Over CES, MSI announced a new console-like PC called the Trident 3. The new unit packs the latest Intel’s Kaby Lake CPU, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU, memory, an SSD and a hard drive. The system weighs just about three kilograms and its dimensions are smaller than dimensions of Microsoft’s Xbox One.

Current-generation game consoles, while closed systems ripe for optimization, can have difficulty providing performance sufficient for Full-HD gaming. Many console gamers prefer to play their games on HDTVs rather than on monitors, and so makers of boutique PCs were set on introducing console-like computers featuring gaming-grade hardware. Manufacturers of computer components were, for various reasons, reluctant to launch their own SFF gaming PCs for the living room until last year. However in the recent months we have seen a number of computers from motherboards/GPU vendors cards that are both small and powerful. MSI began to sell its Trident system in November-December timeframe without making any loud announcements, and this month the company upgraded its mini PC with Intel’s Kaby Lake processors but retained the chassis and the platform.

The MSI Trident 3 is based on a custom Intel H110 powered motherboard, along with a choice of Intel’s Core i7-7700 / i5-7400 processors and NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 / 1050 Ti graphics cards. By default the PC comes with 8 GB of single-channel DDR4-2400 memory (upgradeable to 32 GB), a 256 GB M.2 SATA SSD, one 1 TB hard drive and a 230 W external PSU. Despite the miniature size, the MSI Trident 3 is upgradeable: the CPU, the graphics adapter, the DRAM and storage devices may be changed. Due to lack of space inside, it is impossible to install a video card longer than 17 cm or additional drives, but such limitations are understandable. Moreover, keeping in mind that many SFF PCs use mobile components soldered to their motherboards, so using desktop-class components is a tradeoff between replaceability and size.

MSI Trident 3 Specifications
  Mainstream High-End
CPU Intel Core i5-7400
4C/4T
3 GHz/3.5 GHz
6 MB L3 Cache
HD Graphics 630
65 W
Intel Core i7-7700
4C/8T
3.6 GHz/4.2 GHz
8 MB L3 Cache
HD Graphics 630
65 W
PCH Intel H110
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 GB GDDR5 memory
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 3 GB GDDR5 memory
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB GDDR5 memory
Memory  8 GB of DDR4-2400 (one SO-DIMM installed)
Up to 32 GB is supported
Storage 256 GB SSD (SATA)
1 TB 2.5" HDD
Wi-Fi Intel AC3168 IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi + BT 4.2
Ethernet Intel I219V GbE
Display Outputs 1 × HDMI Front
2 x HDMI Rear (1 x VR Link)
1 x HDMI (GPU)
1 × DisplayPort
1 × DVI-I
Audio 5.1-channel audio (Realtek ALC1150)
Audio Boost 3,
Nahimic 2.5
USB 1 × USB 3.0 Type-C (5 Gbps)
3 × USB 3.0 Type-A (5 Gbps)
4 × USB 2.0 Type-A
Other I/O -
Dimensions Vertical with stand: 353.73 × 251.35 mm × 97.56 mm
Horizontal without stand: 346.25 × 71.83 × 232.47 mm
PSU 230 W
OS Windows 10 Home

When it comes to connectivity, the MSI Trident 3 has a lot to offer: three USB 3.0 Type-A ports (two front, one rear), one USB 3.0 Type-C header (front), four USB 2.0 connectors (rear), Gigabit Ethernet, an IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi with BT 4.2 module, six display outputs (four HDMI, one DisplayPort, one DVI) to easily connect VR headsets and up to three monitors, 5.1-channel audio with Audio Boost 3 and Nahimic software enhancements and so on.

MSI’s Trident 3 can be installed both horizontally and vertically, depending on its owner’s tastes. Moreover, the system is equipped with RGB LEDs so to customize its look.

The MSI Trident 3 featuring Intel’s Kaby Lake CPUs will be available shortly with the basic configuration (Core i5-7400, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB, etc.) starting at $899, while the more advanced builds will naturally cost more.

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Source: MSI

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  • fanofanand - Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - link

    The PS4 has rock-solid 60 fps at 1080P, so I'm thinking that comment must have been referencing the Xbox One S and the PS4 Slim. The PS4 Pro does NOT struggle to maintain 60 fps @1080P Reply
  • Gunbuster - Saturday, January 28, 2017 - link

    I'm left marveling at the self control it took for MSI not to put a second dragon painted across all that flat open plastic space on top... Reply
  • 1_rick - Monday, January 30, 2017 - link

    I just happened to see one of these at Fry's yesterday before reading this article. It doesn't look quite so garish in person.

    Admittedly it was powered off. I don't know how much worse the lights would have made it look.
    Reply
  • eldakka - Monday, January 30, 2017 - link

    I think they would have been better off using a 'T' series processor, e.g. i7-7700T, 2.9-3.8GHz, but only 35W and can be configured for 25W operation.

    With only a GTX1060 max, the lower clock-speed of the T should be able to keep up with the 1060, and the 35W TDP would help with cooling and keeping the system quieter. Being able to down-grade it to 25W TDP would be advantageous in also using it as a HTPC, as for media playback the integrated GPU (even at 25W) should be sufficient.
    Reply
  • fanofanand - Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - link

    People are speculating the next gen Xbox will be $599 and people are having fits over it. Selling the base model for $899 eliminates this from console contention. At the base configuration I don't even see how it is more powerful than a PS4 Pro on the GPU side, so this really isn't a "gaming" console at all, it's just an expensive SFF PC that isn't a very small form factor. Reply

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