MSI Vortex Preview – Skylake-i7 and GTX 980 SLI in 6.5 liters




MSI builds still ‘normal’ laptops and motherboards, but the focus of the company is quite some time on his game products: video cards, motherboards, laptops and all-in-ones. At CES, the manufacturer showed a number of new products, the Vortex is most pronounced in the eye.

MSI Vortex
MSI Vortex

The Vortex is a gaming PC with a cylindrical housing, which represents a volume of 6.5 liters. It is a new concept for MSI, which we immediately Apple Mac Pro reminded. Although Apple’s desktop unlike that of MSI is not aimed at gaming, it appears that the two are more similar than you might expect at first glance.

Like Apple namely MSI integrates two graphics cards and a processor in the cylinder, and like Apple cooling is provided by a large fan at the top of the enclosure. The demonstration model at the booth of MSI was equipped with a Core i7-6700K processor and two GTX 980 graphics cards in a MXM form factor. An employee from MSI stressed that it is “full” GTX 980 GPU, so with 2048 CUDA cores, and not the slower GTX 980M GPU with 1536 cores.

We naturally asked whether an employee could remove the covers of the system so that we could see the inside, but unfortunately that was not possible. Fortunately, MSI has released a video, so we can get an idea of ​​how the Vortex works.

The two GPUs, and the processor identification of all the three to be placed on a separate PCB, which are connected to each other at the bottom of the vortex. The GPU and the CPU are directed outwards, so that each chip has its own heat sink. In this connection, the vortex of the Mac Pro, which the chips just has to go to the inside of the system-oriented and cools them with a central heat sink.

At the top of the system, there is a large fan which cool air at the bottom of the vortex draws in and leads past the heat sinks, after which the warm air exits at the top of the housing. Thanks to the large diameter of the fan, the noise would be limited. Although it is in the noisy hall of MSI was difficult to estimate, the noise of the fan appeared during a game Witcher 3 at 4k indeed too bad.

MSI Vortex
MSI Vortex

The demonstration of the vortex model could, as mentioned, are not easily opened, which is the model in which the stores will have to be planned. The 1151 pin socket component is then accessible, so that the CPU can be replaced. The four SO-DIMM slots are easy to fill with a maximum of 64GB of DDR4 memory. For storage there are two slots m2 present in the Vortex, which both support nvme-SSD’s.

The internal hardware is not tiny, and so are the connections to the outside. The Vortex is equipped with four USB-A connectors, two HDMI and two ethernet connections. Under the Vortex are two USB c connections with Thunderbolt support and two mini DisplayPort connectors hidden, which gives enough space for connecting peripherals and monitors.
Preliminary conclusion

With the Vortex MSI has a gaming desktop with two GPUs in SLI setup in a very small enclosure able to build. This is not only an achievement, but also a beautiful development in the field of game hardware. Gaming PCs indeed moving increasingly into the home, to be linked to the television there. An ordinary desktop computer with two GTX 980 graphics cards usually look out of place there, while the Vortex nice to work is gone.

Many beauties is of course a fixed price; the top model would cost around four thousand dollars. That is undoubtedly the price of the version with i7-6700K CPU and the two GTX 980 GPUs, but what SSDs and how much memory accompany it, is not yet clear.

MSI employee informed us that there is also a cheaper version will appear with a Core i5 processor and two GTX 960 graphics cards, which will cost around two thousand dollars. What exact versions MSI shipped to the Netherlands and Belgium and how much it will cost is currently unknown.


In: A Technology & Gadgets Asked By: [23633 Red Star Level]

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