Features

CES 2020: MSI’s Hard Work Pays Off with Ten Show Awards

MSI rolled into Vegas with a truck full of new products this year and they rolled out with quite a few awards for innovation when the week ended.

Optix MEG381CQR

This 38” curved gaming monitor features a bright IPS panel supporting Ultrawide, an aspect ratio of 21:9 at resolutions of 3840×1600. So far, so normal. What differentiates this panel from others out there are a couple of features.

Wedged into the bottom left corner of the bezel is a tiny OLED display that can be used to show system stats such as CPU temps. To the left of that is a rotating dial that allows you to select what the display shows, you can even set it to allow you to select various Macros you may have setup. Along the bottom of the monitor are five RGB lights that integrate into Steel Series’ Game Sense software and are already preset with CS:GO and DotA 2 integrations that will give you a quick visual indicator of health, ammo and mana bars.

Optix MAG161

If you read our round-up of the Razer announcements at CES, you would’ve seen us mention a list of portable screens and their growing popularity amongst laptop users. MSI announced this 5mm wide 15.6” display that weighs only 907g. The monitor is touted as the perfect gaming companion as a 240Hz IPS panel with FreeSync compatibility. The panel is a Full HD panel, sadly no word on 1440p or higher resolution models. For those who don’t want to carry around a range of adapters, the panel is said to support both HDMI and USB Type-C inputs, but we haven’t been able to confirm if the HDMI connection is the preferred full HDMI port of the fragile mini-HDMI port. For something that will see a lot of plugging in and out, that would be my main concern.

Optix MAG342CQR

In a world first, using Samsung’s fresh off the factory floor panel, is this monitor boasting the curviest of curves, being 1000R. Touted as the same curvature as the human eyeball, the monitor is said to be the most comfortable viewing experience for marathon gaming sessions.

This 34”, 3440x1440p display is also an Ultrawide (21:9) uses Quantum Dot technology to enable 10-bit colour support and 100% of the sRGB spectrum. Refresh rate is on the “low” side these days at “only” 144Hz with a 1ms response time. If you can’t tell, I am being sarcastic as those are not low specs at all.

MEG Aegis Ti5 Gaming Desktop

Something that I find too gaudy in terms of design, but definitely something that has some interesting ideas baked in, is this pre-built system. First let me get this out of the way, I hate RGB and this case design with the built in RGB is everything that triggers me. It is irrational I know, but I can’t help it.

Besides that the overall design reminds me of those cheap HI-Fi systems you see sold at Game and Makro with the stand looking a lot like a built-in bass speaker, Optix MEG381CQR is the OLED screen and dial on the front panel. This will display system stats but can also be tuned to setup game profiles that with a twist and press can be used to launch games with the desired settings for optimal gameplay. It’s a fantastic use case for the dial, allowing gamers to come a little bit closer to their console brethren’s ease of use boasts.

Spec-wise, the system is fully loaded with a RTX2080Ti and 9th Gen Intel CPUs. How customisable the system spec sheet is was not revealed, but I would expect some choice, although AMD Ryzen specced systems were not mentioned sadly. With specs like this the case needs to be able to maximise airflow for cooling. MSI boasts that the case allows for the hottest components to be separated for maximum cooling. I’m not sure how they achieve that, so will have to wait and see when various outlets get their hands on the system for teardowns.

MAG Core Liquid 240R & MAG Core Liquid 360R Series

Making their way into the cooler space, MSI announced their first All-in-One liquid coolers, with two variants (240 and 360RH models) that are equipped with MSI’s addressable RGB controller, the MPG MAX iHUB. Making installation user friendly, the coolers feature a rotating cooling head, up to 270 degrees, so you don’t have to worry about positioning the cooler the right way up or that the motherboard headers are not in the right place for this cooler. The motor also boasts a 100 000 hour life expectancy ceramic bearing that should ensure the AIO will outlast any system that you may want to build.

MAG X570 Tomahawk WiFi

MSI continues its impressive Ryzen support with the unveiling of its X570 Tomahawk motherboard. Based on the cheaper B-Series boards, this one will be an affordable 570 motherboard that will finally give more people access to the killer feature – PCI-e Gen 4.0 support. Included in the $189 price tag will be WiFi 6 support, 128GB DDR4-4600 support, three USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A ports and one Type-C port on the I/O panel. The board will feature 12-phase CPU power delivery with a beefy aluminium cooler. For storage you will have a choice of two PCI-e 4.0 M.2 slots and six SATA slots on the board. US availability is said to be sometime in the next couple of months, but when it might make its way to our shores is not known.

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