MSI had so much stuff at CES that they had not one but two suites. Now we were mainly excited about the 290x Lightning card being on display that we already reported. However there was a lot more than just that.
First off we saw the entire range of new gaming laptops. These will not be released until Maxwell is ready which may be soonish (Q1/Q2). These are mainly similar to the previous models and have similar (mainly) haswell based processors coupled with improved steelseries keyboards and improved audio. As usual the more powerful GPUs require a less sleak design, so let’s start with the sexy and move to the powerful:
This is the large but yet sleek and sexy GS Stealth model. Specs are impressive:
3 SSDs and a HDD, large 17″ screen, 5 speakers, customizable lighting and macros on the keyboard, killer netwokring etc. This does not have the best GPU, but it’s a good all rounder and by far the sexiest large laptop that I saw at CES. Sadly it didn’t have an ultra high resolution screen. More on that later.
Next up is the GX Destroyer – a full AMD based gaming laptop:
Again the huge (but sadly 1080p) screen, full customizable steelseries keyboard, killer NIC and a top of the line GPU combine to make this a no compromize laptop. However the bezel ends up pretty large across the screen and the multiple panels make everything look a bit cheaper. This is not a cheap laptop and having it look less than it cost is not ideal.
Finally we got to see a laptop with a high res (2880×1620) screen. Sadly this was a workstation though, even though it was put into the body of one of the gaming laptops:
The only issue with a workstation like this is that corporate users typically want a docking station. The screen though was nice:
You can just make out the pixels there, but the text is extremely clear. As someone who does CAD work on a daily basis your display resolution is *everything*.
The GE Leopard is up next. A bit thicker than the stealth:
The red stripe might not be everyone’s taste either, we expect this to be priced more moderately. Exact specs on GPUs can’t be released yet:
We also saw a couple of all in one PC/monitor/TVs:
This one was new for CES and will replace the old model below:
In general I don’t see a huge market for these. College kids won’t use them because they need a laptop, it seems most suited to a family room, even though the “family computer” has almost been replaced by an array of tablets.
We have to admit that we really like what MSI have done with the current generation of boards. The X58 and X79 boards were pretty boring, but MSI started turning it around with Z77 and the current Z87 range are pretty stellar. The new “dragon” styling for the gaming boards looks great and far superior to the “bullet” style of the old big bang boards. The PCB has a wonderful matte black coloring and we hope to see some great X99 boards at Computex this summer.
Of course there were the less pretty AMD boards too:
And a couple of mITX boards:
Of course Intel was well represented too, but most of these were shown previously so we’ll only stick to the high end boards:
The full size atx Z87 board for gaming with it’s corresponding overclocking version:
Of course we also had the sexy mATX gaming version:
I do find the dragons quite nice looking:
The heatsinks are nice too:
The most recent hig end intel board of course was the mITX board which had been announced a few months back:
It’s really quite simple and sexy though that wifi module really needs a black PCB 😉
The really nice thing about this board is not the board itself but the matching GTX760 that was released in the same form factor:
When combined with the mITX board it makes the CaseLabs S3 mITX case seem quite empty:
Speaking of graphics cards we also saw a couple of other high end cards including the 780 TI Gaming that recently reviewed very well:
There was also the 280X Gaming 6G which had double the normal VRAM:
As usual there were a couple of other built up rigs on display: