MSI's GeForce RTX 3090 HydroGen Clamps a Waterblock on Nvidia's Hottest Chip

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

MSI seems to be planning a resurrection of its HydroGen series, which was canned nearly a decade ago, with a waterblock for die-hard enthusiasts. The new spin will come as its new GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card with 24GB of GDDR6X memory equipped with a water block for custom-built liquid cooling systems (LCSs). At this point, it is unclear whether the company plans to build its own water block or install an off-the-shelf one. The board will complement the company's SeaHawk-series products with closed-loop hybrid liquid coolers.

MSI has registered (via VideoCardz) its GeForce RTX 3090 Hydrogen 24G graphics card with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), something manufacturers have to do before importing their products to Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and some other countries. Of course, registration doesn't mean that a product will actually be released. Still, MSI mentioned its GeForce RTX 3090 HydroGen 24G in the document, indicating that the company is considering launching this product.

Today's graphics boards are very power hungry and therefore dissipate loads of heat, so it isn't surprising that the majority of graphics cards suppliers equip their products with hybrid all-in-one liquid coolers. Meanwhile, there are very few graphics cards that come with a water block compatible with custom LCSs. 

MSI introduced its first HydroGen series graphics cards in 2008 with the N280GTX OC HydroGen graphics card based on the GT200 GPU that relied on Nvidia's second-gen Tesla architecture. In addition, the board was among the first graphics adapters equipped with a water block by default and therefore aimed at PCs with a custom water loop.

MSI followed up with the N285GTX HydroGen (GT200 revision B3), N480GTX HydroGen (GF100), and N580GTX HydroGen (GF110) in the following years. But after Nvidia's Kepler architecture replaced the company's not-exactly-power-efficient Fermi architecture in 2012, MSI decided to ax the NitroGen series. 

Over time MSI launched its SeaHawk family of graphics cards equipped with closed-loop hybrid air + liquid coolers designed by Corsair and Asetek to address the growing demand for liquid cooling among mainstream overclockers. But these parts were naturally incompatible with custom LCS. So apparently, the company is looking forward to re-introducing its HydroGen series for enthusiast-grade custom-built liquid cooling systems.

If MSI launches its GeForce RTX 3090 HydroGen 24G graphics board, the part promises to join the list of the best graphics cards available today.

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • JerryC
    I think they would have had more luck just manufacturing and selling a water block that would mount to their GPUs. So many of us have purchased 3rd party water blocks for our GPUs