MSI Vortex G25 is a micro-PC and a super-console


— 9:43 AM on September 28, 2017

MSI's Mac Pro-like Vortex G65 computer was a powerful machine indeed, but it also came with a large price tag that may have dampened the enthusiasm of prospective buyers. The company is trying a different tack now with the Vortex PC G25 desktop. MSI is employing Intel's latest eighth-generation Core i7 CPUs along with either a GeForce GTX 1060 3 GB or a GTX 1070 graphics card in what it calls a "console-sized" gaming PC.

MSI also referred to its Trident 3 gaming PC as "console-sized," and that machine's dimensions worked out to a total volume of 5.8 L, well under the Xbox One's 7.2 L. The Vortex G25 is even smaller, though. The G25 measures 13" x 11" x 1.7" (33 cm x 28 cm x 4.3 cm) and has a total exterior volume of just a hair under 4 L. That makes it even smaller than the Zotac Zbox Magnus EN1080K I just reviewed.

Packing Intel's latest CPUs and a jolly green graphics card into a volume of 4 L is no mean feat. MSI says the Vortex G25 stays cool using a laptop-like cooling system that it calls "Cooler Boost Titan." Eight heatpipes and a pair of centrifugal fans keep the G25 chilly. MSI makes no claims about quietness, but we'd expect the compact desktop to be reasonably silent given the cooling performance of other similar machines.

As a modern gaming PC, the Vortex G25 is naturally designed with VR in mind. It has all the necessary ports right up front: a pair of USB 3.0 connections, an HDMI 2.0 port, and a barrel jack supplying 12V DC power. That power jack means that you can wire up the HTC Vive's breakout box directly to the PC and skip the wall-wart, which is pretty convenient. There's also a USB Type-C port up front offering USB 3.1 Gen 2 connectivity. That port has Thunderbolt 3 support on the higher-end G25.

We'll spare you the lengthy paragraphs of specifications and instead offer this handy chart.

  Vortex G25-8RE Vortex G25-8RD
CPU Eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processors
Chipset Intel Z370 chipset
Memory 4x DDR4 DIMM slots, 64GB max
Graphics Card GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GeForce GTX 1060 3 or 6GB
Storage One 2.5" hard drive and one or two NVMe SSDs
LAN Killer DoubleShot Pro Intel Gigabit Ethernet
Wireless Killer DoubleShot Wireless Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi
External Ports 4x USB 3.0 Type-A
1x USB 3.0 Type-C
1x USB 3.1 Type-C w/Thunderbolt 3
2x HDMI 2.0 (one front)
1x 3.5mm Headphone
1x 3.5mm Microphone
4x USB 3.0 Type-A
1x USB 3.0 Type-C
1x USB 3.1 Type-C
2x HDMI 2.0 (one front)
1x 3.5mm Headphone
1x 3.5mm Microphone
Audio Realtek codec with ESS Sabre DACs
Power Supply 330W 230W

MSI didn't say when the new Vortex G25 super-consoles would be available or for how much.

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