DSC_9308 copyMSI like the other hardware companies didn’t have a whole lot of new hardware to show.  The main tech focus was support of USB 3.1 featured on an X99A Gaming 9 board, as well as a USB type C connector (the small reversible one) on a Z97 board.

DSC_9301 copySo there was a demo showing USB3:
DSC_9288 copyAnd comparing to USB3.1:

DSC_9294 copyThe USB3.1 host we believe was connected to SSDs in Raid 0.

So yeah, faster USB, wooh.  In all fairness, it’s impressive that it’s faster than Sata drive would be on it’s own.  I mean it’s just USB so it’s hard to be that excited.  I also think that the Type C connector is just a bit small and fragile:

DSC_9305 copySo there was that.  There was also a bunch of motherboards that we’ll show at the end in a gallery.

On the GPU front we got shown the last limited edition GPU – merely a color variant of the regular gaming GTX980:
DSC_9296 copyFollowed by the next one – this one to commemorate 100 million gpus:

DSC_9299 copyAnd it’s green because nvidia.  These are a bit underwhelming.  I would have rather have seen a limited edition lightning to celebrate something that epic.  But given that we’d rip off the colored cooler and put a waterblock on anyway just means its pretty meh.

There were more GPUs of course but nothing exciting:

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The more interesting stuff was actually in the Laptop suite:

DSC_9344 copyWe’d already seen these in the CyberPowerPC suite with their lightly reskinned and reconfigured versions.  Above is a monster laptop with mechanical keyboard, replacable/upgradable mobile GPUs and some gold colored metal wasd keys that could be swapped out for some bling.

DSC_9346 copyCherry MX red switches.  Confusingly this beast is called the Titan SLI, even though it uses GTX980m GPUs instead.  At least the SLI part was right:

DSC_9347 copyThe screen is enormous at 18.4″ but is only 1080p.  We feel that MSI really went for a build that could completely replace a desktop.  The problem is that it’s no longer particularly mobile given that its huge and 10+lbs.  Of course it’s not very mobile so you wonder if you’d be better off using a small and cheaper LAN rig with a better screen and more future proofing.  I mean it’s cool, but I can’t see who would ever actually buy one.

We also had a USB3.1 demo on a laptop too:
DSC_9325 copyNote the RGB steelseries keyboard:
DSC_9324 copyWe saw the same 4K laptop we saw at CyberPower, and we saw another new one with design details on the cover inspired by muscle car hoods:

DSC_9320 copy

The GTX965M was also new for CES and has about 2/3 the number of cores as a 980m, and also a slightly lower clock.  Still it’s a decent option for light gaming.

MSI like Alienware though decided to give the option for some serious GPU power by using a standalone box that can be docked too:

DSC_9328 copyEssentially there is a PCI slot running along the back there.  Inside the box is a discrete GPU, a power supply and a fan:
DSC_9330 copyWe love these units and think they make a ton of sense.  You can get a light weight ultrabook with a decent CPU and enough battery life to last at campus, then go back to your dormroom where you plug in and start using your real keyboard/mouse/monitor.  For people who are torn between a desktop gaming pc or a heavy gaming laptop, or trying to afford both, this is the real way to get the best of both worlds.  Plus you can easily upgrade that GPU over time too extending the useful life of your investment.

There were also some all in one desktop units, similar to last year but now with 4K:

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They were slimmer too:

DSC_9334 copyWhile it’s impressive, I never understood the need for these.

Lastly, like Asus and EVGA there were peripherals:
DSC_9290 copyA mechanical keyboard, plus a reversible mousepad with one ugly side and one less ugly side:

DSC_9292 copy

Then an ugly mouse to go with it:

DSC_9289 copy

Now to end, here’s a gallery of the rest of the suite: