Here's the skinny: This computer is skinny. The MSI Trident 3 Artic is a gaming platform in a surprisingly small package. During testing, the computer has been able to work with the latest hardware and VR games, although the tiny computer does not have the traditional cooling of standard housings. The MSI Trident 3 Artic is a game console killer.
- Windows Home 10
- Intel Core i7-7700 Cache 3.6 GHz 8 MB
- H110 chipset
- MSI GTX 1070 8 GB GDDR5
- DDR4 SO-DIMM 2133 MHz 16 GB (8 GB * 2)
- 13.63 "x 2.83" x 9.15 "
- 6.9 Lbs
Game companies have long offered computers in different formats. Generally, the bigger the case, the more powerful the computer is. And that's still the situation here compared to the MSI Trident 3 Arctic. This is not the most powerful or best equipped computer that MSI offers. Instead, the company has packaged a competent system into a package the size of an Xbox One. Basically, it's a computer built around a MSI GTX 1070 and it suits me.
The case itself is the interesting part. It's small-ish and is best served while sitting vertically. If sitting on the side, the cooling fans seem to be struggling, but I have not noticed any graphic degradation. The design is striking. Looks like the Nvidia shield was a computer. And white.
Although the overall goal was clearly to make a small computer, there are many ports throughout the system. The front panel sports the usual assortment of USB and audio ports while the back side features almost as many inputs and outputs as the larger siblings of the Trident.
Although the system is compact, it is still evolving. Users will be able to replace components, including GPU, memory, storage drives – everything but the processor. This system comes with a custom MSI motherboard and to integrate the latest Kaby Lake CPU into the system, the CPU is directly integrated into the board.
However, there is a trade-off with size. The 330W power supply is external so users will have to deal with a big power brick that gets a little hot.
The system lives up to its specifications. With an Intel Core i7-7700 processor running at 3.6 GHz and an MSI GTX 1070 8 GB, a lot is going on here and performance has never been a problem during testing.
The system purrs – and when I say purr, I mean it works well when it's under load although there's an audible buzz while the fans are doing their best to keep the Core i7 and 1070 as cool as possible. Regardless of whether the content is a standard game or a virtual reality headset, I've found the Trident 3 Arctic to handle everything with enough ease so that I can say that this computer can handle any game .
This is not perfect, however. This is a system that you might not want in your bedroom or living room. Even though my test computer was not so old, fans were constantly on during the game and they will probably have noisy overtime. This computer is clearly designed for the living room and for me, after a bit of testing, the Trident Arctic 3 is too noisy for a quiet lounge.
Is this a good value? No of course not. Preconstructed computers are rarely the best way for a player to spend his money. If cash savings is a priority, a similar system, albeit in a larger case, can be done for $ 300 to $ 500 less than the $ 1449 MSRP of the Trident 3 Artic. Corsair, Zotac and VoodooPC offer small footprint computers, but that of MSI is several hundred less thanks in part to the GTX 1070 rather than the 1080. Even most graphic critics have established that the 1070 would be an alternative at 1080, so players might be wise to save money.
I have trouble recommending preconstructed systems because of the cost, but this MSI system is a little different. It's so small that your guests will think that it's a game console rather than being a full-fledged gaming computer. And that's what it is. It's a complete gaming computer available for less money than its direct competitors and in some cases even smaller than other small format computers.
The MSI Trident 3 Arctic is a powerful little beast. If you can handle a small fan noise and need the smallest gaming computer possible, this could be the PC for you.