MSI Vortex puts two GTX 980s in one cylindrical case

— 6:09 PM on March 16, 2016

MSI has released the Vortex, a gaming tower that packs quite the punch. In fact, tower may not be the right word to describe this beast, as its cylindrical form measures just 10.5" tall and contains just 6.5L of interior space. Despite those constraints, MSI has managed to squeeze in hardware as powerful as two GeForce GTX 980s and an unlocked Intel Core i7-6700K processor.

The Vortex gets its name from its cooling system. A single top-mounted fan creates a vortex by drawing in cool air from the bottom of the case, and expelling it out three large vents on top. MSI says this solution is capable of adequate cooling and relatively low noise compared to most desktops. At idle, MSI says the Vortex emits under 22 dB of noise. At full load, that number rises to about 37 dB.

The Vortex comes in two configurations. The more powerful SLI-002 gets the aforementioned dual GTX 980s in SLI along with 32GB of DDR4 2133 MT/s RAM. The SLI-011 gets two GTX 960s in SLI and 16GB of RAM. Both PCs get the i7-6700K treatment. Dual 128GB NVMe SSDs in RAID 0 and a 1TB SATA hard drive handle storage duties. To power the rig, MSI includes a 450W PSU that's 80 Plus Gold certified. 

A number of color-adjustable LEDs adorn the Cylon-meets-Mac Pro exterior. The rear I/O complement is substantial for a case this size. The fun starts with four USB 3.0 ports, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports offer up to 40Gbps of bandwidth. Monitors can be hooked up to two HDMI 1.4 ports and two Mini DisplayPort 1.2 outputs. Network connectivity is provided by dual Killer Gaming Network E2400 NICs, along with Killer's Wireless-AC 1535 card.

This much power in such little space doesn't come cheap. The SLI-002 carries a suggested price of $3,999, while MSI asks $2,199 for the SLI-011. Both models are available now.

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