MSI’s Nightblade barebones rig is a good fit for novice PC builders

msis nightblade barebones rig can be a good fit for novice builders nightblade2

Gaming PCs usually come in one of two flavors: either they’re completely built, configured and sold by a high-end manufacturer like Falcon Northwest, Digital Storm and others, or they’re completely self-built, consisting of parts chosen, purchased and put together by the owner or the owner’s friend. With MSI’s new Nightblade desktop though, there’s a third option on the table: a small form factor barebones gaming PC that comes with a motherboard but sans essential components, like a hard drive, CPU, RAM or a graphics card.

Wearing a black, brushed metal case topped with a coating of Zinc, the mini-ITX based MSI Nightblade packs an LGA 1150 MSI Z87I gaming motherboard, based on Intel’s Z87 chipset, which supports 4th generation Intel CPUs. You can also stuff the Nightblade with as much as 16GB of RAM, either one 3.5-inch hard drive, a pair of 2.5-inch hard drives, or a foursome of mSATA drives. It also has room for graphics cards as long as 11.4 inches. The Nightblade’s case measures 13.6 x 10.9 x 6.9 inches, so it should fit comfortable in most, if not all environments.

Here’s what the MSI Nightblade does come with though:  a 600 watt 80 PLUS power supply, a rear-mounted case fan, and a front/bottom mounted handle that props the case upward, which could help facilitate airflow and allows you to carry your Nightblade from one LAN event to another with relative ease. However, we’d prefer the handle to be mounted to the middle of the top panel.

Up front, the case’s  “OC Genie Button” allows for easy overclocking, while front-mounted ports include two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, along with audio and mic jacks. Around back, you’ll find HDMI, DVI, eSATA, and Gigabit Ethernet ports, along with  four more USB 3.0 connectors and a pair of additional USB 2.0 connections.

On top of the $599 asking price, Maximum PC says that MSI is throwing in a SteelSeries Siberia V2 Dragon headset to sweeten the deal. The Nightblade should be available sometime next week.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.


AMD’s Ryzen one-two punch will end with a 64-core Threadripper in 2019

AMD's Threadripper may be set to deliver the killing blow to Intel in Q4 2019, with a rumor suggesting a new Zen 2-based Threadripper line is coming down the pipe with a top chip that has as many as 64 cores.

Amazon cuts prices on Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and Surface Go

The Microsoft Surface series is an excellent alternative to other tablets if you're a dedicated Windows user, and the superb Surface Pro 6 (our favorite 2-in-1) and its cheaper sibling, the Surface Go, are both on sale right now.

Amazon sale drops deals on Microsoft Surface laptops

Despite an increasingly crowded market, the sleek Microsoft Surface laptops have left their mark. Both the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 and Surface Book 2 are discounted on Amazon right now, too, with deals that can save you up to $300.

If you need your laptop to be large, these ones are most in charge

Whether you're in the market for a mobile workstation or a gaming behemoth, there's probably something in the 15-inch form factor that can fit the bill. Here, we've rounded up the best 15-inch laptops available.

Need more pixels? These 4K laptops have the eye-popping visuals you crave

If you're looking for the best 4K laptops, you need to find one that has powerful internal hardware, and doesn't scrimp on weight and battery life. All of these 4K notebooks are great options, but which one is the right one for you?

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.

Russian hackers behind ‘world’s most murderous malware’ probing U.S. power grid

A hacking group linked to the Russian government has attempted to breach the U.S. power grid. Security experts tracked the hackers, and warn that they were probing the grid for weaknesses.

HP's Spectre x360 is a better 2-in-1 than Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 is a clamshell

The Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 is a refresh of Microsoft's clamshell option, an oddity given Microsoft's creation of the modern 2-in-1. The HP Spectre x360 13 is, therefore, an interesting comparison.

Amazon deal drops prices on Asus VivoBook laptops and 2-in-1s

Asus is one of the premier PC brands cranking out Windows ultrabooks today with its sleek VivoBook series, and these Amazon deals let you score one for $700 or less. Read on to find out what we love about these laptops and how you can save.

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Leaked date and what you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a month away, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.

Air, Pro, or just a MacBook? Here's our guide to finding the right Apple laptop

Apple's lineup of MacBooks has started to swell, leaving fans a bit confused about which laptop they should buy. Depending on what you're looking for, we'll point you in the right direction.

15-inch laptops come with extra power, but which of these wields it better?

HP's latest "gem-cut" Spectre x360 15 adds powerful components to make it the fastest 2-in-1 we've ever tested. Can it take on the equally fast and incredibly svelte Dell XPS 15?
Emerging Tech

Facebook builds virtual homes to train A.I. agents in realistic environments

Researchers at Facebook have created Habitat, which is a platform that enables rapid training for A.I. agents. They will receive thousands of hours of training in just a few minutes in the virtual homes.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!