MSI has a ton of new products for Computex, including a VR PC that fits in your backpack

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Bill Roberson/Digital Trends
With Computex taking place next week in Taipei, manufacturers are loading up the press with hints about what’s to come during the show. Naturally, one of these companies will be MSI, which plans to showcase a plethora of devices including a PC that can be stuffed into a backpack so that customers aren’t glued to a desktop when playing around with virtual reality headsets.

As always, the company is remaining quiet on the hardware specs front until next week’s show, and for now is simply giving us a taste of what’s ahead. But while the exact specifics of what’s powering the MSI Backpack PC are unknown, the company does indicate that it will be supercharged by an Intel Core i7 processor and a Nvidia “extreme level” GTX 980 graphics chip. That should be plenty good to run the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, right?

“Free from the restraint of a fixed VR platform, users get to move around and enjoy VR with big movements and total immersion,” MSI teased. “No more worries about accidentally unplugging the wires between the VR device and the platform. MSI Backpack PC renders greater mobility and freedom for VR gaming.”

In staying with the desktop theme, MSI will introduce the Vortex, which the company said has earned a Computex d&i 2016 award. It is being described as beautiful and compact, stuffed with a desktop-class Intel processor and two Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics cards in SLI mode. The small gaming desktop (6.5L) will even sport MSI’s 360-degree Silent Storm Cooling system to keep the components cool during heavy gameplay.

Another gaming-focused desktop on display during Computex will be MSI’s larger Aegis series. These machines will contain unlocked Intel Core K-series processors that can be overclocked, allowing customers to crank out even more power than the CPU’s factory default settings. This will be achieved by simply pressing the Dragon Button mounted on the front, which will pump up the performance by 15 percent.

Other features we’ll see in the Aegis series will be Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics, an HDMI port on the front of the machine for quick access with VR headsets (what a good idea!), “military class” components, and Super RAID 4 for hard-drive data transmissions up to 3,300MB per second. There will also be Silent Storm Cooling 2 solutions and Killer LAN networking.

MSI plans to showcase gaming all-in-one computers during the show too, and these will be stuffed with Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, GeForce GTX 960M, 970M, and 980M graphics chips, and screens measuring 24 and 27 inches. They’ll come with Killer Game Networking, Super RAID 4 functionality, Headset Master technology, and a one-year license for XSplit Gamecaster Premium. The Gaming 24 model will even pack the GeForce GTX 960M graphics chip and an optional-but-meaty 3,840 x 2,160p resolution.

On the mobile front, MSI will address the VR crowd with new GT83 Titan SLI and GT73 Titan SLI notebooks. The GT83 model with have a SteelSeries backlit mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches, and dual GTX 980M GPUs in SLI mode. The GT73 model will have dual GTX 980M graphics chips, which the company said is faster than a single GTX 980 chip. Needless to say, both should be capable of supporting the Oculus Rift and HTX Vive right out of the box.

Also on MSI’s notebook roster will be the GS63 Stealth Pro, a Computex Best Choice Golden Award 2016 winner. It’s billed as the world’s smallest gaming laptop, sporting an ultra-slim 17.7mm chassis. Keeping this device cool will be MSI’s Cooler Boost Trinity system that utilizes five heatpipes, “enhanced” Whirlwind Blade fans, and dual thermal modules. This notebook will include the Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M graphics chip.

The last notebook on MSI’s Computex list is the GS73, a Computex d&i 2016 award winner. This unit will have a chassis made out of a high density aluminum alloy decorated with a brushed finish and a full-arc shape. The notebook will rely on Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 970M graphics chip cooled by the company’s Cooler Boost Trinity system, but MSI currently does not state what CPU will be crammed into this solution. Other bells and whistles will include a built-in SteelSeries gaming keyboard, True Color Technology, ESS Sabre HiFi audio, and more.

Finally, the company plans to showcase a number of other products at the show, including three new motherboards for PC gaming (the MSI X99A Gaming Pro Carbon, the MSI X99A Xpower Gaming Titanium, and the MSI Z170A Mpower Gaming titanium), a number of peripherals, and the MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition graphics card. The company said that this card will be more power efficient and faster than two GeForce GTX 980 GPUs crammed together in SLI mode.

We’ll likely have more hardware details next week when MSI reveals the actual hardware specs of the listed products. We’re especially excited to see what the Backpack PC will offer given that it promises VR gaming on the go, and how long this PC will last given that it’s not tethered to a power outlet!


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