MSI Ships Vortex: Cylindrical Gaming PC with High-End Specs

Subject: Systems | March 16, 2016 - 03:28 PM |
Tagged: Vortex Gaming Tower, vortex, sli, msi, Killer E2400, GTX 980, gtx 960, Core i7-6700K

MSI is now shipping Vortex; the tiny, cylindrical gaming tower showcased at CES 2016.

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"Standing at a mere 10.5” high, weighing as little as 8.8lbs, and measuring in at 6.5L, the Vortex pushes more power per inch than most mid to full size tower gaming PC’s without the having to deal with the same bulkiness or weight."

Followers of PC Perspective might recall our coverage of the powerful mini-system during January's CES, and our video is available below:

Specs and pricing hadn't been finalized when we first reported on the Vortex, and as of today we have the full story. Pricing will start at $2199, and you get a Core i7-6700K with SLI GTX 960 graphics cards at that price. Upgrade options include SLI GTX 980 GPUs, 32GB of RAM, and "Super RAID", which is 4x 256GB PCIe (Gen 3 x4) SSDs.

Here's a look at the specs for the two shipping versions of this new system:

  Vortex G65 SLI-002 Vortex G65 SLI-011
Processor Intel Core i7-6700K
Chipset Intel Z170
Memory 32 GB (8 GB x4)
2133 MHz DDR4
16 GB (8 GB x2)
2133 MHz DDR4
Graphics Dual GeForce GTX 980 SLI Dual GeForce GTX 960 SLI
Storage Super RAID: 4x 256 GB PCIe Gen 3 SSD
2x 128 GB SSD + 1TB SATA 7200 RPM HDD
Networking Dual Killer E2400 NIC
Connectivity Thunderbolt x2
USB 3.0 x4
Dimensions 7.61 x 7.01 x 10.55 inches
Weight 8.8 lbs
OS Windows 10
Price $3999 $2199

Obviously these are very powerful system configurations, anchored by a Z170 motherboard and Intel Core i7-6700K processor with plenty of RAM, and SLI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or 980 GPUs. It will be interesting to see what (if any) overclocking headroom is available for CPU/GPU, though a 6.5L chassis is probably going to be at least somewhat thermally constrained.

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Exploded view of the Vortex

Listings are up on Amazon, with the G65 SLI-011 at $2199, and G65 SLI-002 at $3999, though shipping times are listed at "2 - 5 weeks".

Source: MSI

March 16, 2016 | 06:21 PM - Posted by godrilla (not verified)

Msi with apple pricing model.

If you add the parts it seems like the case cost's around $1500, imagine the system you can build if you shave that off,
Dual 980tis in sli $1300, nvme ssd 400-500 gigs around $300, i7 6700k with mother board and similar vram, cooling and mini case will add up to $2500 total for the whole system. Superior performance and much lower price tag.

Unless you really like that look its too overpriced.

March 16, 2016 | 08:02 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

You can't go out and price a mini-ITX build with SLI graphics. The custom motherboard and GPUs used here clearly come at a premium, but the idea is to produce as powerful a system as possible, is as small a space as possible. This is a 6.5 L enclosure, after all.

March 16, 2016 | 08:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You're paying for the design and engineering. You may be able to get better components for a lower price, but you won't get a machine that looks like it. If people have money to burn, why not? It's their money.

March 16, 2016 | 10:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Unless they have some Intel workstation CPU SKU options and pro graphics cards(The ones with the expensive certified drivers that are certified work with the various pro graphics software packages) and ECC memory, this is just an expensive compact gaming platform. A Mac Pro it is not, and Apple's economy of scale for their workstation Mac Pro SKUs is pretty good when you price the individual workstation and pro graphics SKU parts inside the Mac Pro.

I suspect that a lot of the reason that AMD is delaying their introduction of HBM2 until 2017, is that AMD is developing a 16 Zen core workstation APU on an interposer with a Vega/Greenland GPU right there on the interposer along with HBM2 and that product in 2017 will take up a lot of AMD's HBM2 supplies and provide AMD with a much better return on its HBM2 investment. Just imagine an Apple Mac Pro with 2 of these APUs on an interposer setting snug up against the Mac Pro's custom heat-sink, there would be no need for any CPU only main-board as that would be part of the Zen workstation APU on an interposer, workstation GPU/HBM stacks included. Apple could use the extra space saved for 2 PCIe x16 expansion slots for those Red Rocket/other cards that the pros use!

Now if MSI was smart they would also be looking at AMD's workstation SKUs on an interposer and maybe having some workstation competition with Apple's Mac Pro. Because that interposer based AMD Zen/Vega or whatever they will call it with a much wider interposer based fabric between the Zen Cores and the Interposer based GPU Vega/other and HBM is going to outclass any Intel to PCIe based workstation SKU on graphics alone, because of the interposer allowing those Zen cores to be wired up more directly to the GPU with a much wider direct connection via an interposer than PCIe 3.0 x16 can achieve!

I'm not saying that the Zen cores will have better single threaded IPC than Intel's offerings, but AMD will be able to more than make up for any deficiencies with a uber wide direct interposer connection between those Zen cores and the interposer based workstation class GPU Die, in addition to the HBM that gets a 1024 bit wide data path to each HBM stack, So the available bandwidth between Zen cores and the GPU Die will put PCIe 3.0 x16 to shame, we already see what HBM does in effective bandwidth relative to GDDR5 and HBM2 is clocked many times lower than GDDR5. So for AMD's Zen Base workstation APUs on an interposer there will be a definite advantage for the ability to wire Zen cores more directly to the GPU Die and probably at a much lower clock rate while offering much more effective bandwidth CPU cores to GPU cores than any PCIe based methods.

March 17, 2016 | 08:28 AM - Posted by Fur4x (not verified)

Apple is gona sue them, they sued Samsung over the rounded rectangle, they will sue MSI over the cylinder...

Mac pro patent:
http://www.uspto.gov/web/patents/patog/week49/OG/html/1421-2/US09207729-...

March 17, 2016 | 12:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The USPTO needs to be investigated by congress and a special technology arbitrator appointed by congress to sift through all the patent filings for these egregious patent awards. The court costs for the Taxpayer are simply becoming much too expensive on these poorly awarded patents that result in way too much litigation! Basic geometric shapes should not receive patents ever, I've seen trash cans/ash cans designs that look exactly like the New Mac Pro! Same for rectangular table tops and cutting boards with rounded corners!

March 17, 2016 | 09:57 AM - Posted by nevzim (not verified)

This small fan at the bottom will be very annoying.

March 17, 2016 | 12:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What fan at the bottom, the fan is that big thing at the top with the blades! WATCH the VIDEO!

March 18, 2016 | 07:20 AM - Posted by Photonboy (not verified)

M.2 appears to be double-sided, thus the 4x

March 22, 2016 | 02:29 PM - Posted by 85739gary

Does this small, cylinder shaped PC make a lot of noise when it's under heavy load usage?

Does it purr like a quiet kitten or rev like a big rig diesel at 10,000RPM's?

Would it "tend" to get hot/over heat?

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