Back at Computex in 2015 we saw and reported on MSI’s first design ideas surrounding an all-in-one computer (where the PC is essentially in the frame of the monitor and not a separate ‘machine’) with a discrete GPU attached. At that time, it was more a proof of concept – they housed a mini-ITX system in the monitor chassis using a custom PCB and heatsink arrangement, and then extended the PCIe 3.0 x16 connection out to a bay on the back of the monitor that housed a discrete graphics card. This is more basic that something like Thunderbolt where you have to worry about hotplug, but you get a full PC in a monitor.  This year at CES we saw the concept in the final stages of design, and spoke to the key product managers behind this new 27XT 6QE model.

The unit on display was a H170 system with a Core i7-6700 processor, with support up to 64GB of DDR4-2133 using SO-DIMMs and graphics card support up to a GTX 980 Ti 6GB or Titan X 12GB – the graphics card requiring an external power brick that comes with the machine. The LCD panel will come in two forms – either 1920x1080 at 144 Hz, or 4K, featuring anti-flicker and subdued blue-light functionality with 10-point touch on some models. The system can house two PCIe M.2 SSDs in RAID as well as a full 3.5-inch drive.

It is the design ID though which stands out. The clear plastic stand attached the VESA mount is sturdy, although does not allow much room for tilt/pitch/rotate. This is because the monitor is actually elongated at the bottom to accommodate the hardware inside – but MSI uses this extension to their advantage with the design, which means the system would look odd at 90 degrees. The rear housing for the GPU is in typical MSI Gaming style, mirroring the design patterns of their SLI bridges. The AIO supports alternative inputs or DP outputs to other monitors, in case you want to run another monitor alongside. I assume these are routed from the GPU for extending the display, with the inputs from other sources being handled by the monitor.

Pricing was not given, although put together a 27-inch 4K or FHD 144Hz with an i7-6700 and a GTX 980 Ti and we are approaching $2000 quite easy. MSI did not say if they will sell certain configurations at retailers, or if users will be able to configure, or if it will be sold as a barebones. I would imagine that system integrators could speak to MSI to create custom designs around it.

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  • TesseractOrion - Thursday, January 14, 2016 - link

    Can you do a comparison with the Maingear AIO? The latter has a more interesting (to me, at least) 34" superwide display but obviously costs more. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, January 14, 2016 - link

    Not G-Sync? Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, January 14, 2016 - link

    Look, it's a Gateway Astro all over again! Except with a *slightly* faster than 400Mhz Celeron CPU. Reply
  • zepi - Thursday, January 14, 2016 - link

    Rip the monitor off and replace it with Vesa-compatible display mount. Pretty please? Reply
  • WorldWithoutMadness - Thursday, January 14, 2016 - link

    So a normal desktop? Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, January 14, 2016 - link

    I think Zepi just wants to be able to swap the stand out for a more flexible option. What I'm scratching my head about is that the stand is attached with something that superficially looks like a standard VESA100mm mount; but closer inspection only shows two screws (in the top positions) not 4. I suppose it's possible the monitor has 4 threaded holes but the stand uses a pair of smooth pegs on the bottom spots to speed assembly; but it looks like MSI went out of its way to make the stand non-swappable. Reply
  • zepi - Thursday, January 14, 2016 - link

    I misunderstood the case design. I thought the whole computer was inside what is actually the GPU-case.

    I was basically thinking of a pc-case that works as a vesa-compatible monitor-stand hiding the computer behind the monitor, but allowing swapping of monitor / gpu.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, January 14, 2016 - link

    That'd be an interesting idea, I've seen an NUC type box that was intended to sit between the panel and stand with a pair of 100mm vesa mounts on opposing faces.

    OTOH I suspect the biggest problem with scaling it up would be that you'd quickly exceed the maximum loading for the stands hinge if you hang 10 lbs of PC in addition to the 10lbs of monitor on it. Heavier duty stands could be made; but you'd probably have to replace the one that came with your monitor to do this.

    On the gripping hand, Gigabyte's AIO demo is an MITX case built into the back of a monitor. Unfortunately its using what appears to be a built in non-adjustable stand. To support the extra load it's got a really big footprint as well. Almost as big as the 34" monitor its built into; while normal 30" monitors can get by with a stand only marginally bigger than 20" ones.
    Reply
  • dsraa - Thursday, January 14, 2016 - link

    Why is there a fire extinguisher attached to a monitor??? That just looks stupid. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, January 14, 2016 - link

    The thing hanging off the back is the GPU box. Although it's using a full power desktop CPU; they appear to've gone with a laptopesque internal layout for size reasons instead of making space for an mITX board. That leaves the GPU as the only part that is really upgradable; moving it to a semi-external box makes accessing it easier while still leaving all the guts in the monitor safe. It also opens the door for making a non gaming IGP model with minimal physical changes to the design. Reply

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