coolers on the market today. According to MSI’s promotional site (spotted by AnandTech), the RTX 4070 version of the card is just 46mm wide…which is still 6mm wider than the stock Founder’s Edition cooler. And that 6mm makes a big difference, blocking off another PCI-Express slot on your motherboard, and possibly even making MSI Gaming Slim version of the card incompatible with some Mini-ITX cases. The 4070 Ti version is a hair thicker at 51mm.
At 307mm long, the cards are also more than 60mm extra in length versus the 4070 Founder’s Edition, and 22mm longer than the 4070 Ti. Again, it’s still shorter than most of the OEM card designs, but if you can’t beat the size of the original cooler, what’s the point? The triple-fan Slim and X Slim MSI cards offer the usual mild overclock versus stock cards, an extra 135Hz on the 4070 Ti version…but that hardly seems cogent if you’re selling a “slim” version of the card that’s still fatter than the stock design.
Maybe the 4080 and 4090 version of the Gaming Slim cards will offer better comparative sizes — Nvidia’s stock coolers for those chonkers are 61mm wide, a hair over the full triple-slot width. But for the launch versions of these new MSI cards, they stand more as an indictment of the massive size of modern high-end graphics cards than a solution to them. MSI didn’t offer any dates or prices at the time of the announcement.
Michael is a former graphic designer who's been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.