If you’re a LAN event junkie, then you’re likely all too familiar with the pain that comes with lugging your desktop from one PC gaming competition or another. Even if your rig has a handle or two on it, it can still be quite uncomfortable to schlep around while having to a drag a 20-40 pound gaming system with you. And who wants to carry a hand-truck to help you with that? That gives you two things to drag around with you.
For that reason, perhaps your next gaming rig should consist of MSI’s Nightblade Z97 small form factor barebones PC. With support for mini-ITX motherboards, the Nightblade Z97 offers the portability of an SSF system, while sporting enough real estate inside to accommodate high-end gaming hardware.
The Nightblade Z97 features a brushed aluminum finish and is coated in black all around; no zany yellows, oranges, or blues here. The Nightblade looks ninja-esque, and when it comes to gaming, it’s aesthetics suggest that the system is all about taking care of business.
At the top of the system’s front panel, you’ll find a foursome of USB ports, audio and microphone jacks, along with the rig’s power button. On the bottom of the front panel is a stand that also doubles as the Nightblade Z97’s handle. An LED fan between the handle and the bottom of the front panel emits a fearsome-looking red glow.
Perhaps best of all, as its name suggests, the Nightblade Z97 can feature an Intel Z97-based motherboard. The Z97 chipset is compatible with both current Intel Haswell and next-gen Broadwell CPUs, support faster storage technologies like SATA Express and M.2, and more. You can learn more about what Z97 motherboards mean for the world of computing here. It’s worth noting that MSI will also offer the Nightblade Z97 with H97-based motherboard chipsets as well though.
This is unclear at the moment, but considering that MSI refers to the Nightblade Z97 barebones system, it will likely ship without some core components. This can include any combination of CPU, graphics card, memory, and/or hard drive. Just keep that in mind before you decide that you’re dead set on getting one.
MSI Nightblade Z97 pricing and availability details are unknown at the moment, but we’re sure to find out more once Computex 2014 kicks off on June 3 next week.