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Reviewed: MSI Vortex G65-6QF SLI System

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Shawn Baker

Page 1: Reviewed: MSI Vortex G65-6QF SLI System

msi vortex test teaserDuring CES 2016 MSI showed off the Vortex G65, a very compact gaming machine that carried a volume of just 6.5 liters, about three times smaller than a normal desktop computer. The cost of this small size? Well it’s not performance. Inside sits a current Skylake K-class CPU and an SLI graphics setup that consists of two GeForce GTX graphics cards from NVIDIA. From the storage side of things, we’ve got an SSD RAID configuration and an additional magnetic drive for added data. Let’s take a closer look at how it all comes together.

Those looking for computing power paired with a small and visually appealing chassis normally find themselves looking at something like the Mac Pro from apple. While people continue to refer to the black cylinder housing as a trash can, inside sits a fast six core Xeon CPU and two FirePro graphics cards. While we’ve seen more and more compact designs come to the PC market, the Steam Machines which sit at the front tend to still lack the power of their much bigger brothers. The 6.5 liter MSI offering here today wants to show that small can be powerful!

Two versions

The MSI Vortex G65 is offered in two different versions with both making use of the Intel Core i7-6700K and an SLI graphics card setup. While the cheaper model is paired with two GeForce GTX 960 (actually GeForce GTX 970M), the higher model carries two full GeForce GTX 980 graphics cards. Memory options include both 16 GB and 32 GB of DDR4 RAM while a Super Raid 4 storage solution is offered via two 128 GB SSDs partnered with PCIe connectivity and the NVME protocol in Raid 0. Added storage is then made possible with a 1 TB 2.5” hard drive for games and other applications.

On the terminal side of things, the Vortex system has plenty to offer. Onboard we see not only 802.11 AC and Bluetooth 4.1, also offered is dual Gigabit LAN, numerous video outputs and plenty of USB 3.0 ports. Also offered is a pair of Type C USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports which support Thunderbolt 3. High quality audio is made possible via the Nahimic Audio Enhancer. Power is supplied via a 450 W 80 Plus Gold power supply. All this sits inside a 192 x 203 x 278 mm chick housing that weighs about 4 Kg.

However, neither are exactly a bargain. With the cheaper version coming in at $2,199, the more expensive option comes in at $3,999.

The top model in hand

Today we’ll be looking at the more expensive of the two models. Included inside as mentioned earlier is an Intel Core i7-6700K, two GeForce GTX 980 graphics cards with 8GB GDDR5 memory, 32 GB DDR4 RAM alongside a 256 GB SSD RAID setup and an additional 1 TB hard drive.

The MSI Vortex G65-6QFS SLI in the overview
Manufacturer and name MSI Vortex G65-6QFSLIi7K32SR421
Street Price: $3,999.99
Homepage: www.msi.com
dimensions: 192 x 203 x 278 mm (W x D x H)
CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K, 4x up to 4.2 GHz
Graphic card: 2x GeForce GTX 980, 8GB GDDR5 - SLI
Storage: 2x 128 GB M.2 SSD NVMe, RAID 0
1x 1TB SATA III HDD, 2.5"
Random access memory: 32 GB - 4x 8192 MB DDR4-2133
PSU: 450 W 80Plus Gold (integrated)
connectors: 2x USB 3.1 Gen.2 type C
4x USB 3.0 Type-A
2x HDMI 2.0
2x miniDisplayPort 1.2
2x Gigabit LAN (RJ45)
2x 3.5 mm jack
1x S / PDIF
Others: Lighting, Windows 10, Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-AC

Let’s move forward and take a closer look at exactly what we’re dealing with here today.