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
3 GHz/3.5 GHz
6 MB L3 Cache
HD Graphics 630
65 W
Intel Core i7-7700
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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  • webdoctors - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link

    That's a crazy price though, especially for something with a GTX1050. PC gaming makes sense though, with sites like bundlestars and humble bundle, you can save $100s by buying PC vs console games, and get better graphics quality. You can also use it as a HTPC and do Netflix or KODI.

    Guess tough to compete with Alienware.
  • ddriver - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link

    Looks like it went through some rough shipment. The chasis is skewed and cracked open in one corner.
  • close - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link

    I get buying a cheap console, I get buying an expensive high end PC. But an expensive console-like PC? They managed to pick the worst of both worlds.
  • meacupla - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link

    There is a market, albeit niche, for being highly compact and portable, while still being a PC.

    For example, if you want to take it over to a friends house and use their TV to game on, this would be much easier to carry, compared to a mid tower weighing over 30lbs.
  • shabby - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link

    This is beyond niche, they should of included a game pad to append to its "gaming" audience.
  • ddriver - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link

    You can get a laptop of equal performance that will be more portable and compact, plus the ability to run on batteries and the integrated display.
  • 1_rick - Monday, January 30, 2017 - link

    While that's true, not everyone desires portability.
  • fanofanand - Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - link

    Then what's the point of paying top dollar for the form factor?
  • 1_rick - Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - link

    I dunno, maybe some people like the aesthetic. Disco was a thing.
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, January 26, 2017 - link

    I like the cooling vent over the GPU.

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